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Sterling Planet, DTE Energy Launch White Tags® Program

Posted on 9/19/2011 by in White Tags Sustainability partnerships

First-in-kind agreement rewards Michigan businesses for energy efficiency

Atlanta, GA, Sept. 19, 2011 –Sterling Planet, a leading national provider of renewable energy and other environmental assets, today announced a first-in-kind agreement with DTE Energy Co., an integrated energy company supplying gas and electric utility services in Michigan. Under terms of the agreement, Sterling Planet will measure, validate and deliver White Tags® energy optimization credits (EOCs) to DTE Energy, which will then use the EOCs to help meet state mandates for increased energy efficiency.

The contract provides new financial incentives and rewards for large commercial and industrial (C&I) customers of DTE Energy’s two largest operating subsidiaries, Detroit Edison and MichCon. Detroit Edison’s C&I electricity customers will be the source for EOCs from electric energy savings, while MichCon’s C&I natural gas customers will supply EOCs from natural gas energy savings.

Sterling Planet, which introduced its innovative White Tags® energy efficiency certificates (the EOC equivalent) to U.S. markets in 2006, and customer account representatives from Detroit Edison and MichCon are jointly marketing the new program to C&I customers. The new partners kicked off the implementation phase of the program in August, with Sterling Planet conducting training sessions with more than 50 Detroit Edison and MichCon customer account representatives.

Over the next two years, qualifying large C&I customers who can demonstrate measured energy savings as a result of process improvements or other energy-efficiency projects will receive financial compensation for their conserved energy. Sterling Planet will measure and validate the energy savings using the company’s proprietary software, White Tag Pro™. Sterling Planet will then provide the resultant White Tags®/EOCs to DTE Energy.

“This is a breakthrough, performance-based program that rewards our C&I customers for their energy efficiency and brings them new revenue they can reinvest in additional efficiency improvements to deliver even more value,” said Bob Fegan, principal energy analyst for DTE Energy Company’s energy optimization program. “We signed up for Sterling Planet’s White Tags® program because we saw it as an innovative, powerful way to give added support to our ongoing customer relationships, while helping us achieve the energy efficiency gains that the state requires.”

Environmental benefits of the agreement are expected to be significant. According to U.S. EPA data for Michigan, the energy savings verified by the program will compare to a 25,870 pound reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. This reduction is as beneficial as taking 4,600 cars off US roads for a year.

“Along with renewable energy and carbon offsets, White Tags® or EOCs are an effective way to reduce the environmental impacts usually associated with energy production,” said Alden Hathaway, senior vice president of business development at Sterling Planet. “These credits also create a significant economic and administrative benefit. They are a readily procured, economically priced commodity that eases the burden of compliance with state energy-efficiency mandates and also accommodates utility budgets. We are delighted to demonstrate White Tags value in Michigan, working with Detroit Edison and MichCon to help them satisfy state requirements.”

By definition, White Tags® each represent 1 megawatt-hour of electricity savings or 1 thousand cubic feet of natural gas savings.

Sterling Planet has been a national leader in innovative clean energy solutions since 2000. The first company with a nationwide retail offer of wind, solar, biomass and other forms of renewable energy, Sterling Planet has delivered billions of kilowatt-hours in the form of renewable energy certificates in both voluntary and mandated markets. The client base includes 152 electric and gas utilities, 2,314 corporations, 343 government agencies and 76 colleges and other educational institutions. Sterling Planet also offers carbon offsets to offset greenhouse gas emissions and White Tags® energy efficiency certificates, which the company introduced to the U.S. in 2006.
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