2010 SUSTAINABILITY ANNUAL REPORTWE AREGENERATION
1
ABOUT    THIS REPORT    At Viridian we never settle for the       So it should come as no surprise that we are producing t...
A BUSINESS               THAT’S MORE               THAN A    BUSINESS               BUZZWORD.               Everyone talks...
Viridian CEO Michael Fallquist talks about the balance between           Q. hoW do you combine sustainability and profits?...
Viridian executive team discusses every department’s     DEDICATION TO     SUSTAINABILITY    RooP bHuLLAR                 ...
THIS IS OUR                    gENERATION.                    Generation V. As a young company, we                    obvi...
INDIVIDUAL CHOICE.                                                                                While our larger vision ...
“IT’S NICE TO ACTUALLY DO WHAT WE SAY     RECoGnIZInG                                                                     ...
gENERATION V PLANS FOR THE FUTURE     derrek thomas, cape may county, neW Jersey         At first, Viridian Associate Derr...
gENERATION V CARES ABOUT THE EARTH                                                                                        ...
gENERATION V IS OPTIMISTIC & PERSISTENT                                                                                   ...
gENERATION V IS INNOVATIVE     lJ grillo, neW haVen county, connecticut         Viridian Associate LJ Grillo knows what it...
PUTTINg   HOW DOESENERgY          RENEWABLE          ENERgY WORk?          As the name implies, renewable energy is energy...
HOW A RENEWABLE ENERGY                                                                                                    ...
gREEN-E     CERTIFICATION                                                             REPORTINg RECs         On May 11, 20...
REPORTING TIMELINE                                                                                                        ...
AUDIT OF RECS                                                     REC PURCHASING                                          ...
CLASS                                     1      ConnECtICut CLASS I RECS: 6%                                             ...
CLASS     resource type: Hydropower                                                                                       ...
Sustainability report
Sustainability report
Sustainability report
Sustainability report
Sustainability report
Sustainability report
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Sustainability report

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A comprehensive document from Viridian Energy. This report educates you on the importance of choosing renewable energy and energy deregulation

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Sustainability report

  1. 1. 2010 SUSTAINABILITY ANNUAL REPORTWE AREGENERATION
  2. 2. 1
  3. 3. ABOUT THIS REPORT At Viridian we never settle for the So it should come as no surprise that we are producing this About 2010 annual report. Viridian is not a public corporation. There is minimum. The expected. The status-quo. no SEC reporting requirement. No public shareholders to When it comes to 2010, words can’t do it justice. Our first That’s why we exceed the mandatory hold us accountable. No regulatory mandate demanding full calendar year of business saw explosive growth of both such a report. In short, we didn’t have to do this. But we green content standards in every state Associates and customers. Internally, we stretched every know there are plenty of people – from Associates to last fiber to keep up, outgrowing our office space, computer we service. It’s why we’ve committed to customers to simply those who care about the environment systems, phone lines, and even our identity as a little – who have a stake in our future. They deserve an update on start-up only serving customers in Connecticut. And while improving seven continents in seven the dynamism of this upsurge is hard to convey in 2010’s our action and achievements in the previous year. years. And why we work with our Of course, the really important stuff is never in the slick report, it’s very relevant background information. After all, the growth of our product, brand and lifestyle is precisely pages up front, but the nitty-gritty details that come later. For Associates to do as much for their what allows our sustainability mission to have a larger, Viridian, that means an explanation of our Renewable Energy more pervasive affect. More customers equal more RECs community as their economy. Certificate (REC) purchasing by state and source. The REC purchased. More RECs purchased equates to more money purchasing section (Putting Energy into Action) outlines the invested in renewable energy development in this country. required reporting that we fulfilled in 2010, as well as a Consumer interest and investment in renewable energy detailed explanation of how RECs work and the standards technology could eventually lead to total elimination of we hold ourselves to. Each year the report will look back environmentally harmful electricity sources. at the previous year’s REC reporting requirements based on the amount of electricity Viridian has served by state and rate plan. In short, you’ll have an itemized and detailed breakdown on the concrete substance behind our message and mission.2 3
  4. 4. A BUSINESS THAT’S MORE THAN A BUSINESS BUZZWORD. Everyone talks about sustainability these days – especially in our industry. But what does that really mean? The word itself brings up images of permanence. Endurance. Strength. Persistence. In a perfect world, it’s what everyone from your ON A energy company to your bank should offer. And yet sustainability doesn’t just happen. Indeed, long-term survival mostly depends on near-term decisions. Lifestyle choices. The daily flossing that makes for years of good teeth. Viridian was founded on both the premise, and the promise, of sustainability. Michael Fallquist knew MISSION this meant going beyond the obvious need for greener energy. He saw that while consumers were interested in the benefits, they were decidedly not interested in higher costs. So he created a new category in retail energy, marrying affordability and higher renewable content. In doing so, he proved that sustainability and profitability do not have to be mutually exclusive. Let him explain.4 5
  5. 5. Viridian CEO Michael Fallquist talks about the balance between Q. hoW do you combine sustainability and profits? PROFITABILITY A. Conventional wisdom would say that if you give up margin to buy a more expensive wholesale product, you would lose profitability. We disagree. We think a higher quality product doesn’t just attract more customers, but keeps them around & SUSTAINABILITY longer to boot. Which means Viridian does better, the customer does better, and the environment does better. A win-win-win, if you will. You just have to find the balance between growth and profitability, and doing the right thing and remaining profitable – or as someone once said, doing well by doing good. Q: What adVice Would you giVe to other ceos about sustainability? Q: What does sustainability mean to you? A: Challenge the market and look for value, even if you won’t capitalize on it A: You could probably call it our mantra. Start with the product, immediately. Efficiency and social responsibility obviously have their place in what we put out there for the consumer. Obviously that’s all any business, but when it comes to selling you have to redefine preconceived about using the kind of renewable sources that are part of an notions. Our product, for example, created a whole new category in the market. enduring environment. But just as important as what we offer If you want to create a sustainable product while also maintaining profitability is how we operate. I began Viridian with the idea that I could and retaining customers, you need to find your niche. Look beyond the obvious, empower people to not just improve their lives, but also the remember the value of the intangible economics and challenge the status quo. lives of those around them. Our Associates experience this firsthand. In that sense, sustainability is a big part of our Q: hoW do you VieW industry competition? corporate culture. A: Well, you know what they say about imitation and flattery. Competition is the same kind of compliment, a valuable indicator of a company’s success. When Q: What aspect of Viridian’s sustainability are you Viridian first entered the market, we were the only company offering affordable most proud of? energy with higher renewable content. A year later, there are competitors offering A: The fact that in a world where so often the bar is lowered, we keep similar products. But competition is good. We created a new category in retail energy, raising it. We do things that aren’t asked of us. Take our renewable and both the consumer and environment are going to benefit. We’re proud of that energy content and our sustainability initiatives. Our products have achievement. As for the competition, we’ll just continue to innovate, differentiate, and a higher renewable content than is required. Our RECs are of a higher always stay one step ahead. quality, and we retire them when we don’t have to. For example, we could be buying RECs outside of our area and not retiring them, but Q: What is your Vision for Viridian as an enduring market leader? that’s not how we operate. Our Sustainability Initiative events are A: I see Viridian as not just an energy provider, but also an energy partner with also something we’re not required to do. We sponsor them because an uncompromising commitment to sustainability. I want a customer to come to we believe in helping the community and doing the right thing. us first to buy greener energy, and then stay with us for additional benefits. I see Viridian reducing consumption through emerging technologies, like smart Q: What changes do you hope to make in 2011? meters – we can educate people about things like that. By offering services beyond A: I want to make the 100% Pure Green even more popular, affordably green energy, we are guaranteed to stay ahead of the competition and further reducing our collective impact on the environment. While provide unmatched service to our customers. I see product innovation and service launching that product this year was a huge milestone, I think that partnership as the keys to a sustainable business model. by tweaking incentives for both Associates and customers we can increase enrollment. For Associates, that means better tools to sell the Pure Green product. For customers, it means more competitive pricing and recognition for people who enroll.6 7
  6. 6. Viridian executive team discusses every department’s DEDICATION TO SUSTAINABILITY RooP bHuLLAR bEtSY WEbb RobERt A. MCFAddEn CAMI boEHME CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER VP OF HUMAN RESOURCES, CUSTOMER CARE & REg. AFFAIRS SVP OF SALES AND MARkETINg VP OF MARkETINg AND BRAND COMMUNICATIONS Q: hoW can a company remain profitable While Q: in What Ways does Viridian’s corporate culture Q: hoW does Viridian empoWer associates to create Q: hoW is Viridian’s brand promise made tangible adhering to a strict commitment to corporate support a sustainable Workplace? a sustainable lifestyle? through the sustainability initiatiVe? responsibility? A: In two words? Every way. We have plates, utensils and A: Well, a sustainable lifestyle starts with a sustainable income. A: We offer customers and Associates “power with purpose.” A: The traditional thinking around corporate responsibility is glasses in our kitchen as opposed to paper plates, plastic So that’s the first thing Viridian does for our Associates. We Sure, it’s a clever phrase. But those words are a lot more than that it is essentially a “PR” cost, even a loss leader. At Viridian, utensils and paper cups. We recycle our printer cartridges. know that many Americans work for 40 years and end up with a tagline on a brochure. At Viridian, we really walk the walk, we see it differently. We believe corporate responsibility and We reuse boxes. We are trying to get more “health” snacks no residual income. But Viridian Associates get a business as they say. Everything we do as a company, from our com- sustainability commitments can actually enhance long-term in our snack machine. We even requested that our office rather than a job, one with a business model as sustainable as munications, to our products, to this very report, speak to our profitability. For instance, they strengthen our value proposition cleaning crew use green products. We are constantly think- the energy we sell. Associates soon discover the best way to authenticity. I think that’s what makes our brand—and our to customers, increasing customer satisfaction and retention. ing about sustainability when we look at hiring new vendors recruit others is to teach them how easy it is to get a customer. company—sustainable. It’s an uncompromising commitment They also provide a way for our sales force to tap into the and have incorporated this in our hiring practices. Being here We are proud of the high number of customers per Associates to our core values. That’s the purpose that drives us. That’s what generational shift in views towards sustainability, especially has impacted me personally, too. I used to recycle papers, we have. With that multiplier, a few years of good solid effort brought many of us thousands of miles to work for the company as it relates to energy. Finally, they create a more motivated cans, etc. before coming to Viridian, but that was about it. invested into your Viridian business can create a sustainable, and support Michael’s vision. Individually and collectively, and ethical employee base whose values are closely aligned Now, I drink out of our commuter mugs rather than plastic recession proof income. So in giving consumers the choice to we’re driven to create a sustainably profitable business that with the company. In short, while you can’t quantify the bottled water, use dishes instead of paper products and am have a greener, cleaner environment at no cost or obligation, benefits our customers, our Associates, our employees and benefits of corporate responsibility, we are convinced that constantly looking for ways to recycle. It isn’t necessarily the Associates have a vehicle to achieve the security we all long the environment. our success in the last year and a half is proof it’s paying off. big things that make a difference—it’s all the small things. for. That’s a sustainable financial model for any lifestyle.8 9
  7. 7. THIS IS OUR gENERATION. Generation V. As a young company, we obviously don’t have much of a history, but we don’t view this as a disadvantage because our business isn’t about the past. It’s about the future. What we’ve accomplished so far is impressive to be sure. But it is merely the foundation for what we are going to build, in what we like to think of as the Viridian Generation. Or Generation V, for short.10 GENERATION V 11
  8. 8. INDIVIDUAL CHOICE. While our larger vision is global, the everyday, easily for Viridian as an energy provider is one of those key choices. achievable choices – which are actually the ones that will Simply by choosing electricity that comes from better sources, ultimately make an enduring impact – are as close as your consumers can be part of creating a better environment. COLLECTIVE IMPACT. nearest light switch. Whether it’s remembering to turn While the impact of an individual customer can seem { off your electronics at night or using a reusable shopping deceivingly small, the aggregate makes a measurable bag for your groceries, every choice matters. And opting and powerful difference. OUR CUSTOMERS HAVE REDUCED CARBON EMISSION BY** 46,094,694 LBS. OUR CUSTOMERS HAVE SAVED* $6,991,260 THAT EQUATES TO: 3,998 2,351,879 48,624 279 2,537 536,108 4,458 198 7,040 VEHICLES GALLONS BARRELS TRUCKS HOMES SEEDLINGS ACRES ACRES TONS ANNUAL CO2 EMISSIONS CO2 EMISSIONS CO2 EMISSIONS CO2 EMISSIONS CARBON CARBON CARBON SEQUES- CO2 EMISSIONS GREENHOUSE GAS CREATED CREATED CREATED FROM CREATED FROM SEQUESTERED SEQUESTERED TERED ANNUALLY AVOIDED BY EMISSIONS FROM FROM FROM BARRELS TANKER TRUCKS ELECTRICITY USE BY TREES ANNUALLY BY BY FOREST RECYCLING WASTE PASSENGER GASOLINE OF OIL WORTH OF OF HOMES GROWN FOR PINE OR FIR SAVED FROM INSTEAD OF SENDING VEHICLES CONSUMED CONSUMED GASOLINE IN 1 YEAR 10 YEARS FORESTS DEFORESTATION TO LANDFILL * Data calculated as of 12/17/10. **Source: http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html12 13
  9. 9. “IT’S NICE TO ACTUALLY DO WHAT WE SAY RECoGnIZInG WE DO. I’M PROUD TO BE PART OF A COMPANY THAT SELLS A gREEN PRODUCT BUT IT MEANS EVEN MORE TO ME TO LIVE THAT MESSAgE.” tHE InCREMEntAL MEgAN MCCOY IMPoRtAnCE OPERATIONS MANAgER gENERATION V oF EACH SIMPLE IS DEDICATED ACt IS WHAt Our product may speak for itself, but our people put “It’s nice to actually do what we say we do. I’m proud GEnERAtIon V words into action. Whether it’s Viridian Associates or to be part of a company that sells a green product but employees, we are proud to show how Generation V has it means even more to me to live that message,” said participated in policy improvement, personal initiative Operations Manager Megan McCoy. On a small scale, the or community service. Green Team ensures that the office is making sustainable Take the Viridian Green Team. The group is made up choices in everything from cleaning products to staff StAndS FoR. of several Viridian employees who wanted to act on the meals. Recently, the team has implemented the “Green ideals that the company stands. Representatives from each Your Commute” initiative to provide incentive for employees department at the corporate headquarters personally ensure to take more earth-friendly modes of transportation. that each employee is doing their part, large and small.14 15
  10. 10. gENERATION V PLANS FOR THE FUTURE derrek thomas, cape may county, neW Jersey At first, Viridian Associate Derrek Thomas just wanted to sell some power back to the grid. On top of that, Thomas will to save a little money. With renewable energy often touted receive an $80,000 tax refund at the end of this year as part as more expensive than traditional sources, it may seem of the government’s two-year tax incentive to spur renewable counterintuitive to start a business cost-saving campaign by energy development. building a wind turbine, but that’s exactly what he did. Thomas With the turbine installation completed in May of this year, is a third generation greenhouse grower based in southern Thomas does admit that the pay-off has not been instantaneous. New Jersey, whose company, Windy Acres, grows and sells “I saw more immediate savings on my electricity bill by switching potted plants for residential gardens. to Viridian than by building a turbine,” he said. But just like any Fuel to heat his greenhouses is the biggest expense for his sustainable lifestyle choice, the results are long-term and should business. This is particularly true in the winter when cultivating be enduring. For Thomas it was more than just saving money and plants indoors requires the most heat, so reducing his energy doing something better for the environment. demand and costs has always been an objective for his busi- ness. Thomas started by taking measures to reduce wasteful operational outputs such as installing heat retention curtains “MY DEPENDENCY ON FUEL WAS ALSO to harness heat, as well as implementing water conservation DEPENDENCY ON FOREIgN OIL, WHICH systems which recycle 75% of the water his greenhouses use. PUTS OUR COUNTRY AND OUR TROOPS AT He also switched his home and business electricity supplier RISk. I’D RATHER kEEP THAT MONEY HERE TO to Viridian. However, with fuel prices sky-rocketing in 2008, Thomas still needed a more effective solution. HELP DEVELOP RENEWABLE TECHNOLOgY.” His exploration led him to renewable energy options. He brought in a consultant to perform an energy audit at Windy Acres, which concluded that his land had potential for both solar and wind energy. Results of the audit showed that having Given the current economic climate, it was a gamble to a wind turbine on-site generating electricity for the greenhous- front the money for an investment that will take up to five years es could significantly help off-set the business’s high monthly to pay off. But Thomas is confident that the choice was the right kWh demand. Having an added source for power and heat also one for the family business and for his six children. “It would’ve allows Thomas to hedge his costs by using electric heat when been easy to keep filling up with fuel oil, but this choice will be fuel oil prices are high. better for them and better for their future. Sometimes it’s the “I’m no longer dependent on one fuel source, which protects hard decisions that are the right ones,” he said. me against fuel prices,” Thomas said. The same company that And as for the name Windy Acres? Thomas’ Grandfather performed the audit assisted Thomas in securing grants and named the farm when they were only growing tomatoes back tax incentives for his venture. Thomas received a grant from in the 1970’s, but it could’ve been a promising vision for the the Department of Energy and the state of New Jersey to front future direction of the family business. Derrek Thomas is an the money for the installation of his first wind turbine. The example of Associates living the Viridian lifestyle with benefits turbine will not only generate the electricity Windy Acres uses, on many levels—making a sustainable investment that is good but will also serve as a source of income, since Thomas plans for business, the environment and the future.16 Courtesy of: billbanksphotography.com 17
  11. 11. gENERATION V CARES ABOUT THE EARTH gENERATION V IS INCREDIBLY CONNECTED sustainability eVent for earth day, sherWood island state park, Westport, connecticut Viridian sponsors community beach clean-up effort, sandy hook, neW Jersey 2010 marked the official launch of the local arm of including Associates traveling from all over the tri-state area. On September 11, 2010, Viridian joined local non-profit Viridian’s Sustainability Initiative. Our first corporate- Viridian’s corporate office was closed to honor Earth Day, CleanSafeH20, to do another beach clean up in Sandy Hook, sponsored sustainability project was held on Friday April which allowed the entire corporate staff to attend the event New Jersey. Viridian Associate, Henri Aymonier, started the 23 in celebration of Earth Day. Partnering with Save the as well. The group spent the morning combing the coastal non-profit through his boating school in order to help keep Sound, a program of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, areas and collected more than 30 bags of garbage and debris, the local beaches clean and safe, as the name implies. we organized a beach clean up at Sherwood Island State Park much of which was recycled. Aymonier approached Viridian with the idea early in the in Westport. More than 60 participants joined the effort, summer. “When Viridian offered to support the event, I jumped at the chance,” he said. The event drew more than 140 participants, including Associates, corporate staff, school groups, church groups and even the local beach goers. Working the shoreline, Viridian volunteers collected, catalogued, and hauled away large amounts of plastic water bottles, household trash, beach chairs, lost fishing gear, and other types of washed up or littered debris that damage the safety, wildlife and beauty of the New Jersey shore. The event also included a bagpipe tribute to the memory and honor of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, as well as a reception that followed.18 19
  12. 12. gENERATION V IS OPTIMISTIC & PERSISTENT gENERATION V IS INSPIRED anné marie “kipper” Vomero-battis, harford county, maryland Jenna marzullo, litchfield county, connecticut After losing a family member in the September 11 Associate with Viridian. Vomero-Battis joined the company Even before the business idea for Viridian was formed, is most impressive. “Tackling the problem alone is scary, but Jenna Marzullo knew she wanted to be a Viridian Associate. when you band together you can really make a difference.” attacks in New York City, Anné Marie “Kipper” Vomero-Battis in July 2010 while on medical leave from her job at the decided to honor the memory of those lost by looking for Department of Defense, following open-heart surgery. “I had The first Viridian Associate to be exact. Still working in the opportunities to serve her community each anniversary. time on my hands,” Vomero-Battis said. corporate world, Jenna’s ultimate desire was to do something “You can recycle and say ‘I’m doing my part,’ but Vomero-Battis has been involved with multiple nonprofit where she could help others to better themselves and the you’re isolated. You need the community,” she said. earth. Financial independence would be nice, too. The trouble organizations for most of her life, stemming from charitable After seeing the opportunities for both saving mon- lessons learned at a young age. was, although Jenna had a good idea of what she wanted, she Jenna believes in the power of community. Being able to ey and helping the environment, Vomero-battis said didn’t quite know how to get it. financially reward community members makes her dream “I try to do something positive on that day,” Vomero-Battis said. “Somebody made it ugly, but it doesn’t mean we have it was a “no-brainer” to become an Associate. Her first step was leaving her corporate job to open a possible. Her personal network, which has grown through to walk in the ugliness.” holistic healing center with business partner Kat Wynn-Brown. Viridian, has given her access to services, contacts and people This year Vomero-Battis and the members of “Kipper’s Green She immediately began pitching the company’s services The Soleil Center for Healing and Arts offers a spectrum of that will truly sustain her business. Dream Team” spent Sept. 11 at the Harford Family House, a to the nonprofit organizations she worked with, and the first natural health services ranging from yoga to aromatherapy to One can’t help be inspired when talking to Jenna. She homeless shelter for families, landscaping and beautifying to join was Harford Family House. reflexology. While the business made Jenna content on a exudes enthusiasm for not just a product, but for a lifestyle. the playground. After a local landscaping firm volunteered While the project at Harford Family House may be on spiritual level, it was still a small business – with a proportionally And her enthusiasm is genuine and contagious. She can a professional assessment, a group of 10 Dream Team the smaller side, Vomero-Battis often works with local small income that left her struggling to meet her monthly open the door with a savings pitch and 10 minutes later can members arrived and worked from 9 to 5 clearing the NPOs to organize fundraisers for area homeless shelters expenses. Then Viridian came along. Viridian offered an leave a potential new customer realizing that they have playground area and making it safe for use. that draw crowds of anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 opportunity to use the community and network she had the tools to make the world a better place for the next “We didn’t even drive away yet and the kids were on the people. Vomero-Battis has done a lot of work for homeless built as a local business owner, expand her personal health generation: Generation V. playground, they were so excited,” Vomero-Battis said. Still shelters, and in the past she and her husband have message into the larger environmental one she had always recovering from back-to-back surgeries, Vomero-Battis said sponsored families in programs similar to the Harford believed in, and gave her the chance to earn the extra income she performed mostly a cheerleader role on the day of the Family House. “Homelessness doesn’t mean what it used she needed. After responding to an ad placed by SVP of Sales & project. “I’m pretty much useless,” she said. “I’ve got a pretty to; it’s families now,” she said. Marketing Robert A. McFadden, the partnership was formed big mouth and I can organize people.” She also sees her work at Viridian as a way to help and Viridian’s pioneer Associate was anointed. In fact, some Kipper’s Green Dream Team is made up of Viridian Energy families who are struggling financially. Often, she said, of the very first Viridian opportunity meetings were held at customers and Associates. Their work at the shelter was the money they save on their monthly energy bill through Jenna’s Soleil Arts Center in northern Connecticut and the conducted independently from the company, but supports Viridian’s services is just enough to make the difference. rest, as they say, is history. Viridian’s mantra of community service. Vomero-Battis lives “For a lot of these families that’s the connecter that makes “There was no way I would’ve imagined that in just over a in Harford County in Maryland, and works as an independent ends meet,” she said. year I would have more than 100,000 customers and thousands of Associates in my organization. This wasn’t even about the re- sidual income when I started,” she said. Even though Viridian started as her side income, Jenna now works on that business full time, while the healing center remains her other passion. When asked what the most sustainable part of her busi- ness is, Jenna emphasizes that while she has always taken measures to reduce waste and set a good example for reus- ing and recycling, the most sustainable part is her relation- ships. Her business grants her access to people who care about more than just themselves. Just like the Viridian sus- tainability model, it is the collective impact of the group that20 21
  13. 13. gENERATION V IS INNOVATIVE lJ grillo, neW haVen county, connecticut Viridian Associate LJ Grillo knows what it means to An efficient and sustainable business strategy has reuse—it’s the foundation of his own business. Grillo and also worked well for the brothers’ Viridian network. “We’re his brother, fellow Viridian Associate Michael Grillo, began already in a green business and we get a lot of traffic, so a local landscaping business out of high school and grew Viridian went well with what we were doing,” Grillo said. the business into the full-range landscape service provider He said he never lets a GreenCycle customer get away it is today. After several years in business, the two realized without first asking if they have switched their electricity there was a need for more comprehensive supplier service provider. He also includes a Viridian brochure with every instead of just installing. “We kept wasting time and money single delivery to make sure his customers are informed. waiting on one guy to show up with the soil and another guy to show up to finish something else,” he said. “It made “Viridian is what I’ve always wanted to do,” he sense for us to provide the entire service.” Upon expansion of their business, GreenCycle Grillo said. “I feel good about it because I’m not selling began producing their signature organic compost. The fill anything. I’m telling people about it and I think the is composed of weeds, clay soil and topsoil with organics or choice is obvious.” “live soil” that is made of natural yard waste. Their unique combination is inherently porous due to the clay soil, Grillo is also investing in wind development in Litchfield which helps hold in moisture and maintain the live nutrients County in northern Connecticut. His group has performed in the soil. The concept of reusing is fundamental to their preliminary wind studies on their property and believes product suite, including their mulch, which is made from that this third prong in their green business ventures has logs that would otherwise be disposed of by municipal potential for long-term generation and preservation. A waste services. Instead of a contractor paying the city to great example of Generation V, Grillo’s initiatives illustrate take away their trimmings, GreenCycle Grillo will offer to Viridian Associates making smart and sustainable lifestyle take the waste at half the price and use the trimmings for and business choices. their mulch.22 23
  14. 14. PUTTINg HOW DOESENERgY RENEWABLE ENERgY WORk? As the name implies, renewable energy is energyINTO generated from natural resources that are considered to be renewable such as wind, solar and hydro. More broadly, it is energy that comes from infinitely replenishable sources, as opposed to finite resources like fossil fuels. While the basic concept is easy to grasp, the connection between the electricity end-user and the source can be more difficult to follow. Viridian’s two rateACTION categories are considered 20% renewable and 100% renewable. But what does that actually mean? How does it work? 25
  15. 15. HOW A RENEWABLE ENERGY costs of generation. Each REC purchased, then, means more RECs that equal 10% of the electricity load they served in a money is invested in renewable energy technology. In fact, given year. In other words, if the supplier served 100 megawatt without the revenue received from RECs, new wind farms and hours of electricity in one year, they would have to purchase CERTIFICATE (REC) WORKS other renewable generation facilities may not get the critical 10 RECs, or 10% of their load. The supplier is often required financing or be able to stay in business. to purchase RECs that meet standards imposed by the state RECs are tradable assets, just like stocks, bonds or other requiring the RECs to come from specific sources like solar or commodities. REC brokers look to match generators with wind and from facilities that have been classified according to buyers needing to fulfill their renewable energy obligations. technology and source. These standards are referred to as For example, if a supplier is operating in a state with a 10% Renewable Portfolio Standards and vary by state. renewable portfolio standard they are required to purchase TRADITIONAL ENERGY GENERATOR THE GRID RENEWABLE ENERGY GENERATORS $ $ RENEWABLE REC PORTFOLIO STANDARDS Currently 24 states plus the District of Columbia have 10% in the compliance market and another 10% in the standards for renewable resources in place. A Renewable voluntary market, for a total of 20%. Portfolio Standard (RPS) is a regulation that requires suppliers For the 100% Pure Green rate plan, Viridian purchases the $ and utilities to source a minimum amount of electricity from renewable resources by purchasing RECs. The standards vary state RPS requirement and then purchases another voluntary 100% on top of that. So if the state requirement was 10% and by state and usually also require specific types of sources. Viridian served 100 megawatt hours of electricity that year, we Each supplier and utility is required to meet the standard would purchase 10 RECs in the compliance market, and 100 in place by providing proof that the RECs they purchased more RECs in the voluntary market, for a total of 110 RECs. THE INCREASED MARkET DEMAND FOR RECS DRIVES THE CONTINUED amount to the required percentage. RECs purchased to While the concept of having a product that is more than 100% DEVELOPMENT OF RENEWABLE ENERgY IN OUR COUNTRY. meet a required standard are done so in the compliance “green” is somewhat counterintuitive, it simply means that market while RECs purchased by choice are considered to more of the money a customer spends on their electricity bill be part of the voluntary market. As a supplier, Viridian is is being used to purchase RECs. This results in more financial It all starts with Renewable Energy Certificates, or RECs. A source can then sell the RECs their facility produces to buy- required to purchase compliance RECs to meet the RPS in support for renewable energy development and ultimately less REC represents proof that one megawatt hour of energy has ers, like Viridian, who do not actually take physical delivery of each state we serve. In addition to this requirement, we also carbon emissions and a lower environmental impact. been generated from a renewable source, such as a windmill the power. The generator is thus separating the environmental purchase voluntary RECs above our compliance RECs. For At the end of each year, Viridian calculates the electricity or a solar photovoltaic panel. The energy generated from these attribute from the underlying electricity and receiving money the customer load for our Everyday Green product, Viridian load in megawatt hours by state, divides those customers into sources is connected to the grid and thus becomes part of the for both the sale of the physical power and the REC. Wholesale purchases voluntary RECs for the percentage difference Everyday Green or Pure Green customers, and then arrives at mix of electricity that eventually travels through the power power buyers purchase the facility’s electricity to deliver into between the state RPS and 20%. So, if a state has a 10% the amount of RECs we need to purchase. This breakdown is lines to your home or business. The owner of the renewable the grid, while the REC purchaser is effectively subsidizing the RPS like in the example above, Viridian would purchase provided in detail in the next section of this report.26 27
  16. 16. gREEN-E CERTIFICATION REPORTINg RECs On May 11, 2010, The Center for Resource Solutions announced Energy suppliers are required to fulfill their renewable customers in early 2010, so our REC purchasing for 2010 Green-e Energy’s endorsement of a new Viridian Energy product. energy obligations by submitting a report according to each was based on the amount of electricity served in those Viridian applied for Green-e Energy certification for the Pure Green state’s requirements. Some states, like Connecticut, require few months. rate plan, which is 100% backed by Renewable Energy Certificates. the REC fulfillment to be based on electricity load served in Viridian determines the amount of RECs we need to Green-e Energy provides independent third-party quality control the preceding calendar year. For example, in 2010 Viridian purchase as a percentage of the electricity our customers and product certification, which has consequently made their brand was required to purchase and report the renewable obligations used during the reporting timeline. The following section the highest benchmark for renewable energy marketing. For for the electricity we served our customers from January 1, details the source and amount of RECs we purchased for Viridian’s particular product, Green-e verifies the source of the 2009 through December 31, 2009. This lag time in reporting each component of our obligations. Since Viridian was not RECs and determines whether the renewable energy represented is typically due to the time it takes to settle and reconcile the certified for its Pure Green rate plan until May 2010 and did by each REC meets a series of standards. These include, but are not exact amount of electricity used by customers. Other markets, not serve electricity to those customers until 2011’s reporting limited to, geographical location and time period during which the such as Pennsylvania, require suppliers to follow a reporting timeline began, this report includes only Everyday Green renewable energy was generated from the source. year, much like a fiscal year for a business. In other words, customers. Similarly, Viridian did not serve load to Maryland Green-e Energy requires that the renewable energy be gener- in 2010 Viridian was required to report RECs purchased for and New Jersey customers until after May 31, 2010, which ated within the local or nearby Regional Transmission Organization the electricity we served to our customers between June 1, means that REC purchasing in those markets will be part of (RTO) where the energy is being purchased. In other words, New 2009 and May 31, 2010. Viridian began serving Pennsylvania next year’s Sustainability Report. Jersey falls within the PJM Interconnection RTO, which includes all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia. By purchas- ing wind that is generated in Pennsylvania, Viridian adheres to the geographical requirement that the renewable source be in the same RTO. While most states fall into the standard geographical categori- zation, Green-e has established standards for Connecticut that in- clude Pennsylvania wind RECs. The vintage standard requires that the energy be generated within a certain period of time of when it is delivered to the customer in order to prevent stockpiling of RECs. When Viridian purchases the RECs for our Pure Green product we are audited by Green-e to ensure that the unique identification numbers tagged to each REC come from a source that meets their geographi- cal and vintage criteria. In addition to strict source disclosure, Viridian is held to truth- in-advertising requirements. Green-e considers its organization to be the national symbol for renewable energy excellence, which enables consumers to easily identify high quality, certified renewable energy options. Further, Viridian is required to submit all marketing materials, including web pages and collateral, for a quarterly review to ensure ongoing quality and compliance.28 29
  17. 17. REPORTING TIMELINE 2010 REC REPORTING IS FOR ELECTRICITY USED BY VIRIDIAN CUSTOMERS IN CONNECTICUT IN CALENDAR YEAR 2009, AND IN PENNSYLVANIA IN REPORTING YEAR 2010. COMPLETED REPORTING YEARS FUTURE REPORTING YEARS CONNECTICUT MARYLAND NEW JERSEY PENNSYLVANIA CT CUSTOMERS USED 20,250 MWH THISREC REPORTINGWAS2010 OF ELECTRICITY IN PART THIS ELECTRICITY IS PART OF REC REPORTING IN 2011 FOR CT & MD CT & MD 2011 REPORTING YEAR LOOKING FORWARD PA CUSTOMERS USED 895 MWH THIS ELECTRICITY WAS PART OF REC REPORTING IN 2010 PA & NJ REPORTING YEAR THIS ELECTRICITY IS PART OF REC REPORTING IN 2011 FOR PA & NJ Viridians 2011 Sustainability Report will include REC reporting for electricity AUG 2010 RECO MARKET LAUNCH served in CT and MD from Jan. 1 to Dec. JUN 2010 ACE MARKET LAUNCH 31, 2010 and in NJ and PA from June 1, 2010 to May 31, 2011. Our growth has been significant in these markets. Next SEP 2010 PEPCO MARKET LAUNCH years report will provide a detailed JUL 2009 CL&P MARKET LAUNCH account of the activity for this period. As MAY 2010 PSEG MARKET LAUNCH a glimpse of what to expect in that report, JAN 2011 DUQUESNE MARKET LAUNCH we are proud to say that we have already served more than 24 times the load in those AUG 2010 JCPL MARKET LAUNCH markets as of the date of publication. (Dec. 17, 2010) That amounts to an incredible JUL 2009 UI MARKET LAUNCH impact which we will fully report on next year. FEB 2010 PPL MARKET LAUNCH JUL 2010 BGE MARKET LAUNCH JAN 2011 PECO MARKET LAUNCH LOAD TO DATE: 516,029 MWH VIRIDIAN BEACH CLEAN VIRIDIAN PURE GREEN PLAN IS UP IN SANDY HOOK, NJ CERTIFIED BY GREEN-E ENERGY CT PA FIRST ANNUAL NJ SUSTAINABILITY MD MICHAEL FALLQUIST SPEAKS REPORT PUBLISHED VIRIDIAN LAUNCHES DIRECT EARTH DAY! BEACH CLEANUP AT GARDEN STATE GREENFEST, SELLING CHANNEL IN WESTPORT, CT SOMERSET, NJ JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV 2009 2010 201130 31
  18. 18. AUDIT OF RECS REC PURCHASING CONNECTICUT 2010 PURCHASED STEP 1 CALCULATE ELECTRICITY USAGE FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2009 20,250 MWH TOTAL FOR ALL ConnECtICut: VIRIDIAN RESIDENTAL AND COMMERCIAL 12% RENEWABLE PORTFOLIO CUSTOMERS IN CT RESIDENTIAL COMMERCIAL STANDARD FOR 2009 AS VIRIDIAN’S FOUNDINg MARkET, CONNECTICUT STEP 2 DETERMINE REC PURCHASING REQUIREMENTS REPRESENTED THE BULk OF VIRIDIAN’S ELECTRICITY LOAD FOR THIS YEAR’S REPORT. CT RPS VOLUNTARY EVERYDAY GREEN DURINg 2009, VIRIDIAN SERVED 20,250 MEgAWATT HOURS (MWH) OF ELECTRICITY TO CUSTOMERS 12% 8% 20% 2,442 RECS 1,608 RECS 4,050 RECS IN CONNECTICUT. CONNECTICUT’S STATE RPS MANDATED THAT ALL ELECTRICITY SUPPLIERS BUY RECS TO SUPPORT 12% OF THEIR TOTAL 2009 LOAD. STEP 3 PURCHASE RECS REC This 12% is further broken down into separate requirements for Class I, Class II, and Class III renewable resources. Class $$$ I resources must comprise 6% of the 12%, 3% must be RENEWABLE ENERGY GENERATORS Class II, and 3% must be Class III. STEP 4 RETIRE RECS . EACH REC IS REPRESENTED BY A UNIQUE SERIAL NUMBER. ONCE THIS NUMBER HAS BEEN REPORTED AND RETIRED, IT CAN NEVER BE COUNTED OR USED AGAIN.32 32 33
  19. 19. CLASS 1 ConnECtICut CLASS I RECS: 6% resource type: Solar Photovoltaic Under Connecticut RPS, Class I resources include: wind hoW it Works: The silicone material present in solar power, solar power, fuel cells, methane gas from landfills, photovoltaic panels transforms the incoming sunlight into ocean thermal power, wave or tidal power, low-emission advanced renewable energy conversion technologies, certain electricity rather than heat. This is possible because silicone newer run-of-the-river hydropower facilities not exceeding has a “photoelectric effect” which causes the panels to absorb five megawatts (MW) in capacity, and sustainable biomass photons of light and release electrons. The free electrons are facilities. To fulfill our Connecticut Class I RPS requirements of then captured, and the resulting electric current can be used 6% in 2009, Viridian purchased: as electricity. FUEL CELL TECHNOLOgY gENER- * 1,227 Class I RECs, or 6 % of our total 20,250 mWh load resource site: Saybrook Point Inn and Spa, Old Saybrook, CT ATES POWER SIMILAR TO HOW A * 1,221 of these RECs were generated by Fuel Cell power generators Quantity: 6 RECs STANDARD BATTERY OPERATES: * 6 RECs were generated from Solar Photovoltaics panels The 6 Connecticut Class I RECs were generated by the WITHOUT ANY COMBUSTION. resource type: Fuel Cell 46-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system at the Saybrook Point Inn and Spa in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. FUEL CELL POWER hoW it Works: Fuel cell technology generates power similar One unique feature of this particular system is a “solar to how a standard battery operates: without any combustion. monitor” placed in the lobby of the inn, where guests can SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER In a battery, the chemicals required for the electricity production actually see how much electricity is being produced by the are contained inside, and eventually require re-charging. In a   fuel cell, however, the chemicals, hydrogen and oxygen come 144 solar panels on a real-time basis. THE SILICONE MATERIAL PRESENT CLASS from outside the cell, so there is no need for re-charging. 2 ConnECtICut CLASS II RECS: 3% IN SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC PANELS The electrochemical reaction, which results from combining Under Connecticut RPS, Class II resources include: hydropower the hydrogen and oxygen, produces the electricity on site. facilities, trash-to-energy facilities, and certain biomass facilities TRANSFORMS THE SUNLIgHT INTO resource site: Cabela’s Sporting Goods at Rentschler not included in Class I. In order to fulfill our Connecticut 3% ELECTRICITY RATHER THAN HEAT. Class II RPS requirements for 2009, Viridian Energy purchased: Field, East Hartford, CT Quantity: 1,221 RECs * 607 Class II RECs, or 3% of our total 20,250 mWh load. The 1,221 fuel cell RECs were generated at the Cabela’s These RECs were all generated by Hydroelectric Power, at sporting goods store at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, 3 separate locations: CT. Cabela’s installed the generators in late 2007, which * 311 RECs were generated at Mascoma Hydro in New Hampshire now sources approximately two-thirds of the store’s * 200 RECs were generated at Wells River in Vermont electricity demand on site. * 96 RECs were generated at Kelley’s Falls in New Hampshire34 34 35
  20. 20. CLASS resource type: Hydropower 3 ConnECtICut CLASS III RECS: 3% the 1970s with the passage of the Public Utility Under Connecticut RPS, Class III resources include: Regulatory Policies Act, which incentivized utilities hoW it Works: Hydropower is one of the oldest forms of energy Combined heat and power systems, with a minimum and other producers to improve energy efficiency. used by mankind. The process simply uses the momentum of operating efficiency of 50%, installed at commercial or Today, CHP accounts for about 8% of all electricity running water to spin a wheel or, more practically, to power industrial facilities in Connecticut on or after January production in the US. a turbine. Today, most hydropower facilities utilize a dam to 1, 2006; electricity savings from conservation and load resource site: UCONN’s Central Utility Plant: Hartford, CT power their generators. The dammed water flows through the management programs that started on or after January 1, intake into a large pipe (a penstock). This pipe feeds the water 2006; and systems that recover waste heat or pressure Quantity: 404 RECs into a turbine, which then powers a generator. from commercial and industrial processes installed on or The Central Utility Plant at the University of Connecticut Many modern hydropower plants now have the ability to after April 1, 2007. In order to fulfill our Connecticut Class (UCONN) is the primary power provider for campus store water in reservoir tanks during periods of low electricity III RPS requirements for 2009, Viridian Energy purchased: electricity, heating, steam and cooling. UCONN had HYDROPOWER demand. This water is fed to the turbine during periods of high previously utilized a gas-fired central facility for heating demand in order to increase electricity generation. * 608 Class III RECs, or 3% of our total 20,250 mWh load. purposes only, and purchased all of their electricity THE DAMMED WATER FLOWS THROUgH These RECs were all generated by Combined Heat and from Connecticut Light and Power, the local utility. In resource site: Mascoma Hydro, New Hampshire THE INTAkE, INTO A LARgE PIPE (A Power systems (CHP) at 2 separate locations: 2002 the University decided to construct its own 25 Quantity: 311 RECs * 404 RECs were sourced from the CHP at the MW CHP facility. The Mascoma Hydroelectric generation facility is situated on PENSTOCk). THIS PIPE FEEDS THE UCONN’s Central Utility Plant resource site: Branford High School Tri-Generation the 31-mile long Mascoma River in western New Hampshire. WATER INTO A TURBINE WHICH THEN * 204 RECs were sourced from the CHP at Branford System: Branford, CT The facility consists of 3 separate dams, which produce a total HS in Connecticut power output capacity of 1.5 MW. The dams, Rivermill Hydro POWERS A gENERATOR. Quantity: 204 RECs resource type: Combined Heat and Power Dam, Glen Road Dam, and Glen Mascoma Hydroelectric Project, In 2008 Branford High School made the decision to are all located in Lebanon, New Hampshire. hoW it Works: Combined heat and power systems focus on environmentally conscience and sustainable resource site: Wells River, Newbury, Vermont (CHP) refer to a power plant that can capture the heat education. A major part of this initiative was the purchase emitted in the electricity production process and use it of ultra clean and energy-efficient power generation Quantity: 200 RECs for residential or commercial heating. Alternatively, this system, called the PureComfort® tri-generation system. Located along the Wells River in Newbury, Vermont, the heat may be used for hot water or steam production This system, produced by the United Technologies Wells River Hydro Plant was constructed in 1981 and was by the utility. More commonly known as cogeneration, Company (UTC) of Hartford, CT, provides the user one of the first operating hydro plants in the state. It has these power plants effectively have the ability to with simultaneous electricity, heating, and cooling. continued to operate efficiently with a realized capacity generate electricity and heat at the same time rather The system’s micro-turbines provide 390 kW of clean COMBINED HEAT AND POWER of 1.10 MW, and has undergone several restorations and than wasting the heat, which is a natural byproduct of power, while its absorption chiller/heater provides cooling improvements over the last 30 years. Interestingly, one of these restorations was a base rehabilitation intended to allow COMBINED HEAT AND POWER SYSTEMS electricity production. and heating capability. Though this seems like a significant technological Branford is the first school in the state to provide fish to pass more smoothly at the foot of dam. (CHP) REFER TO A POWER PLANT THAT feat, the technology has actually been around for over a electricity, heating and cooling from a single unit, which resource site: Kelley’s Falls, Manchester, New Hampshire CAN CAPTURE THE HEAT EMITTED IN century. The country’s first power plant, New York City’s is projected to reduce the school’s carbon footprint by Pearl Street Power Station built in 1882 by Thomas 48 metric tons per year. Further, the unit will lower the Quantity: 96 RECs THE ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION PROCESS Edison, was in fact a CHP system. This station had the school’s energy costs, providing extra cash for educational The Kelley’s Falls Hydroelectric Project is located in Manchester, AND USE IT FOR RESIDENTIAL OR capability to produce and distribute both electricity and extracurricular activities. New Hampshire and is owned and operated by Enel North and thermal energy, or heat, simultaneously. Though America. The plant has an installed capacity of 0.45 MW, and COMMERCIAL HEATINg CHP did not remain a popular form of power production was certified as a Class II renewable facility in early 2006. for many years after that, it experienced a resurgence in36 37

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