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Experts Predict Increased Participation in U.S. Green Power Programs

Leading experts on U.S. green energy development expressed confidence Thursday that, with improved marketing techniques, a dramatic growth in participation in U.S. green energy programs is likely to occur over the next several years, resulting in penetration levels viewed highly improbable just one year ago.

DENVER, Colorado 2002-02-25 [SolarAccess.com] The remarks were made at The Growing Green Power Demand Conference, the first green power conference devoted to the tools, tactics and metrics of selling green power sponsored by XENERGY in cooperation with the Center for Resource Solutions. Green energy programs, which typically involve customers paying a premium to cover the incremental cost of the additional renewable resources, have shown steady growth over the last 5 years, with programs now in existence in 31 states. However, some believed that the demand for such services had begun to level off, with participation rates of most programs in the range of 1 to 5 percent. “A 10 percent participation rate in a green energy program was, until recently, viewed as the industry’s three-minute mile, a goal considered virtually unachievable,” said Julie Blunden, vice president at XENERGY. “However, tools, tactics and metrics shared at today’s conference indicate that this rate could be achieved within the next five years.” “Surveys consistently reveal customer preference for green power,” said Blair Swezey, Principal Policy Director at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “There are important marketing lessons to be gleaned from these utilities that are having the most success with their green power programs.” “Leading organizations around the country – including Fortune 500 companies, major cities and universities – are starting to buy green power, recognizing it as the next step in environmental responsibility,” said Kurt Johnson, Director of EPA’s Green Power Partnership. “We believe today’s forum is a microcosm of what is occurring industry wide,” said Keri Bolding, Communications Director at the Center for Resource Solutions. “Green marketers are improving their ability to identify likely buyers of green energy and creating targeted marketing efforts to translate consumers’ desire for green energy into sales. This is an exciting time for providers of green energy with substantial growth likely in the next several years.”