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General Motors and Sterling Planet Complete First White Tags® Transaction

Posted on 2/27/2013 by in energy efficiency White Tags clients partnerships

GM Romulus Engine Plant in Michigan earns additional financial reward for energy efficiency

ATLANTA, GA, February 27, 2013 – Sterling Planet, the nation’s leading retail provider of renewable energy and other carbon-reduction assets, announced today its first purchase of White Tags® energy efficiency certificates from General Motors Corporation. The White Tags, each representing 1 megawatt-hour of measured, validated electricity savings, are the result of a systematic conservation program at the GM Romulus Engine plant in Romulus, MI, where GM produces a variety of V6 and V8 engines for its full-size SUVs and pickups.

The transaction is the first of its kind in the automotive industry, the outgrowth of an unprecedented 2012 agreement between Sterling Planet and GM for the validation and purchase of White Tags. The partners worked together to measure the 2011-2012 energy use of the Romulus plant’s air compressors and compare that usage to a historic baseline to arrive at the energy savings, or number of White Tags created. Sterling Planet is providing the resultant White Tags to DTE Energy to supplement the utility’s energy optimization results and help the utility meet its state-based energy efficiency goals.

GM was able to achieve nearly 1,000 megawatt-hours of electricity savings at the Romulus facility in the two-year period through human performance measures, rather than more traditional equipment upgrades. Since 2010, GM has implemented “switch and stage” maneuvers to meet new standards for dynamic air compressor operation throughout the facility. What began as manual switching evolved in 2012 to electronic scheduling that automatically optimizes and perpetuates energy savings, serving as an ongoing generator of White Tags.

Sterling Planet’s White Tags program provides new opportunities for General Motors in the area of behavioral energy efficiency. In the past, GM’s energy efficiency programs had a more restricted return on investment, unless an efficiency rebate was available from DTE Energy. Now, GM is looking to implement many more efficiency projects and earn the additional reward of White Tags revenue.

DTE Energy also recognizes new opportunities. "This White Tags program has generated interest at DTE Energy because it has opened up new avenues to work with our industrial and commercial customers in areas that we couldn't before with rebates alone," adds Robert Fegan, Director of Pilot Energy Optimization Programs for DTE Energy. "And since it is getting more challenging to find energy savings through traditional equipment upgrades, this new approach could be a game changer in energy efficiency."

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.

When compared with traditional programs to reward energy efficiency, White Tags® reward measured energy savings that have already occurred and provide greater flexibility. “White Tags are proving to have their role in helping utilities mine energy efficiency. In the future, we anticipate being able to deliver behavioral energy efficiency results and load reductions with White Tags, actually reducing utility peak demand for electricity,” said Alden Hathaway, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Sterling Planet.

Next steps in the GM-Sterling Planet partnership include the identification of additional behavioral energy efficiency options, such as improved lighting and HVAC controls.

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Sterling Planet leads U.S. sustainable energy markets, offering clients in diverse sectors a comprehensive portfolio of carbon-reduction assets – renewable energy certificates (RECs), carbon offsets and innovative White Tags® energy efficiency certificates. Recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency as 2012 Green Power Supplier of the Year, Sterling Planet delivers more than 5 billion REC kilowatt-hours annually to EPA Green Power Partnership members, including the top three purchasers, and also supplies compliance markets through utility and government partnerships. Founded in 2000, the Atlanta-based company pioneered as the first nationwide retail REC provider and is committed to development of new renewable power generating projects.
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