This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
Austin Energy Maintains U.S. Lead in Green Power Sales
The municipal utility for Austin, Texas, sold more than 58 million kilowatt-hours of electricity from renewable sources in 2006, holding onto its top spot in the United States for utility sales of green power, according to DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). More than 600 utilities across the United States offer voluntary green programs to their customers, according to NREL, which released its annual ranking of the leading utility green power programs on April 3rd. For the fifth time in a row, Austin Energy leads the pack for total sales. A key to the utility's success is that its fixed-price program is protected from changes in utility fuel prices. As a result, Austin Energy is currently offering the best deal in the country for its green power: participants actually receive a discount, paying 0.13 cents per kilowatt-hour less than the average Austin Energy customer.
Other leading utilities include Xcel Energy, which has the greatest number of participants in its program at 63,028. Helped by its huge size, Xcel Energy has led that category for the past four years. On the smaller end of the scale, the municipal utilities for Palo Alto, California, and Lenox, Iowa, lead the nation in terms of the percentage of customers participating in their program. Both municipal utilities achieved a customer participation rate exceeding 16 percent, and both have been industry leaders for the past four years. See the NREL press release and the top ten lists of utility green power programs (including links to earlier lists) on the Green Power Network Web site.