Bullfrog Power opens doors as first fully green electricity retailer in Ontario
Bullfrog Power, based in Toronto, has launched operations as Ontario's first and only 100% green electricity retailer, buying power exclusively from wind and low-impact hydro generators who meet or surpass the federal government's EcoLogo(M) standard for renewable electricity for sale to Ontario electricity consumers, businesses and non-profit organizations.
To fulfill this mandate, the company has signed a new power purchase agreement with Sky Generation, an EcoLogo-certified wind power generator. This agreement commits Sky Generation to add two more turbines to its wind farm operation at Ferndale, on Ontario's Bruce Peninsula, as soon as possible. Along with the power purchase agreement, Bullfrog Power also announced a minority investment in Sky Generation, which will help finance the new turbines.
"Our contract with Bullfrog Power allows us to increase our capacity and bring more green power onto the Ontario grid," said Glen Estill, founder of Sky Generation and a pioneer in Canada's wind energy market. "This partnership is good news to everyone who cares about the impact power generation has on our environment, and who wants to see more of our energy needs supplied by renewables, like pollution-free wind power, rather than fossil fuels." Together, Bullfrog Power and its customers "are taking a leadership role in changing the balance of power," Estill added.
Under a second agreement, with Brascan Power, Bullfrog Power will obtain 100% EcoLogo-certified power from several of Brascan's environmentally low-impact hydropower sites across the province. "Brascan Power is committed to working collaboratively with industry participants and governments to build an investment and regulatory climate that supports the development of sustainable renewable energy projects," Brascan chairman and CEO Harry Goldgut commented.
Bullfrog Power estimates that its green power will add only a modest premium to the price of power - about a dollar a day to the average bill, or about the same as the price of a bottle of water. Customers will continue to draw electricity from the Ontario grid in the same way that they always have; no special setup or wiring is needed to make the switch. The difference, says the company, is that Bullfrogpowered(TM) customers' electricity dollars support clean, renewable electricity from producers who are displacing polluting and CO2-emitting electricity on the Ontario grid. Bullfrog Power has pledged 10% of company profits to organizations that promote sustainability.
"At Bullfrog Power, we want to give Ontarians an easy, clean electricity alternative," said Bullfrog Power president Tom Heintzman. "We're delighted to be working with both large and small partners to support renewable power generation and help increase the amount of renewable, low-impact power available in Ontario."
Bullfrog Power has also entered into a partnership with WWF-Canada, based on a shared commitment to fight climate change and encourage energy conservation and a switch to renewable sources of power. "Energy efficiency and renewable, non-polluting sources of energy are the keys to fighting climate change and the focus of WWF's global PowerSwitch! campaign," noted WWF-Canada president and CEO Mike Russill.
The company has already signed up a residential client list. Some of the "Bullfrog 100" electricity consumers who have pledged their support for green power include Michael Adams, Edward Burtynsky, David Crombie, Thomas Homer-Dixon, Jamie Kennedy and Anne Swarbrick.
Bullfrog Power's customers also include several leading organizations, among them RBC Financial Group, Upper Canada Forestry Products, Warren's Waterless Printing, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Hidden Bench Winery, Bruce Mau Design, Butterfield and Robinson, AutoShare, Forest Stewardship Council of Canada, Green Living Enterprises (a division of Key Publishers), Investeco, Key Gordon, Summerhill Group, Eco Cleaners, Beach Solar Laundromat, Ofootprint and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. These clients have chosen to become bullfrogpowered in some or all of their operations.
In Toronto, seven RBC Financial Group branch offices have become bullfrogpowered. RBC, a recognized global leader in sustainable business practices, chose Bullfrog Power for several key Greater Toronto Area locations as part of its standing commitment to reduce its environmental impact by supporting renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels. RBC was among the first financial institutions in Canada to purchase green power and is active in financing companies in Canada and internationally in the alternative energy sector.
"RBC believes that sustained economic growth and a healthy environment are inextricably linked," said Chitwant Kohli, the company's vice-president, corporate real estate. "The decision to switch seven of our GTA branches to become bullfrogpowered forms part of our goal to reduce energy usage and emissions across our operations. This goal will be achieved through a combination of conservation and energy efficiency measures and the sourcing of clean renewable energy like Bullfrog Power."
The seven bullfrogpowered RBC branches in Toronto are located at: Spadina and Lonsdale; Humbertown Centre; Bayview and York Mills; Bloor and Grenview; Harbord and Spadina; Avenue Rd and Lawrence; and Yonge and Cranbrooke.
RBC was named to the 2005 and 2006 Dow Jones Sustainability Index and is listed on the FTSE4Good Global Index, which tracks the performance of companies that meet globally recognized corporate responsibility standards in areas such as environmental sustainability, stakeholder relations and universal human rights. RBC is also included on the Jantzi Social Index (JSI), a stock index of 60 Canadian companies that pass a set of social and environmental screens.