LEED Gold- How did we do it? Part 5 of 9

Part 5: Green Power

“Green electricity products reduce the air pollution impacts of electricity generation by relying on renewable energy sources such as solar, water, wind, biomass and geothermal sources. Although green electricity is not entirely benign, it significantly lessens the negative environmental impacts of power generation. Using renewable energy generated either on-site or off-site is an excellent way for owners to reduce the negative environmental impacts on air and water with a building’s energy requirements.”

-US Green Building Council

In terms of sustainability, using less electric power accomplishes the same thing as purchasing a portion of your power from green sources- it reduces the use of fossil fuels for energy generation. Our office took this a step further by not only reducing our energy use (see Part 4), we have been participating in TVA’s Green Power Blocks program for several years.  When we moved to our new office space, we also purchased Renewable Energy Credits equal to 100% of our estimated electricity usage. By choosing green power sources, we are promoting a green economy and doing our part to reduce the environmental impacts of fossil fuels.

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Example of wind-generated electricity (Image by Janet Powell)

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Solar panels at Ijams Nature Center (Image by http://www.solarknoxville.org/)

Next stop: Part 6: Materials