Kohl's entered into a "power purchase agreement" with SunEdison for a twenty-year term in 2007. This use of a silent, clean power is cost saving and great for the environment. As of September 2009, Kohl's has 78 solar power systems activated in California, Oregon, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Maryland and Connecticut with another 10 in various stages of construction. Our short-term goal is to have 100 activated solar locations on our stores’ rooftops.
As the largest single host of solar electricity production in North America, our move will generate 25 megawatts of electricity in California alone when complete. This is greater than the electricity generation of the five largest photovoltaic systems in the U.S. combined and is equivalent to the electricity used by 3,087 California homes. It will offset more than 28 million pounds of carbon dioxide in the first year – the equivalent of taking 2,500 cars off the road.
The systems will provide about 40% of each store's power. An average system on a California store will have 2,340 solar panels that will nearly cover the roof of the typical 88,000-square-foot building. Kohl's largest system is our Distribution Center in San Bernardino, Calif. It boasts 6,208 panels, and will generate 1 megawatt of power.–enough to supply 400 homes on an annual basis.
Kohl's joined the Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Partnership to support the use and development of renewable energy. We demonstrate our support of green power by purchasing renewable energy credits. Our commitment is to have 20% of our energy use come from renewable energy sources. To accomplish this goal, we purchased 600,990,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy credits in 2009. Kohl's was recognized two times by the EPA with a Green Leadership award for our commitment to renewable energy. The 2009 purchase represents 50% of all energy purchased by Kohl's and consists of solar, wind and biomass generation. As of April 27, 2009, Kohl's ranks No. 2 on the EPA Green Power Partnership list in the retail sector for use of renewable energy and third overall in the U.S.
Kohl's is a member of EPA's ENERGY STAR Program. We measure the energy performance of our stores, scoring them on a scale of 1 to 100. Stores that achieve a score of 75 or higher are eligible for the ENERGY STAR label. This indicates they are among the top 25% of retail stores in the country for energy performance. Commercial buildings that have earned the ENERGY STAR label use, on average, 35% less energy than similar buildings and generate one-third less carbon dioxide.
As of September 2009, 309 Kohl’s stores have earned the ENERGY STAR distinction. We use the ENERGY STAR portfolio manager to measure energy performance as we strive for ways to be more efficient.
As of 2008, 100% of Kohl's locations are operated by a Central Energy Management System. This careful monitoring is the cornerstone of our Energy Management Program. This system controls most interior and exterior lighting as well as heating and cooling systems at our stores. As a result, Kohl's has one of the lowest energy usages per square foot in the retail industry.
Kohl's invested in high-efficiency lighting for all stores constructed in 2003 or later. Most locations, including stores, distribution centers and corporate offices, have occupancy-based sensor lighting in bathrooms, stockrooms, fitting rooms and office areas to further conserve energy. In 2008, Kohl's implemented an aggressive plan to upgrade and reduce spotlights used at stores, thus further reducing store energy consumption.
In 2007, Kohl's partnered with RTP Controls to install "automated demand response" controls. Kohl's currently has 75 California stores that partner with RTP Controls and utilize demand response controls. Kohl's has also partnered with United Illuminating to implement demand response in 57 locations in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont & Connecticut and Dakota Electric in three locations in Minnesota. Using these controls, we successfully reduced power use in our stores during peak times Monday through Friday between May and October.