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Five U.S. Power Companies Adopt WWF Energy Switch Program

Issue 3 and Volume 108.

Five electric power companies have become the first in the U.S. to support a mandatory cap on carbon dioxide emissions through adoption of a program proposed by the World Wildlife Federation (WWF).

The companies — Austin Energy, Burlington Electric Department, FPL Group, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and Waverly Light and Power — have agreed to participate in the CO2 reduction program.

The WWF PowerSwitch! Challenge provides a blueprint for power companies to support binding limits on national CO2 emissions by one or more action targets:

  • Establishing renewables as the source for 20% of their electricity sold by 2020
  • Increasing energy efficiency 15% by 2020
  • Retiring the least efficient half of coal generation by 2020

Under commitments to WWF, renewable energy sources may include solar, wind, sustainably harvested biomass, low-impact small-scale hydropower, geothermal, and methane recovery from landfills or farms. Energy efficiency efforts may include improving energy efficiency in power production, upgrading distribution technologies, transmission optimization efforts, or reducing overall demand from customers in a service territory as part of a strategy to diminish the need for new electricity generation capacity.

Randy LaBauve, vice president of environmental services for FPL Group, said, “The WWF PowerSwitch! initiative is about choices — responsibility, reliability and results. Quite simply, it’s the right thing to do.”

Barbara Grimes, general manager of Burlington Electric Department, said, “We have a fairly clean power supply, and we have been running effective energy efficiency programs for years. But we know even we can do better, and we plan to. BED is thrilled to be part of WWF’s PowerSwitch! program.”