SOFITEL HOTELS BECOME FIRST HOTEL CHAIN IN THE U.S. TO CHOOSE WIND POWER AND BECOME EPA GREEN POWER PARTNER

Wind Energy Commitment is the Latest Sofitel Effort to Increase Energy Efficiency

Accor North America announced today a new agreement between its Sofitel Hotels and wind energy supplier Community Energy, Inc. to purchase clean, renewable, wind energy for all nine Sofitel locations in the U.S. This purchase of wind-generated power in the form of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) qualifies Sofitel Hotels as an EPA Green Power Partner, making them the first hotel chain to choose green power for each of the brand’s hotel locations in the country.

“We’re proud to step up as a leader in our industry and to do our part for the environment. Our customers recognize and value the commitment we’ve made to a safe and secure energy future. We hope others will follow our lead and make the choice as well,” said Robert Moore, senior vice president of Technical Services for Accor North America.

Sofitel has nine locations throughout the United States including two in Chicago and one in Los Angeles , Miami , Minneapolis , New York , Philadelphia , San Francisco and Washington D.C. These properties will buy a total of 1,527,000 kilowatt hours (kWhs) of renewable energy. Compared to the average generation mix in the regional electric grid, the environmental benefit from this purchase is equal to offsetting approximately two million pounds of carbon dioxide per year, the impact of which is equivalent to planting more than 800 acres of trees each year or not driving 2.36 million miles. This level of commitment makes Sofitel the first hotel chain to become an EPA Green Power Partner.

“EPA applauds our corporate partners for protecting our environment by purchasing green power,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “By voluntarily shifting to renewable energy, Accor North America is proving you don’t need to wait for a signal in order to go green.”

Community Energy President Brent Alderfer stated, “Sofitel has stepped up as a leader in the hospitality industry. Their renewable energy purchase puts their energy dollars to work to benefit the environment and the nation. As more customers choose to follow their lead and purchase renewable energy, we can bring more clean power resources online to meet that demand.”

Sofitel has also led the industry in efforts to reduce water and energy usage such as the use of ozone laundry systems in its properties. Last September, Sofitel San Francisco Bay was honored nationally by the WateReuse Association as the 2007 Customer of the Year for becoming the first to collaborate with the City of Redwood City, Calif., on its Recycled Water Project.

This agreement with Community Energy signifies the commitment of Accor North America and Sofitel to energy efficiency and sustainable development. Accor North America’s annual Earth Guest program in 2007 consisted of extensive and ongoing environmental initiatives including the planting of 20,000 trees representing each Accor employee in North America , implementation of a 65-point environmental check list at all properties and at the corporate headquarters, and donation of $375,000 to educational and charitable groups. Earth Guest program activities are led and put into action at the corporate level and in local communities by Accor North America’s four brands and over 950 properties – Sofitel, Novotel, Studio 6 and Motel 6 in the U.S. and Canada .

What is Wind Energy?

Wind Energy is a clean source of electricity produced when specially designed wind turbines capture the wind to generate electricity. Like historical windmills, modern wind turbines generate power from the wind. New wind turbines are the fastest growing and one of the most cost-effective renewable energy technologies in the world, and are producing power all across the United States .

What are the Benefits of Wind Energy?

Among other benefits, Wind Energy is clean and helps reduce air pollution; combats climate change; diversifies energy supply; creates jobs and regional growth and delivers clean power on a large scale.

How can I Purchase Wind Energy for my Home or Business?
Community Energy works with a number of different utility companies throughout the country offering clean, renewable energy products that can be purchased as an additional item on your electricity bill. If Community Energy does not have a partnership with your utility, you can still support wind energy through the purchase of wind Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). These third-party certified RECs ensure that each month, clean wind energy is being generated and delivered to the power grid on your behalf, helping to make the mix of electricity in the power grid cleaner.

How Will the Wind Energy get to My Home or Business?
Your purchase ensures that wind energy is generated and placed onto the power grid on your behalf. You can think of the power grid like a giant bathtub being filled with electricity from many different faucets – like nuclear, coal or wind. Every time you turn on a light switch, you drain a little electricity from the tub. By buying wind energy from Community Energy you are increasing the amount of pollution-free wind generated electricity, or pouring clean water into the tub, and decreasing the need for energy generation from other non-renewable polluting sources. Wind energy is guaranteed to be placed on the grid in an amount equal to your purchase size, thereby matching your power consumption with clean, renewable wind energy generation.

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