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A New Path to Sustainable Operations: Procuring Renewable Energy for a Hybrid Workforce

image credit: Enel Green Power
Mark  McGrail's picture
Head of the Commercial Office at Enel Green Power North America, Enel Green Power

Mark is an energy industry veteran with extensive experience in the development, operations and management of large-scale renewable energy plants. He joined the company in 2011 and is currently...

  • Member since 2021
  • 2 items added with 564 views
  • Jul 28, 2021

It’s no secret that the pandemic has permanently shifted the way we work.  Many companies now have employees spread out, working remotely or in a hybrid model of remote and in-office. This has made energy consumption more complex and has left companies reevaluating how they should approach sustainable operations.


Wellington Management is an example of how companies are evolving their sustainability planning to meet the needs of the new work-from-home landscape. The firm recently signed a 10-year virtual power purchase agreement with Enel Green Power to match the electricity needs of its U.S. offices and the residential electricity usage of its 2,200 U.S. employees with renewable energy.


The arrangement covers approximately 48 GWh of energy annually from its Rockhaven wind project and the associated renewable energy certificates (RECs), equivalent to avoiding 30,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year.


Not only is Wellington able to advance toward its goal of deploying 100% renewable energy for its corporate operations, but this agreement represents an innovative model for corporate renewable energy buyers moving forward, amid shifts in their operations.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jul 28, 2021

That's interesting to apply such purchases to the residences-- are employees reporting their utility bill and a portion of that is assumed for 'home office' like is done for taxes, or is it just a broad assumption about how much energy is used per employee at their homes? 

Mark  McGrail's picture
Mark McGrail on Aug 3, 2021

Hi Matt – great question. To identify how much electricity the employees used, Wellington used a 2019-energy-usage base line of the national average (11 megawatt hours per year). This is a conservative approach because the majority of its US employees are located in the Northeast where the average household consumption is 25% lower than the national average, mainly due to less air conditioning usage.

Wellington has also contracted slightly more MW hours to allow for future growth in employee count, future potential office expansion, and to build in a buffer to account for increased household electricity usage from new electric-based technologies (e.g., electric vehicles, electric heat pumps, etc.).

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Aug 3, 2021

That makes sense for the sake of simplicity-- thanks for sharing, Mark! I wonder, though, do you worry that such an approach that uses an estimate somewhat undercuts motivation from employees to engage in energy-saving behavior. Sort of social licensing where they may be tempted to say 'well my energy is being offset renewably, probably more than I'm actually using, so it's not as harmful for me to be wasteful'?

Mark  McGrail's picture
Thank Mark for the Post!
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