DOE Recognizes Best Renewable Energy Programs

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has recognized four organizations for expanding the market for electricity produced from renewable energy.

According to the DOE, these organizations' green power programs provide consumers with the opportunity to purchase clean energy from environmentally preferred sources, such as wind and solar energy.

This year's winners included 3Degrees and Washington Gas Energy Sources (WGES), which were both recognized as the non-utility green power suppliers of the year; Detroit Edison (DTE Energy) for utility green power program of the year; and The Clean Energy Collective for innovative green power program of the year.

3Degrees partnered with more than 900 organizations to address climate change and accelerate a low-carbon, renewable energy economy through Green-e Energy Certified Renewable Energy Certificates and verified emissions-reduction projects worldwide. Its green power programs achieve an average participation rate of 6% of customers.

Herndon, Va.-based Washington Gas Energy Services Inc. is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's largest green energy suppliers, offering wind, solar and carbon offsets. Since 2009, the company has increased its CleanStepsSM wind power customer base by more than 250%.

DTE Energy generates, transmits and distributes electricity to 2.1 million customers in southeastern Michigan. Eighty-six percent of the utility's energy comes from wind turbines, and 14% comes from biomass sources. With the help of more than 22,000 GreenCurrents customers, the voluntary enrollment program has helped advance renewable energy sources in Michigan.

The Clean Energy Collective (CEC) is a Colorado-based company that develops affordable, community-owned solar farms in partnership with local utilities. The CEC partnered with Holy Cross Energy, a rural electric cooperative, to offer the nation's first customer-owned community-solar program.

The organizations were evaluated on the following criteria: total annual renewable energy sales, number of customers served, market impact, resources and technologies used, and overall value provided to customer participants.

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