May 2011 - Using information provided by utilities, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has developed "Top 10" rankings of utility green power programs for 2010 in the following categories: total sales of renewable energy to program participants, total number of customer participants, the percentage of customer participation, green power sales as a percentage of total utility retail electricity sales, and the lowest price premium charged for a green power program using new renewable resources.
Ranked by renewable energy sales (kWh/year), Austin Energy in Austin, Texas sold the largest amount of renewable energy in the nation through its voluntary green power program. Portland General Electric holds the top spot for total number of customer participants, while City of Palo Alto Utilities ranked highest for customer participation rate. Indianapolis Power & Light Company finished first for lowest residential price premium charged, and Waterloo Utilities in Wisconsin ranked highest for green power sales as a percentage of total retail electricity sales.
Green power sales from utility programs exceeded 6 million megawatt-hours (MWh) in 2010. Wind energy now represents more than three-fourths of electricity generated for green energy programs nationwide.
News Release - NREL Highlights 2010 Utility Green Power Leaders
Contact: Jenny Heeter, 303-275-4366
October 2010 - Twenty-eight companies, organizations and individuals were recognized with national achievement awards at the Renewable Energy Markets 2010 Conference in Portland. The Green Power Leadership Awards recognize actions that are significantly advancing the development of renewable electricity sources through renewable energy markets. The awards are presented by the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Center for Resource Solutions.
Among green power purchasers, the highest honors went to the Kohl's Department Stores, Motorola, Inc., TD Bank, and Whole Foods Market, who were named Partners of the Year. The City of San Francisco and Phoenix Press, Inc. were recognized for their On-Site Generation. Corvallis, Oregon and Park City, Utah were honored as Communities of the Year. 3Degrees, Bonneville Environmental Foundation, SunRun Inc., and SolarCity were named Non-Utility Green Power Suppliers of the Year. La Plata Electric Association, Inc. and Portland General Electric won for Utility Green Power Programs of the Year. Arizona Public Service was awarded for Best Green Power Education Outreach Program. Sundance Square was named for Best Promotional Campaign by a Green Power Purchaser. Pacific Power and Rocky Mountain Power were recognized for Best Marketing Campaign by a Green Power Supplier. Thor Hinckley of Portland General Electric received the Green Power Pioneer Award.
News Release - DOE Recognizes Six Organizations as Nation's Top Green Power Suppliers
News Release - EPA Honors 18 Partners for Advancing Green Power Market
News Release - Center for Resource Solutions Announces 2010 Green Power Leadership Award Winners
News Article - Portland General Electric Receives Two National Green Power Awards
More Information - 2010 Green Power Leadership Awards
May 2010 - Using information provided by utilities, National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) has released new "Top 10" rankings of utility programs for 2009 in the following categories: total sales of renewable energy to program participants, total number of customer participants, the percentage of customer participation, green power sales as a percentage of total utility retail electricity sales, and the lowest price premium charged for a green power program using new renewable resources.
Ranked by renewable energy sales (kWh/year), Austin Energy in Austin, Texas sold the largest amount of renewable energy in the nation through its voluntary green power program. Rounding out the top five are Portland General Electric (Oregon), PacifiCorp (Ore. and five other states), the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (Calif.), and Xcel Energy (Colo., Minn., Wis. and N. Mexico).
Utility green power sales in 2009 exceeded 6 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), and they represent more than 5 percent of total electricity sales for some of the most popular programs. Wind energy represents approximately two-thirds of electricity generated for green energy programs nationwide.
News Release - NREL Highlights Utility Green Power Leaders
Additional Information - NREL Top 10 Utility Green Power Programs
Contact: Jenny Sumner, 303-275-4366
December 2009 - The City of Lake Oswego, Oregon has been named a Green Power Community by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its high percentage of renewable energy purchases by local government, businesses and residents. The city recently concluded its two-month Green Power Challenge, attracting 336 residential and 20 business customers to purchase green power through Portland General Electric's renewable programs. The campaign increased the community's collective green power participation rate to more than 12 percent and bumped up the city's consumption of renewable energy to about 9 percent (35 million kWh) of its total demand.
Additionally, the City currently purchases more than 1.7 million kWh of wind power annually for its operations, equivalent to nearly 8 percent of Lake Oswego's annual electricity use for its facilities.
EPA's Green Power Community initiative recognizes communities that collectively purchase green power in amounts that meet EPA's purchase requirements. Lake Oswego is the 12th community in Oregon and 25th in the nation to receive the honor.
News Release - Lake Oswego Exceeds Green Power Challenge (November 2009)
News Article - EPA names Lake Oswego a 'green power' community for high green energy purchasing
Additional Information - Lake Oswego Green Power Challenge
Additional Information - EPA Green Power Communities
Contact: Susan Millhauser, 503-228-6322, online e-mail form
June 2008 - Over the past two years, utilities and their marketing partners have increased the use of "green power challenges" to increase participation and awareness for their green pricing programs. The utility typically develops the challenge in partnership with local governments, who make their own purchase in conjunction with the challenge, and environmental nonprofit organizations, who can help communicate the challenge. Utility and local government decision-makers typically agree on a goal for a fixed number of sign-ups within a specified time, usually about six months.
In 2007, at least fourteen utilities offered challenges, mostly in small- to mid-sized communities, and several more have done so in 2008. Many of these utilities have done challenges in more than one of the communities within their service territories. For example, Pacific Power and its sister company, Rocky Mountain Power, have launched 11 challenges in their combined Washington, Oregon, and Utah communities. Some programs, like Xcel Energy's Windsource, have conducted a second challenge in a subsequent year in the same community, as a result of their success with the first.
Several green power challenges have exceeded their stated goals. For example, in 2007, Puget Sound Energy launched a Bellingham, Washington challenge that produced 2,000 new customers, pushing the community's participation rate to 11%. In Beaverton, Oregon, Portland General Electric's 2007 challenge set a goal of 250 enrollments and reached twice that number. Generally, challenges have been particularly successful in small towns because of the greater ease in communicating the challenge to utility customers, the greater likelihood that the mayor will prioritize the challenge, and the sense of sense of community pride the challenge can engender.
The U.S. EPA's Green Power Partnership recognizes Green Power Communities that achieve collective green power purchases of 2%, 3%, or 6% of the community's purchased electricity needs, depending on the size of the community. Recently, the agency recognized 16 communities, including those of Bellingham and Beaverton, as well as Santa Clara (CA), Bend (OR), and Palo Alto (CA).
June 2007 - The mayor of Beaverton, Ore., announced that the city will purchase about 7.6 million kWh of renewable energy from Portland General Electric (PGE) this year to power all of its facilities, including City Hall, the Beaverton City Library, the public works building, pumping stations and other water facilities. The announcement came as the mayor issued a "Green Power Challenge" for more citizens to purchase renewable energy. The goal of the three-month, community-wide campaign is to achieve 250 new enrollments in PGE's renewable energy programs.
News Release - Beaverton City Council Issues Green Power Challenge to Residents (PDF 34 KB)
News Article - City Plugs into 'Green' Power with Citizen Challenge
January 2007 - Portland General Electric (PGE) has introduced a stable-rate green power product that will protect participating customers from most base rate increases, including energy charges, transmission and distribution charges, and all supplemental adjustments, over a five-year period. The Renewable Future product was developed as a pilot option for residential and small commercial customers based on market research that identified "a significant portion" (5% to 7%) of nonparticipating residential customers as interested in enrolling in a power option that offers green attributes as well as rate stability.
The initial rate premium for the typical residential customer is about 1.5¢/kWh over base rates, which includes administrative costs of 0.45¢/kWh and a contribution of 0.3¢/kWh to the utility's wind development fund. The pilot program is limited to 43 million kWh (5 average megawatts) of estimated annual load, equivalent to about 4,000 customers. The product will be supplied with tradable renewable credits from the Klondike II wind farm in Oregon. Enrolled customers can leave the program at any time but will not be able to return to the pilot tariff.
Separately, PGE discontinued its Healthy Habitat product. Instead, all green power customers can now choose to pay an additional $2.50 per month to support salmon habitat restoration in the utility's service territory.
News Article - PGE Puts Pale Tint of Green into Rates
PGE Contact: Thor Hinckley (503) 464-8089
December 2006 - Twenty-eight companies, organizations and individuals were recognized with national achievement awards at the Eleventh National Renewable Energy Marketing Conference. The Green Power Leadership Awards recognize actions that are significantly advancing the development of renewable electricity sources through renewable energy markets. The awards are presented by the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Center for Resource Solutions.
Among green power purchasers, the highest honors went to Aspen Skiing Company, HSBC-North America, Johnson & Johnson, Starbucks, and Whole Foods Market, who were named Partner of the Year. Portland General Electric was named Green Power Program of the Year and Silicon Valley Power won for New Green Power Program. Jim Burke of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and Brent Alderfer and Eric Blank of Community Energy Inc. received the Green Power Pioneer Award.
News Release - 2006 National Green Power Award Winners Announced
More Information - Green Power Leadership Awards
July 2006 - Mayor Janet Taylor and members of the Salem (Ore.) City Council have proclaimed the month of July as Green Power Month and challenged city residents to sign up for renewable energy to power their homes and businesses. Through the challenge, the city is encouraging residents to participate in one of the voluntary renewable power programs operated by Portland General Electric, with the goal of increasing the city's green power participation by 25%—from 2,500 to 3,000 total customers—by the end of November.
News Article - Salem City Council Proclaims July as Green Power Month
December 2005 - Portland General Electric (PGE) reported that 40,000 customers, representing more than 5% of its total customer base, are now purchasing one of three green power products offered through the utility. PGE is the largest utility in the United States to reach the 5% customer participation threshold. PGE customers can choose to purchase renewable energy to meet 100% of their monthly electricity needs for as little as 0.8¢/kWh on top of the regular electricity rate. The utility attributes its program success to "an effective information and marketing effort" combined with "customers' strong support for the environment."
News Release - PGE customers ring in the new year with green power achievements
News Article - Northwest power consumers going 'green'
August 2004 - Portland General Electric (PGE) announced that its green power program has reached a major milestone: 30,000 of the utility's customers are now purchasing renewable electricity, which ranks among the top utility programs in the nation for number of customer participants. To commemorate the milestone, PGE designated a part of inner southeast Portland with the highest concentration of renewable power purchasers as the "Greenest Neighborhood." One out of every seven customers in this area has purchased a renewable power product, representing more than four times the program participation average.
News Release - "Greenest Neighborhood" Declared to Celebrate PGE Customer Milestone
September 2003 - Portland General Electric (PGE) announced that it has once again selected Green Mountain Energy Company as its primary supplier of renewable energy products and green power marketing affiliate. The new contract will run through the end of 2006.
PGE customers have access to three different green power products: PGE Renewable Usage, which is a 100% renewable power option from Green Mountain and includes new wind resources located in the Pacific Northwest; PGE Salmon Friendly Plan, which adds a contribution for salmon restoration to the 100% renewables product; and PGE Clean Wind, which allows customers to pay a fixed amount for wind power from the Pacific Northwest. PGE will begin a new customer education and information campaign about the program later this year.
News Release - PGE Chooses Green Mountain Energy Company as Renewable Power Supplier
PGE Contact: Thor Hinckley (503) 464-8089
Green Mountain Contact: John Savage (512) 691-6140
June 2003 - Oregon's two investor-owned utilities, Portland General Electric (PGE) and PacifiCorp, have issued requests for proposals (RFPs) to provide tradable renewable credits and retail marketing services for their respective green pricing programs. The RFPs cover the Blended Renewable and Environmental Mitigation portfolio options that each utility offers to its residential and small commercial customers, and that are currently supplied by Green Mountain Energy Company. Each utility also offers customers its own wind-based product option.
The new three-year contracts will become effective on January 1, 2004. Proposals are due to the two utilities on July 3, 2003.
Additional Information - PGE Request for Proposals (PDF 200 KB) Download Acrobat Reader
Additional Information - PacifiCorp Request for Proposals
PGE Contact: Thor Hinckley (503) 464 8089
PacifiCorp Contact: Ken Dragoon (503) 813-5326
February 2003 - For the Sake of the Salmon (4SOS), a Portland, Oregon-based non-profit organization, announced seven new salmon habitat restoration projects in Oregon resulting from the support provided by more than 6,000 customers of Pacific Power and Portland General Electric (PGE). In choosing the Salmon-Friendly renewable energy option, which is administered by Green Mountain Energy Company, customers make a monthly contribution through their electricity bill to the Pacific Salmon Watershed Fund. The contributions directly fund projects that restore habitat for threatened fish. The seven new projects will receive matching funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Community-Based Restoration Program and in-kind support from other local organizations.
News Release - Salmon Habitat Projects Reap Rewards of Renewable Power Option
4SOS Contact: Betsy Kauffman (503) 223-8511
February 2003 - Portland General Electric (PGE) announced a new, lower-cost renewable energy option for medium and large-sized businesses. Any customer that uses more than 30 kilowatts can now purchase 100% wind power from the utility at an additional cost of 1.7¢/kWh, with a minimum purchase requirement of 1,000 kWh per month. The wind power premium is half the level charged in an earlier program offered by the utility. Smaller businesses are already eligible for a variety of green power products offered by the utility under Oregon's electricity industry restructuring law.
Local companies that have already committed to purchase the Clean Wind product include Nike, Inc. and Epson Portland Inc. These and other companies purchasing the green power product will receive marketing support from PGE ranging from window decals to promotion in utility advertisements.
News Release - Medium-Large Businesses Go Green with PGE Clean Wind Power
PGE Contact: Thor Hinckley, (503) 464-8089
November 2002 - Portland General Electric (PGE) and Pacific Power announced that customer sign-ups for green power products offered through the two utilities have more than tripled in just nine months. The jump came after the utilities began offering additional green power options, including renewable electricity supplied by Green Mountain Energy Company, in accordance with Oregon's electricity restructuring law. Total customer participation at the end of October stood at 29,171 total customers (28,518 residential customers and 653 small businesses) compared to about 8,200 total customers at the end of 2001.
News Release - Oregonians Make Local Renewable Energy Program One of Fastest Growing In the Country
March 2002 - In just two months, more than 7,000 residential and small business customers of Pacific Power and Portland General Electric (PGE) have signed up for green power. Customers of the two Oregon-based utilities can choose among three renewable energy options: a wind power option, a renewable energy blend, and a salmon-friendly product. About three-quarters of the customers who have subscribed since January have chosen one of the latter two products, which are offered by Green Mountain Energy Company in cooperation with the two utilities.
In addition, Seattle City Light has subscribed more than 1,200 customers just seven weeks after launching its green power program. The utility is signing up customers at a rate of about 40 per day, surpassing the city's expectations. Under Seattle's Green Power program, residential and business customers can contribute funds to support local renewable energy projects.
News Release - Governor Kitzhaber Proclaims March 1 'Renewable Energy Day', Celebrating New Pollution-Free Power Options and First Day of Energy Restructuring
News Release - Signups For Seattle Green Power Program Surpass 1,200 Mark
January 2002 - Beginning March 1, the 1.2 million electricity customers served by Oregon's investor-owned utilities (IOUs) will gain three new green power options. The state's electricity restructuring law requires the IOUs to offer a portfolio of service options to residential and commercial customers. Customers of Portland General Electric (PGE) and Pacific Power will have access to the following renewable energy options:
New Wind Energy - Customers can choose to buy fixed blocks of new wind generation each month through PGE's Clean Wind program or Pacific Power's Blue Sky program. Pacific Power customers will pay an additional $2.95 monthly for each 100-kWh block purchased while each 100-kWh block will cost PGE customers $3.50 more per month.
Renewable Energy Blend - Customers can purchase 100% of their actual electricity usage from wind and geothermal sources supplied by Green Mountain Energy Company. Pacific Power customers will pay 0.78¢/kWh more for this option, while PGE customers will pay 0.80¢/kWh more.
Renewable Energy and Habitat Restoration - Customers can purchase 100% of their electricity from renewable sources and also help restore native fish habitat. The power will come from Green Mountain Energy Company and the habitat restoration funds will be managed by For the Sake of the Salmon, a nonprofit conservation group. For this option, Pacific Power customers will pay the Renewable Energy Blend rate of 0.78¢/kWh plus a fixed $2.50 per month that will be applied to salmon restoration projects, while PGE customers will pay a premium of 0.99¢/kWh.
News Release - Enrollment for New Renewable Energy Options to Begin Today; PGE and Pacific Power Customers Can Choose 100% 'Green' Power for First Time
News Release - Environmental and Market-Based Options for Portland General Electric and Pacific Power Customers
May 2001 - PacifiCorp and Portland General Electric (PGE) announced that the Port of Portland (Oregon), which owns and maintains five marine terminals, four airports, and seven business parks, will obtain about 1% of its electricity needs from renewable resources through the two utilities' green pricing programs. The Port will purchase a total of 6.3 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy annually through Pacificorp's BlueSky program and PGE's Clean Wind and Salmon-Friendly Power programs. The bulk of the purchase will support the development of new wind resources.
News Release - Port of Portland Commits to Renewable Energy and Meets Regional Clean Energy Challenge
News Release - Port of Portland Purchases Green Power
PGE Contact: Mark Fryburg (503) 464-8444
RNP Contact: Diane Zipper (503) 223-4544
March 2001 - The Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) approved new energy portfolio options, including green power, that will be available to residential and small nonresidential customers of the state's two large investor-owned utilities beginning this fall. Under Oregon's 1999 restructuring law, Portland General Electric (PGE) and PacifiCorp are required to provide a market-based rate option and at least one renewable energy option.
The OPUC approved three types of renewable energy options, which essentially correspond to green power products already being offered by the two utilities. The first option is a renewable resources block product, which allows customers to buy one or more blocks of renewable power each month. The second option is a blended renewable energy product containing a minimum of 50% renewable energy with at least 15% coming from new renewable sources; the remaining product content must meet regional system average emissions as well as the state's siting standard for carbon dioxide emissions. The final option is an "environmental mitigation product," which allows customers to purchase blocks of power from renewable sources that will help restore threatened or endangered fish species.
The PUC plans to set rates for the new product options this summer. Consumers will receive enrollment packages in August and will be able to switch to one of the alternative service options starting in October.
News Release - Commission Expands Energy Choices for Consumers - No longer online at www.puc.state.or.us
News Article - PUC tells utilities to offer price plans (The Oregonian)
PUC Contact: Bob Valdez (503) 378-8962
November 1999 - Portland General Electric (PGE) is now offering customers two green power options. In December, Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) approved PGE's plan to give residential customers the option of purchasing up to two 100-kWh blocks of "salmon friendly" power or wind power, or a combination of the two, at a premium of $5 per block per month. The two-block option would supply about 20% of an average residential customer's load.
The salmon-friendly power is a blend of existing, low-impact hydro and wind power. The revenue from the power sales will be split evenly between paying the cost of the power and supporting local salmon habitat recovery projects. The wind power option offers power generated from the Vansycle Ridge wind farm in northeastern Oregon, with half of the revenues to be used for the development of new wind resources. Commercial and industrial customers can purchase a limited amount of green power, depending on their size, at the same rate as residential customers.
Under the state's recently enacted electricity restructuring law, PGE is required to offer its residential customers a portfolio of rate options, including a green power option.
News Article - Portland General Electric to Propose Salmon-Friendly Power Tariff
March 1998 - Portland General Electric (PGE) has developed a new energy label to help consumers compare power suppliers' generation sources and provide information on emissions from different generation sources. All electricity suppliers that are certified to sell power under PGE's Customer Choice Program are required to use this label. Currently, PGE is offering 50,000 residences and businesses in four area communities the opportunity to choose their electricity provider. All large commercial and industrial customers are able to buy as much as 50% of their electricity from competing providers. PGE expects the program to "deliver competitive prices and innovative products, such as the opportunity to buy electricity generated solely from renewable resources."
To date, the Oregon PUC has certified thirteen energy service providers, including Avista Energy, Inc., Duke Energy Trading & Marketing, L.L.C., Electric Lite, Inc., Enron Power Marketing, Inc., Illinova Energy Partners, PacifiCorp, Edison International, and PG&E Energy Services. Of the energy suppliers, only Electric Lite has formally announced a green power offering.
News Release - PGE Introduces a New Environmental Consumer Label to Help Customers with Electricity Choices - No longer online at PortlandGeneral.com
March 1997 - Portland General Electric (PGE) has developed a special tariff for a blend of green and conventional power that is being marketed to large wholesale and industrial customers. Two wind projects that PGE has contracted for will supply the renewable power: 12.5-MW Columbia Hills project and a 25-MW Vansycle Ridge project. Thus far, the City of Portland has signed a contract to purchase 11.2 million kWh of green power during a five-year period. This amounts to approximately 5% of the City of Portland's total power consumption.
In September 1996, PGE filed with the Oregon Public Utility Commission to implement an experimental, optional, market-based renewable energy service for large industrial and commercial customers. Resources covered include wind, solar, and geothermal energy. Participating customers would pay a price premium of about 1 cent/kWh. PGE plans to make 5 average MW available under the program. The proposal was approved on November 26, 1996.
PGE Contact: Rick Weijo (503) 464-8389 or Doug Kuns (503) 464-7891
PUC Contact: Bill McNamee (503) 378-6360