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Powering Pittsburgh: How Direct Energy Business and the Steel City Championed a Great Partnership

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Once known for its signature role in the industrial revolution, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has seen the benefits of energy collaboration firsthand. 

Always forward-thinking in regards to sustainability and green energy, the “Steel City” originally passed the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan in 2008. The plan was then revised in 2017 to include a wide range of goals to achieve by 2030, including 100 percent renewable electricity consumption for all municipal operations and a 50 percent city-wide reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. 

In 2015, Pittsburgh began working with Direct Energy Business to devise and implement a strategy to purchase green energy. Those purchases have since led to the powering of streetlights and traffic signals and expanded to other city operations in recent months.

Michael Ripper, a Business Development Manager at Direct Energy, has been impressed with the city’s continuous efforts toward a smaller carbon footprint.

“They (Pittsburgh) are constantly looking to be on the favorable side of green energy and carbon footprint reductions, anything that can move the needle in that direction,” Ripper said.“ We have the ability to provide green power and we are one of the largest retail electricity suppliers, so our ability to do that is pretty robust and efficient.”

More recently, Pittsburgh and Direct Energy Business have partnered to reduce power usage by delivering transparency and data-driven insights. How? With Panoramic Power®.

“We started talking about energy efficiency, and they introduced us to the Panoramic Power program (as a) tool that could help us,” said Grant Ervin, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Pittsburgh. “We were really trying to find ways to encourage efficiency in the day-to-day operations.”

So how does Panoramic Power work? Self-powered, wireless sensors deliver real-time insights into power usage that are much more detailed than what’s possible by reading a meter. These insights give the user visibility into electricity usage, at the device-by-device level, that can lead to quick actions to reduce energy consumption and operating costs. Since installed in January 2017, the city has reduced energy use (and cost) within the City-County Building.

Learn more about the power of collaboration, and how Direct Energy Business is teaming up with local and national governments to achieve huge climate change goals. Download the full report now!

governments achieving sustainability goals

Posted: May 23, 2018