Washington, D.C. and Herndon, Va. - Advancing its vision to create economic prosperity locally and drive environmental sustainability, Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization, Groundswell, has selected Herndon-based Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES) 100 percent CleanSteps® WindPower for the current round of its Community Power Project and Community Power Programs for Homes. These programs enable local institutions and residents in Washington, D.C. and Maryland to apply their collective buying power to shift to clean energy while also reducing their costs and driving new neighborhood investment.
Groundswell facilitated a Community Power Project agreement between WGES, 23 houses of worship and 3 public charter schools in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area who will each purchase 100 percent Green-e® Energy-certified WGES CleanSteps® WindPower for their annual combined electricity load of approximately 10 million kilowatt hours. By choosing wind power, the 26 organizations are avoiding the creation of a combined total of 7,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to eliminating the consumption of more than 790,000 gallons of gasoline or taking more than 1,450 cars off the road for one year.
"By leveraging their collective buying power, local institutions are expected to realize savings of up to 11 percent compared to commercial utility standard offer service, all while making a positive environmental impact," said Will Byrne, co-founder and chief executive officer, Groundswell. "Alongside our valued partners, Maryland and Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light (IPL), Coalition of Lutherans Advancing in Mission (CLAIM) and Friends of Choice in Urban Schools (FOCUS), through this new purchasing agreement with Washington Gas Energy Services, we've applied shared economic power to drive sustainability and reinvest in the community."
Sixty-two percent of the institutions involved in the Community Power Project also elected to contribute to Groundswell's weatherization fund for local, low-income families. The fund supports home energy efficiency projects that reduce energy consumption and save households money on their energy bills, while improving the comfort and health of their homes.
In addition to facilitating the Community Power Project, Groundswell has also selected WGES as clean power provider for the first round of its Community Power Project for Homes. From now until mid-August, families in Washington, D.C. and most of Maryland will have the opportunity to enroll in the initiative. Hundreds of families - many of whom are congregants of the participating 23 houses of worship and parents and educators from the three schools - will enroll and receive 100 percent WGES CleanSteps® WindPower. Residents of Washington, D.C. and Baltimore have the opportunity to make the switch from conventional power to wind power through Groundswell and save up to seven percent in electricity costs compared to residential utility standard offer service.
Residents can join the Community Power Program for Homes at www.groundswell.org/applycpphomes.
"We commend Groundswell for their environmental stewardship," said Harry Warren, president of Washington Gas Energy Services. "As a leading competitive energy provider, we are committed to offering customers with options that include green products. It is rewarding to partner with organizations such as Groundswell who recognize that the choice of alternative energy products can produce a substantial and positive impact on our environment."
In the District of Columbia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, businesses, organizations, government entities, institutions and individual residents can purchase their electricity and natural gas supply from retail energy providers. Customers in Virginia may purchase natural gas and customers in Delaware may purchase electricity from retail energy providers. To learn more about WGES and its CleanSteps® products, visit www.wges.com or call 1-888-884-WGES (9437).
Groundswell expands opportunity and resilience on the local level by helping communities apply their shared purchasing power for social good. Specifically, it partners with mission-driven networks in the housing, education, and faith sectors to help them complete collective clean electricity and energy efficiency projects. In addition to saving money, this creates newfound access to and understanding of energy and sustainability services at the community level. Moreover, the collective process itself drives greater collaboration and interdependence across organizations. Groundswell has emerged as a leading social impact organization working to inform and empower communities about the economic and social impacts of energy consumption.
About Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc.:
Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. is one of the largest competitive providers of electricity and natural gas in the mid-Atlantic region and supplies more than 350,000 customers in Maryland, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania and Virginia. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) named WGES the Green Power Supplier of the Year in the non-utility category. Headquartered in Herndon, Va., Washington Gas Energy Services is an affiliate of Washington Gas Light Company and a subsidiary of WGL Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:WGL). www.wges.com
Washington Gas Energy Services