by Jack Evans, AIA-Headquarters Facilities Manager
In furtherance of our commitment to the promotion of sustainability and green building initiatives, I'm pleased to report that the AIA national component has amended our contract with Pepco Energy Services so that we will be purchasing electricity that is entirely wind-generated.
A key benefit, of course, is that electricity produced from renewable resources reduces the amount of carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas, as well as sulfur dioxide emitted into the atmosphere in the production of electricity from burning fossil fuels. Wind energy is particularly effective in reducing greenhouse gases, because there are no air emissions associated with operating wind generators.
The AIA has taken on the 2030 Challenge to reduce carbon emissions from new buildings and major renovations to 0 percent by 2030. Because buildings account for an estimated 48 percent of the total carbon emissions in this country, the 2030 Challenge will have significant impact on reducing the greenhouse gases that are contributing to global warming. The AIA is committed to lead by example.
We are in good company with this decision. Other notable organizations that have purchased green energy from Pepco Energy Services include the National Geographic Society, Lerner Enterprises, the Willard and Fairmont hotels, and numerous government agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Labor, Transportation, Energy, Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Pepco Energy Services is helping us all meet the challenge by offering electricity produced by wind farms all across the country. The AIA buys credits equivalent to a share of that production, for which we are paying about .425 cents per kWh over what it would cost to buy electricity from fossil-fuel-burning generators. It’s well worth it because, as we learned from Ben Franklin, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
What do you think?