Renewable Energy Ski Area Lift Tickets

A variety of progressive ski areas across the United States purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs), or Green Tags to offset the energy used for some of their lifts. Not only does it put a good compassionate face on the mountains’ image but it directly helps stem climate change which could severely affect the future for ski areas. A Vermont-based ski area has just tapped into a new way to promote renewable energy that directly involves consumers.

Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont – February 26, 2004 [] Smugglers’ Notch Resort and NativeEnergy, a Vermont based company, have partnered to develop a new program called SkiCool. The program, now in effect will allow Smugglers’ skiers and riders to purchase a Green Pass, Green Badge or Green Lift Ticket for climate neutral skiing and riding at the resort. Smugglers’ and NativeEnergy have calculated the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by the energy consumed in a typical ski season to run the lifts, make snow, groom the slopes, and commute to the mountain. To encourage participation and enhance the program’s overall impact, Smugglers’ has pledged to contribute a 25% match to each customer purchase. CO2 is the primary contributor to global warming. “Through SkiCool, Smugglers’ and NativeEnergy are providing skiers and riders the opportunity to “green up” their season pass, bash badge, or day lift ticket,” said Mark Delaney, vice president of corporate development. “Green passes, badges, and day lift tickets have been priced to offset the CO2 produced by the typical amount of ski time associated with each product.” Pricing is just $.50 for a green lift ticket, $2 for a green badge, and $10 for a green pass. These purchases will offset 83 lbs., 400 lbs., or 2,000 lbs. respectively of CO2 production when Smugglers’ match is included. These offset levels were pro-rated on a skier-day basis. The cost of the Green Lift Ticket, Green Badge, and Green Pass is in addition to the Resort’s sale price of a lift ticket, Bash Badge or Season Pass. Current pass and badge holders may upgrade to the green version. The funds collected from participating skiers and riders and the matching funds by Smugglers’ Notch Resort go to NativeEnergy, which uses the funds to purchase renewable energy credits, also called green tags, on behalf of SkiCool participants. Green tags represent the reductions in emissions created when renewable electricity displaces electricity from fossil fuels. NativeEnergy’s approach to the green tags market helps finance the development of renewable energy sources such as wind farms located in the Midwest and farm methane generators in the Northeast. NativeEnergy’s green tags have been certified by the Climate Neutral Network and have been purchased by the Department of Energy, the National Resource Defense Council, the Vermont Public Service Board, Green Mountain Power, the Dave Matthews Band, Ben & Jerry’s, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and many others.
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