Intel, Kohl's, Whole Foods Keep Top Spots on EPA's Green Power List

WASHINGTON, DC — Intel, Kohl's and Whole Foods Market retained their positions as the biggest buyers of renewable energy in the U.S. as other companies and governments partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) increased their green energy purchases.

The EPA's Green Power Partnership works with some 1,200 companies, cities, states, college and universities to help them purchase solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas and low-impact hydropower energy.

Every quarter, the EPA announces the 50 members that purchase the most energy and also lists the top buyers in other categories like retail, local government and Fortune 500 companies. And since a large purchase by one company might only account for a small amount of its energy while a smaller purchase provides more than enough energy for a different company, the EPA maintains a list of partners that purchase 100 percent or more of the energy they need. The list now has more than 550 entries.

The top 10 list renewable energy purchasers remains unchanged from the last update in early July: Intel, Kohl's, Whole Foods Market, the city of Houston, Dell, Johnson & Johnson, Cisco, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the U.S Air Force and the city of Dallas.

One notable absence from the top 10 is Pepsi, which used to hold the #3 spot but has since shifted its focus from buying renewable energy to funding on-site renewable energy projects.

New additions include Washington, D.C. (#14), TD Bank N.A. (#15), the state of Illinois (#23), Pearson (#27), Chicago Public Schools (#35) and Harris N.A. (#42).

The EPA notes that about a quarter of the top 50 partners increased their renewable energy purchases since April, including medical technology company BD and the Port of Portland, each of which nearly doubled their purchases.

The top partners purchase more than 12 billion kilowatt-hours of energy annually (equal to the energy use of more than 1 million average U.S. homes), making up the bulk of the 17 billion kilowatt-hours that all Green Power Partnership members purchase each year.

Solar panels - CC license by Flickr user Port of San Diego