The winners of the first Green Power Community Challenge were announced recently by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The communities to receive this honor are Washington, DC, and Brookeville, Maryland, whose efforts to increase their use of renewable and clean energies, such as solar, wind, and biomass, surpassed others in this year-long challenge.
Washington, DC won for using the largest amount of green energy annually. Business, residential and government facilities are using a combined total of over 772 million kilowatt hours of clean energy per year, which amounts to 8% of the community’s total electrical use. Brookeville, Maryland, on the other hand, has the highest percentage of clean energy use within its total electricity use. Clean, renewable energy supplies 45% of all electricity in the community.
The Green Power Community Challenge began last September, and the ultimate goal was for all of the participating communities, through some friendly competition, to boost clean energy usage to 1.8 billion kilowatt hours annually. A year later, the communities, which come from 14 states, far surpassed this goal, and are using 3.3 billion kilowatt hours of clean energy per year, which is the equivalent of cutting carbon emissions from 284,000 homes.
“The Green Power Community Challenge proved that any community, no matter its size, can harness the collective power of its businesses and residents to achieve real environmental results,” said EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy. “By switching to renewable energy, EPA’s Green Power Communities are investing in a more secure, healthy, and prosperous future.”