Sterling Planet Completes Nation’s First White Tags® Transaction

Sterling Planet Completes Nation’s First White Tags® Transaction

Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan earns revenue for 2011 energy efficiency improvements

Multimedia from this Release

Shannon Bergt of the Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan accepts ceremonial payment from Alden Hathaway, Sterling Planet, for White Tags energy efficiency certificates the base generated in 2011. Sterling Planet created and verified the White Tags, each representing 1 megawatt-hour of energy savings, and will market them to organizations looking to meet their own environmental goals.

Selfridge Air National Guard Base, located in Harrison Township, MI, is the nation's first recipient of payment for White Tags energy efficiency certificates generated.

Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 1:00pm

CONTENT: Press Release

(3BL Media) Harrison Township, MI - June 14, 2012 - Sterling Planet, the nation’s leading retail provider of renewable energy and other carbon-reduction assets, and Michigan’s Selfridge Air National Guard Base announced today that they have together made history. The nation’s first transaction in the emerging market for White Tags® energy efficiency certificates has been completed, with Sterling Planet purchasing Selfridge’s 2011 White Tags.

White Tags® are innovative trading instruments, available only through Sterling Planet, that recognize the meter-measured, performance-based results of recent projects to increase energy efficiency. Each White Tag represents either 1 MWh of electricity savings or 1 MCF (thousand cubic feet) of natural gas savings. Selfridge achieved its 2011 energy savings mostly through lighting, HVAC upgrades and changes in energy-use behaviors. Now the base is considering ways to reinvest proceeds from this initial White Tags sale into additional projects to increase efficiency, including use of LED lights and Energy Star appliances.

“We are so proud that Selfridge Air National Guard Base is the first federal facility in the nation to generate White Tags® and earn additional revenue that we can then put back into operations to create more White Tags,” said Shannon Bergt, energy manager at Selfridge. “This keeps the new revenue stream flowing and allows us to be better stewards of taxpayer dollars.”

When compared with traditional programs to reward energy efficiency, the White Tags® mechanism rewards measured energy savings that have already occurred and provides greater flexibility. “We are able to accrue reward payments in the bank and optimize their use to fund additional efficiency projects,” adds Bergt. “Also, we now get financial rewards for behavioral changes, such as adopting the habit of shutting off lights in vacant rooms, that aren’t accommodated by traditional rebate programs.”

Next steps under consideration include expansion of the White Tags® program to include natural gas savings at Selfridge and to similarly involve other Air National Guard bases. 

Sterling Planet is providing this initial round of White Tags® to a Michigan utility in order to fulfill compliance requirements for energy efficiency under PA295, the Michigan energy optimization act. Alden Hathaway, Senior Vice President at Sterling Planet, explains: “White Tags® are a market-based mechanism that effectively meets the market demand for energy efficiency. They represent the most expedient way to monetize energy-efficient activity and so bring additional funds to projects and programs to further increase energy efficiency.”

Sterling Planet leads the nation in retail sales of renewable energy certificates (RECs) and is the only provider of a comprehensive portfolio of carbon-reduction assets – RECs, carbon offsets and innovative White Tags® energy efficiency certificates. Founded in 2000, the company was the first to offer RECs to retail clients nationwide and was a pioneer in early development and certification of the REC market. This year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ranks Sterling Planet No. 1 in terms of renewable kWh provided to members of the EPA Green Power Partnership, with more than 5 billion kWh delivered to Partnership members, including the top three purchasers. In compliance markets, Sterling Planet is a leading supplier to government agencies and has partnered with 160 utilities nationwide.