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City of Seattle
Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Mayor Announces UW Green Energy Purchase

2/8/2006  11:00:00 AM

Mayor Announces UW Green Energy Purchase
UW will be Seattle’s largest Green Up partner
- powered with 100% renewable energy

SEATTLE - Mayor Greg Nickels, University of Washington President Mark Emmert and City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco today announced that the UW is now the largest purchaser of green power in Seattle. By joining City Light’s Green Up program, the University will be powered with 100 percent renewable energy.

“Next week marks the first anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol when countries across the world began reducing their green house gas emissions. Due to the lack of leadership at the federal level, cities across the country are taking local action to make a difference on climate change,” Nickels said. “The University of Washington’s commitment to purchasing 100 percent renewable energy shows how local initiatives can work.”

As part of their Green Up partnership, City Light will coordinate with the university to build renewable energy projects on campus that will be installed and run by students, faculty and staff. City Light will assist the university with greenhouse gas emissions analysis and a carbon footprint inventory. The utility and the university will also work together to create student internships and research opportunities on green power issues.

Seattle City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco presented the university with a check for $649,687 for the 30 energy conservation improvements completed on campus in 2005. This saved 3,349,000-kilowatt hours (kWh), the amount of electricity needed to power 320 homes in Seattle for a year. The improvements also saved the university $200,940 in utility costs in 2005.

“It is gratifying to take another step in the long-standing, energy-saving relationship with University of Washington,” said City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco. “Each kilowatt hour of energy we save is something we won’t have to produce, which saves resources and helps fight climate change.”

The University has made conservation improvements in every building on campus since starting to work with City Light in the early 1990’s. From exit light signs to massive chillers, an estimated $19 million in energy costs have been avoided by these improvements. The university has saved enough electricity to power 5,700 Seattle households for one year.

The announcement was made on campus at Merrill Hall at the Center for Urban Horticulture, part of the UW Botanic Gardens. Recognized as one of the greenest buildings in Seattle, it is filled with sustainable features and ways to save resources. President Mark Emmert displayed the building’s silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

The Mayor also recognized the University’s Climate Impact Group for providing much of the research being used by his Green Ribbon Commission on Climate Protection. The commission will unveil its climate change goals and recommendations for the city next month.

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