Rhode Island Energy Challenge: “Find Your Four” Campaign Honored
WASHINGTON – PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Today,
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will recognize National Grid and SmartPower for their innovative work on clean air and climate with the 2016 Clean Air Excellence Award. The Clean Air Excellence Awards are given to state, local, tribal, and private sector programs that educate the public in improving air quality or reducing harmful air pollutants or greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
This year the EPA Announced 7 Clean Air Excellence Awards in six categories (1) Education and Outreach; (2) Clean Air Technology; (3) Community Action; (4) Regulatory and Policy Innovation; (5) Transportation and Energy Innovation; (6) The Thomas W. Zosel Individual Award.
National Grid and SmartPower have been awarded in the Education and Outreach category for The Rhode Island Energy Challenge: Find Your Four! Campaign. The grassroots energy efficiency campaign encouraged customers across Rhode Island to ‘find four’ simple energy reductions they can undertake in their homes or businesses. Consumer knowledge on the need to reduce energy consumption and associating greenhouse gas emissions saw a demonstrated increase, with 90 percent of participating homeowners taking at least one energy reduction effort, and 75 percent of participating homeowners indicating improved understanding of their energy use.
“Each of these award winners has taken real, tangible steps to improve public health in their communities by reducing air pollutants or greenhouse gases,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “These projects reflect the creativity and commitment of public and private sector organizations to make a difference and drive us toward a cleaner, healthier future.”
“The Rhode Island Energy Challenge is the embodiment of our motto – ‘Here with you. Here for you,’” said Timothy F. Horan, President of National Grid of Rhode Island. “And working with SmartPower we’ve been able to connect and work with cities and towns throughout the state to save energy.”
“It’s a huge honor to share this award with National Grid,” said Brian F. Keane, President of SmartPower. “Clean Air Excellence isn’t simply an award – it’s a way of life that we need to ensure for all Americans. And it’s clear that National Grid, the state of Rhode Island and ‘Find Your Four’ are leading the way!”
The Clean Air Excellence awards program was established in 2000, and recognizes individuals that serve as pioneers in their fields, advance public understanding of air pollution and improve air quality. Entries are judged by the EPA and the Clean Air Advisory Committee, and winners will be recognized later today at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.
View the original Press Release HERE!
Selected As Silver Winner by American Business Awards
SmartPower has been named the winner of a Silver Stevie® Award in the Marketing Agency of the Year category in The 14th Annual American Business Awards.
The American Business Awards are the nation’s premier business awards program. All organizations operating in the U.S.A. are eligible to submit nominations – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small.
SmartPower was selected for the Silver Award from over 3,400 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry. More than 250 professionals worldwide participated in the judging process to select this year’s Stevie Award winners.
This is the second major award SmartPower has won since December when we were named “The Best Non-Profit Marketing Firm” in the US by Wealth and Finance Magazine earlier this year.
Brian F. Keane
Non-Profit Announces Major Financial Milestone Made With Less Than $3.5m Investments
Washington, DC – SmartPower, the nation’s leading non-profit marketing firm dedicated to promoting clean energy and energy efficiency today announced a major milestone in its “Solarize” group-purchasing program. In just 3 years – and with investments of less than $3.5 million — the SmartPower Solarize campaigns have resulted in over $100 million of residential solar energy. “This is a major milestone for SmartPower and our Solarize campaigns,” said Brian F. Keane, President of SmartPower. “With investments of less than $3.5 million, we have created over $100 million worth of solar energy throughout Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. It’s a major achievement for the solar industry, the environment and our economy.” SmartPower’s announcement comes amid recent high profile losses among some of the industry’s largest solar companies, the most recent being SunEdison’s stunning demise. Once the darling of the solar industry, SunEdison today teeters on bankruptcy. “We know this is an emerging market,” said SmartPower’s Keane. “What we’re seeing today is similar to the tech boom of the 1990’s. Some companies will thrive, and others will not. But the lesson in our announcement today is that in this emerging marketplace, our Solarize group-buy model, backed by key funders who support clean, renewable energy and utilizing pre-selected solar installers, makes residential and small commercial solar a sound investment that can scale up quickly with minimal risk.” Key features of the Solarize model include support by local communities, pre-selected solar installers with competitive pricing, attractive financing options including a zero-dollar down option, and a 16-20 week campaign with a clear end date. This SmartPower formula has resulted in over 20,000 homeowners requesting solar site visits to see if their homes are good for solar. In 2012 with a grant from The John Merck Fund and an investment from The Connecticut Green Bank, SmartPower launched “The New England Solar Challenge”, a residential solar campaign that morphed into Solarize Connecticut and various “Solarize” campaigns throughout New England. In Connecticut alone, over 18MW of residential solar were installed in three years bringing solar to over 2,000 Connecticut residents. “Added together, these households are greater than any utility-scale solar array in New England,” continued Keane. “And we did it in less time than any utility could.” The numbers at a glance: In three years-
- $100 million of solar installed
- Less than $3.5 million invested
- More than 3500 residential homes “solarized”
- More than 20,000 residents inquired about solar energy for their homes
- More than 28 MW installed
- More than 25,000 metric tons of Green House Gases Reduced Annually
About Smartpower Founded in 2002 by a group of private foundations to help support the growth of clean energy, SmartPower’s mission is to help Americans make smart energy choices. Recently named the “best non-profit marketing firm in the US”. SmartPower’s exclusive
focus on energy efficiency and clean energy results in high visibility, high impact on-the-ground community campaigns designed to transform how consumers use, adopt and invest in clean energy and energy efficiency. SmartPower is leading Solarize campaigns in multiple states. For more information, please visit www.smartpower.org
SmartPower’s Brian F. Keane To Be Featured Speaker at Utility Conference Solar Marketing Expert To Speak On Challenges and Opportunities for Nations’ Utility Companies Scottsdale, Arizona — Public Utilities Fortnightly, the 100-year-old publication that has guided the electricity industry through most of its history, today announced that Brian F. Keane, President of the award-wining non-profit, SmartPower, will be a featured speaker at its upcoming Conference “Utilities In A Time of Change & Challenge” on November 17th and 18th. Keane is described as a man on a mission to bring solar power to every roof where it can be deployed, until solar has an equal position in the nation’s energy mix. Currently, his organization is conducting effective campaigns to increase rooftop solar in states from coast to coast – from Connecticut and South Carolina and from Rhode Island to Minnesota. “Keane is leading the advance guard in the revolution in clean power, which is both revolutionizing the electric utility industry and raising questions about the old business model for the industry going forward,” said Llewellyn King, Editor-at-Large of Public Utility Fortnightly. Keane’s organization also works with utilities, so he brings an important perspective. “We are delighted that he will be sharing his insights and has agreed to participate in this critical issues conference.” Keane may not have an easy time selling the brave new world of rooftop solar to many at the conference, some of whom believe it will harm the traditional utilities’ business models or believe that the grid will become uneconomic, a kind of Amtrak. Other major speakers include Tom Fanning, chairman, president and CEO of the Southern Company, Susan Bitter Smith, chair of the Arizona Corporation Commission, and Robert Murray, chairman of the largest privately owned coal company which bears his name. While some utilities have worked with solar providers, others have been more apprehensive. The
concern is that solar will destroy the utility business model and weaken the utility grid, as prime customers become generators and use state laws on net metering to sell back to the utilities. “All the bits have to fit together, including the future of the grid, the elegant inclusion of solar and wind, the balance of generating in the demand cycle, and the development, in a timely way, of superior storage technologies,” continued Fortnightly’s King. “Brian will give as well as he gets, I can guarantee that, as I have debated with him in the past.” “We are thrilled to have Mr. Keane participate in our upcoming conference, Utilities in a Time of Change and Challenge,” said Joseph Paparello, Publisher of Public Utility Fortnightly. “The goal of this meeting is to facilitate a conversation about new technologies that are changing the traditional utility business model. And as we do in Public Utilities Fortnightly magazine, we want all sides represented. Brian’s presence helps us achieve that goal.” The Utilities in a Time of Change and Challenge Conference takes place in Scottsdale, Arizona on November 17th and 18th. For more information or to attend the conference, visit: http://pufconference.com ###
Mayor Benjamin and City Council to proclaim “Solarize Columbia Day” New partnership is the latest step towards a greener more sustainable Columbia
Columbia, SC – Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and City Council will issue a proclamation today making the City of Columbia the most recent South Carolina community to embrace the Solarize South Carolina Campaign. The Proclamation announces the partnership between the City of Columbia, Solarize South Carolina, and the nonprofit SmartPower. The city is now the first municipality in the Midlands to officially participate the new, statewide, residential solar power initiative. Solarize South Carolina is a community outreach program designed to help Columbia residents go solar and save on electricity costs. When 60 or more Columbian residents sign a contract for solar before January 31, 2016, the
City will earn a free 5 kW solar system for any of its municipal buildings. Solarize South Carolina is an initiative of the nonprofit organization SmartPower (www.smartpower.org) and solar financing company Dividend Solar. Solarize South Carolina’s goal is to outfit 2,000 homes across the state with solar over the next 18 months. Operating statewide, Solarize South Carolina hopes to triple the amount of residential solar, helping homeowners save money and creating new jobs across the state. “Columbia is proud to be a statewide leader in Solarize South Carolina,” said Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin. “Working together with SmartPower and all our local community organizations, we will help make Columbia – and South Carolina – a true leader in solar power!” This is the latest in a series of green initiatives for the City of Columbia which include installing electric car charging pods in city parking garages and energy efficient lighting in city buildings as well as encouraging green commuting, keeping 13 tons of electronics out of landfills through the E-waste recycling program and working to protect our waterways and drinking water by recycling 400 gallons of used cooking oil through the Southern Fried Fuel initiative. Now the City will be taking the next step to promote using the cleanest resource we have that residents feel every day – the sun. Solarize Columbia will accelerate the adoption of solar and increase public awareness of new solar-friendly state rules that allow net metering, giving significant financial advantage to residents who go solar. Solarize South Carolina makes it even easier for residents to go solar by offering a zero-down financing option to make solar more affordable, allowing homeowners to save immediately on energy bills. By signing up on the Solarize SC website (www.solarizesc.org), homeowners will be able to quickly find out if their home is compatible for solar with a free, no obligation solar assessment by a pre-screened local installer. Residents should check “Columbia” under Affiliation to ensure that the City gets credit for customers who go solar. The Net-Metering program from SCE&G credits the renewable energy producer at the same rate the utility charges for service. The excess energy that is not used by the producer is then pushed back into the energy grid at the same rate. The newly enacted Net-Metering 2.0 will still credit the producer at the same rate, but will now buy all produced energy at a wholesale rate. “If you have ever thought about going solar, there’s never been a better time,” said Sara Hummel Rajca, SmartPower’s Community Outreach Manager for Solarize South Carolina. “With Columbia’s leadership, tax incentives, low cost financing, and all our neighbors joining in this community campaign, going solar just makes sense!” Solarize Columbia kicks off with its first event September 3. For more information about Solarize South Carolina and Solarize Columbia, contact Solarize South Carolina Community Outreach Manager Sara Hummel Rajca at firstname.lastname@example.org. Residents who want to see if their home is good for solar can get started at www.solarizesc.org. Upcoming Solarize South Carolina Events: Sept. 3: The Basics of Solar at Richland Library Northeast, 6:30-8 p.m. Sept. 10: The Basics of Solar at University of South Carolina Green Quad, 6:30-8 p.m. Sept. 12: Solar Info Table at Soda City Farmers Market, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sept. 16: The Basics of Solar at Richland Library Southeast, 6:30-8 p.m. Sept. 19: Solar Info Table at National Drive Electric Week at Whole Foods, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sept. 23: Solar Lunch Break at University of South Carolina Green Quad, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Sept. 30: The Basics of Solar at Richland Library Cooper, 6:30-8 p.m. #####
SmartPower is an award-winning nonprofit organization that works on behalf of municipalities, utilities, businesses, foundations, state agencies and the federal government to turbo-charge energy efficiency and renewable energy efforts. Through innovative on- the-ground campaigns using friendly competitions and challenges, SmartPower is able to create measurable results and save energy. www.smartpower.org
About Dividend Solar:
Dividend Solar is a leading solar financing company that partners with local installers across the U.S. to offer its $0-down EmpowerLoan. bando maps With performance guarantees, warranty management and system production monitoring included with every loan, the EmpowerLoan offers a better, simpler way for solar ownership. www.dividendsolar.com
In case you missed it, The Charleston Post & Courier, the most popular newspaper in South Carolina, recently wrote about our Solarize South Carolina Campaign.
“Solar is here and now’s the time to get started,” says Jim Kubu, the community outreach manager for SmartPower in the Lowcountry. You can check out the entire article here, at the Post & Courier. bandovetinh
Tiverton and Little Compton Collectively Double Solar Installations
Providence, R.I. – Governor Gina M. Raimondo, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER), Commerce RI and SmartPower today announced that Solarize Tiverton and Little Compton, community campaigns to drive solar adoption in Rhode Island, have closed with a dramatic increase of solar adopters. In total, over 55 homeowners and businesses went solar, doubling the amount of solar in the towns. Solarize Tiverton and Little Compton are initiatives of SmartPower, a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance clean energy, along with OER and Commerce RI.
“It is great to see so many Rhode Island families and businesses in Tiverton and Little Compton taking advantage of these solar energy initiatives,” said Raimondo. “With our region facing high energy costs, solar provides an important opportunity to both lower costs and promote clean energy. The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, Commerce RI, and SmartPower are doing great work, and I look forward to these community campaigns continuing to grow across the state.”
The number of solar installations in Rhode Island is expected to increase with the scheduled launch of two new programs. National Grid’s Renewable Energy Growth (REG) program starts on June 15, which allows customers to earn “bill credits” for the energy they produce from their solar as well as an incentive payment for any excess production. In addition, Dividend Solar, a solar financing
company, will partner with SmartPower to offer a loan product that allows customers to own their solar systems with no out of pocket cost and achieve immediate savings on their energy bills – all combined with an extended system warranty and production guarantee.
“We are thrilled to see the strong support of solar following the Solarize Tiverton and Little Compton campaigns,” said OER Commissioner Marion Gold. “It is clear there is a growing interest in going solar in Rhode Island. This renewable energy source gives consumers the chance to save money on their utility bills and reduce energy consumption. With new financing opportunities forthcoming, I look forward to continuing this exciting work with our partners.”
“Solarize programs are proven to spur the solar industry in the states where we work by raising awareness and providing educational resources for homeowners,” said SmartPower’s President Brian F. Keane. “At the same time, we’re seeing costs are coming down so much –both in the cost of the hardware and through bundled purchasing – that the installation costs drop another 20 percent. With the introduction of National Grid’s REG program and Dividend Solar’s zero down financing, going solar in Rhode Island is a no-brainer.”
There are currently 1.853 megawatts of small scale solar PV installed in Rhode Island. These programs are expected to bring 3 megawatts of additional small scale solar capacity to the state in the next year, spurring investment in the state and creating jobs as Rhode Islanders reduce their energy bills and become more energy independent.
“Dividend Solar is excited to bring a simple path to solar ownership to Rhode Island and enable Rhode Islanders to maximize their savings while supporting their local community,” said Eric White, President of Dividend Solar. “We look forward to helping homeowners make the decision to go solar easier than ever with the EmpowerLoan.”
For more information on the Renewable Energy Growth Program, please visit nationalgridus.com.
About Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources
The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) is the lead state agency on energy policy and programs. OER’s mission is to lead Rhode Island to a secure, cost-effective, and sustainable energy future. OER works closely with private and public stakeholders to increase the reliability and security of our energy supply, reduce energy costs and mitigate against price volatility, and improve environmental quality.www.energy.ri.gov
SmartPower is an award-winning nonprofit organization that works on behalf of municipalities, utilities, businesses, foundations, state agencies and the federal government to turbo-charge energy efficiency and renewable energy efforts. Through innovative on- the-ground campaigns using friendly competitions and challenges, SmartPower is able to create measureable results and save energy. www.smartpower.org
About Dividend Solar:
Dividend Solar is a leading solar financing company that partners with local installers across the U.S. to offer its $0-down EmpowerLoan. With performance guarantees, warranty management and system production monitoring included with every loan, the EmpowerLoan offers a better, simpler way for solar ownership. www.dividendsolar.com
Scituate High School, North Kingstown High School &
Deering Middle School in West Warwick Named Energy Champions
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Three Rhode Island schools, including Scituate High School, North Kingstown High School and Deering Middle School in West Warwick, were honored today for the energy efficiency videos that students developed as part of National Grid and SmartPower’s Rhode Island Video Challenge. The Rhode Island Video Challenge is a competition that launched last fall and an extension of the extremely popular statewide energy efficiency campaign “Find Your Four!” Students at these three schools were the top contributors of creative and engaging videos that showed the ease of finding four ways to reduce energy use. In total, Rhode Island students, classrooms and schools submitted 36 custom-made and unique videos to the competition. Rhode Islanders cast over 10,000 votes for their favorite videos. Today’s schools are being honored for their participation in the Rhode Island Video Challenge with grants to be used for sustainability programs of their choosing. Each school also received a sign announcing their accomplishment as a “Rhode Island Energy Champion.”
$2500 Grant – First Place and Winner of Most Submitted Videos: Scituate High School
$1000 Grant – Second Place Winner: North Kingstown High School
$500 Grant – Third Place Winner: Deering Middle School in West Warwick
“The Rhode Island Video Challenge has been a great program to engage students and community members throughout the state in ways that we can all be more energy efficient. Students developed some amazing and creative videos showing how to reduce energy use,” said Timothy F. Horan, president of National Grid in Rhode Island. “Energy efficiency is an important part of our New England Energy Strategy, so these types of programs help everyone understand how easy it is to make simple changes in their everyday energy usage.” News Release Three Schools Win Rhode Island Video Challenge Awards Scituate High School, North Kingstown High School & Deering Middle School in West Warwick Named Energy Champions “Today we honor these students for their achievements and for leading the way in promoting energy efficiency through their creative videos” said Brian F. Keane, president of SmartPower. “We also honor the teachers and school administrators who inspired students to contribute to making Rhode Island the third most energy efficient state in the country.” The Rhode Island Energy Challenge is a community energy efficiency campaign that asks each of us to take four actions in our homes to reduce our energy use. Since 2013 over 4000 Rhode Island residents have pledged to be more energy efficient at www.findyourfour.com.
SmartPower, named the “Best Non-Profit Marketing Firm in the United States,” is dedicated to promoting clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. SmartPower’s award-winning, research-based campaigns have engaged people across the country, building the clean energy marketplace and helping Americans become smarter about their energy use. SmartPower is leading the Rhode Island Energy Challenge in partnership with National Grid. For more information, please visit www.smartpower.org.
About National Grid
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain. Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Connect21 is vital to our communities’ long-term economic and environmental health and aligns with regulatory initiatives in New York (REV: Reforming the Energy Vision) and Massachusetts (Grid Modernization).
For more information please visit our website: www.nationalgridus.com, or our Connecting website. You can also follow us on Twitter, watch us on You Tube, like us on Facebook and find our photos on Instagram.
Scituate High School, North Kingstown High & Deering Middle School Named Energy Champions
Students at Scituate High School, North Kingstown High and Deering Middle School were honored this week for their winning videos in the “Rhode Island Video Challenge”!
This week, in recognition of their winning videos, SmartPower and National Grid presented the three schools with a sign proclaiming them a Rhode Island Energy Champion. And National Grid provided a monetary award of $500 for Deering Middle School, $1000 for North Kingstown High and $2500 for Scituate High School to be used in sustainability measures on the campuses.
Students at these three schools submitted creative and engaging videos demonstrating the ease of finding four ways to reduce energy use. Check out their videos below:
More than 10,000 votes were cast by thousands of Rhode Islanders, all helping raise the bar on energy efficiency awareness.
Huge congratulations to our 2015 Video Challenge Winners!
Scituate High School Submissions
North Kingstown High Submissions
Deering Middle School Submission