May 3, 2010
Austin Energy Leads Nation in Green Power Sales for 8th Year in a Row
In 2009 and for the eighth year in a row, Austin Energy led the nation in voluntary renewable energy sales by a utility-sponsored green power program, according to rankings released today by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Voluntary customer purchases led to Austin Energy outperforming more than 850 green power programs in the U.S., selling 764.8 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy. This amount of energy could supply about 60,000 residential customers with all their electricity needs for one year.
"The voluntary green power market has built more renewable energy than all the mandatory programs to date," said Karl R. Rábago, Austin Energy’s vice president for distributed energy services, "and we are proud that Austin Energy's GreenChoice® program leads the nation in showing that customers who want to manage costs and reduce emissions can make a difference in the way electricity is made."
Austin Energy sold more than twice the amount of 4th ranked Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s 377.5 million kWh and more than four times 10th ranked We Energies' 173.2 million kWh.
Austin Energy was one of the first utilities in the country to make voluntary green power sales a success by passing on to customers the benefit of long-term stable energy prices from renewable energy sources like wind and bio-energy. Austin Energy's GreenChoice product has been particularly popular with some 422 business customers who subscribe to GreenChoice to meet 100% of their electricity needs and who appreciate the predictability and stability of a green power supply offered over long-term contracts.
For example, customers who subscribed to the first offering locked in their green power price at 1.7 cents per kWh. The current price for the standard fuel charge is 3.65 cents per kWh. Customers in the first offering are now saving almost $20 a month per 1,000 kWh compared to customers on the standard fuel charge. In fact, customers in four of the six GreenChoice offerings are paying less than the current fuel charge.
As a result, Austin Energy has more customers in EPA’s Green Power Partnership list of Fortune 500® than any other utility. This list ranks companies based on their green power purchases and includes some 60 Fortune 500 companies. Twelve companies in the list are Austin Energy Green Choice customers, and three of these are in the top 10--Whole Foods Market, Dell Inc., and Cisco Systems, Inc.
Taxpayers get a big benefit, too, as many school districts take advantage of the fixed price benefits of GreenChoice. The Austin Independent School District (ISD) and the Round Rock ISD are ranked 1st and 2nd in the nation for the most renewable energy purchased by K-12 schools. Lake Travis ISD 7th and Pflugerville ISD 17th are also in the top 20.
Commercial customers account for about 84% of Austin Energy GreenChoice purchases. There are currently about 480 commercial customers and 9,750 residential customers in the program.