This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

February 27, 2002

NREL Updates Top-Ten List of Utility Green Power Programs

DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) updated this month its popular top-ten lists of utility programs that sell green power, which is electricity from renewable energy sources. NREL ranks the most effective of these utility programs — sometimes called "green pricing" programs — based on customer participation, new renewable energy installed capacity, and cost premiums.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power ranked first for total number of customers: its "Green Power for a Green L.A." program has 87,000 participants, although about half of those are low-income customers who are signed up at no cost. In terms of percentages, Moorhead Public Service of Minnesota comes in first with 7.0 percent of its customers signed up. For new renewable power capacity, Austin Energy of Texas takes first place with 76.9 megawatts of wind and solar power installed. And there's a three-way tie for the lowest premium, with two California utilities — Roseville Electric and Sacramento Municipal Utility District — and the Texas-New Mexico Power Company each charging customers just a penny extra per kilowatt-hour for green power. See the top-ten lists on the EREN Green Power Web site.

Green power experts believe these numbers will get even better: at a green power conference last week, experts predicted that utilities would achieve 10 percent participation rates in green pricing programs within the next five years. Xenergy Inc. organized the conference in cooperation with the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS). See Xenergy press release.

CRS, by the way, is offering an accreditation program for utility green pricing programs. Three programs — Tennessee Valley Authority's "Green Power Switch," Wisconsin Electric's "Energy for Tomorrow," and Madison Gas and Electric's "MGE Wind Power" — have already been accredited. See the CRS Web site.