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Large Purchasers of Green Power

Austin Energy

July 2013 - The Austin City Council has approved Austin Energy to enter into three new wind power purchase agreements (PPAs); two with Duke Energy Renewables Inc. for 200 megawatts (MW) each, and one with E.ON Climate and Renewables North America LLC for 170 MW. This addition of 570 MW to the utility's wind portfolio puts it four years ahead of schedule for its 2020 renewable target of 35%. The electricity being purchased is sourced from wind farms in South Texas, which produce electricity during peak demand hours as a result of coastal wind patterns. With the new PPAs, Austin Energy's utility scale renewable energy resources now include a total of 1,225 MW of wind, 100 MW of biomass, 30 MW of solar, and an additional 11.7 MW of solar installed on public and private properties.

Press Release - Austin Energy announces new wind contracts

April 2012 - Austin Energy, located in Austin Texas, now has 100 public-access charging stations in the Plug-in EVerywhere network for plug-in electric vehicles, all powered by 100% renewable energy. The 100 electric vehicle charging stations are located at Austin Community College campuses, City of Austin public facilities, and retail and commercial businesses throughout the city.

Austin area electric vehicle drivers can purchase pre-paid Plug-in EVerywhere network cards for $25 each, which allows unlimited public station charging for six months. Electricity for the Plug-in EVerywhere charging network is generated from 100 percent renewable energy provided by GreenChoice, Austin Energy's renewable energy option offered to its electric customers.

News Release - For Less Than $5 Per Month, Austin Energy Offers Unlimited Electric Vehicle charging at More Than 100 EVerywhere Stations

September 2011 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the communities of Brookeville (MD) and Washington, D.C. as winners of the first Green Power Community Challenge. The year-long challenge encouraged communities across the U.S. to voluntarily increase their use of Green Power generated from renewable resources.

Washington, D.C. won the title for the largest amount of annual green power usage. District of Columbia residents, businesses, and District Government are collectively using more than 772 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power each year, enough to meet 8% of the community's total electricity use. Brookeville (MD) won for the highest green power percentage of electricity use (45%).

Separately from EPA's Green Power Community Challenge, the City of Austin (TX) municipal government announced that it is switching to 100% green power on October 1st, 2011. The 400 million kWh purchase makes the City of Austin the second largest local government purchaser of green power in the U.S., behind the City of Houston, and the largest local government purchasing 100% of its total electricity use from green power. The purchase will be through Austin Energy's Green Choice program. Renewable energy for the program will be produced at a wind farm in West Texas.

News Release - City of Austin largest local government in U.S. to go 100% Green Powered

News Release - EPA Announces Winners of First-Ever Green Power Community Challenge

Additional Information - EPA Green Power Partnership

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

January 2011 - Austin Energy's GreenChoice green pricing program is now Green-e Energy certified. GreenChoice provides wind from around the state of Texas and landfill gas from Austin and San Antonio. The Green-e Energy certification requires Austin Energy to meet certain disclosure and truth-in-advertising requirements. The GreenChoice program will also undergo an annual verification audit to determine whether Austin Energy has purchased and/or generated enough quantity and type of renewable to meet its customer demand and marketing claims.

News Release - Green-e Energy Certifies Austin Energy's GreenChoice Program

Contact: Jeff Swenerton, CRS, 415-561-2119; Carol Harwell, Austin Energy, 512-322-6562

August 2010 - Austin Energy, a municipal utility serving Austin, Texas, has signed an agreement to procure up to 2 megawatts (MW) of solar modules over a three-year period, at a cost of $1.85 per watt. The total contract cannot exceed $3.7 million. Austin Energy plans to install solar at buildings in its service territory; as part of its Strategic Plan, it has been selecting high profile buildings such as City buildings, libraries, and schools. The panels are expected to generate 2.7 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually. The City of Austin currently has solar installed on 35 facilities, for a total of 425 kW, and has a goal of 200 MW by 2020.

News Release - Austin Energy Enters Into Solar Supply Agreement

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

March 2010 - Austin Energy commercial and multi-family customers may now apply for a performance-based incentive (PBI) rather than receiving an upfront rebate on the installation of solar systems. Austin Energy will pay a fixed payment for each kilowatt-hour of electricity produced over a 10-year period to the solar system owner and expects the program to encourage proper design and maintenance of systems to maximize production. Over the next five years, the PBI program is expected to pay an average of 8.0¢/kWh with funding being sufficient to support almost 260 solar systems, each up to 20 kW in size. Total PBI payments over the next 14 years under the plan are projected at $4.8 million.

Residential customers can also receive rebates of $2.50 per installed watt with annual rebates limited to $15K with maximum rebates set at $50K over the life of installations at a single property.

News Release - Austin Energy Launches Innovative Solar Incentive

Additional Information - Austin Energy's Power Saver Program - Solar Photovoltaics

Contact: Ed Clark, 512-322-6514

April 2008 - Dell, a leading computer manufacturer, announced that it is purchasing green power for all of the electricity needs of its 2.1 million square-foot global headquarters in Houston, Texas, which houses more than 10,000 employees. The approximately 80 million kWh of green power will be supplied by TXU Energy from Texas-based wind farms (60%) and from Waste Management's Austin Community Landfill gas-to-energy plant (40%). Dell also announced it is more than doubling its purchase of green power through Austin Energy's GreenChoice program to meet 17% of the electricity needs at its Austin Parmer Campus, up from 8% previously. The purchase of green power gives Dell price certainty on its operational costs for power, and the company expects it may see cost benefits to using green power in the future. In addition, Dell procures green power for all of the electricity needs of its Twin Falls, Idaho, facility from wind (97%) and solar (3%) resources.

In September 2007, Dell announced it would make company owned and leased facilities "carbon neutral" in 2008 through a strategy of improving energy-efficiency in its operations and maximizing the purchase of renewable power. This commitment is part of the company's climate strategy which also seeks to minimize carbon impact of supplier operations and customer product use.

News Release - Dell Global Headquarters Campus Going 100 Percent Green

News Article - Dell's HQ Switches to 100 Percent Renewable Energy

January 2008 - Austin Energy announced that it has procured new wind energy supply for its GreenChoice program and that the program is now open for enrollment. Under the GreenChoice program, participants pay a green power charge rather than the utility's standard fuel charge. For the new wind supply, the green power charge is 5.5¢/kWh, compared to the current standard fuel charge of 3.65¢/kWh; therefore, the renewable energy will be offered at a premium of 1.85¢/kWh over standard electricity rates initially. However, the price differential may change over time, as the green rate will remain fixed through 2023, while the standard fuel charge can go up or down each year depending on the cost of power plant fuels such as natural gas.

To supply the program, the utility has entered into agreements to procure power from two new wind farms in west Texas, one that is currently operational and another that is scheduled to come on-line at the end of 2008. To ensure the new supply of wind power is equally available to all customers, 25% of the supply from the new, operating wind farm will be reserved for residential and small business customers. In addition, purchases by larger businesses will initially be limited to 15 million kWh each. When the second wind farm becomes operational, all businesses will again be eligible to buy a portion of that supply.

Currently about 8,700 residential customers and 450 businesses participate in the GreenChoice program. To date, Austin Energy has contracts in place for 439 MW of wind energy and 11 MW of landfill gas generation.

News Release - Austin Energy GreenChoice® Program has New Wind Supply

News Article - Wind power available for Austinites

September 2007 - According to a September 4 article in the Austin Business Journal, Austin Energy plans to purchase an additional 225 MW of wind power to both expand its GreenChoice program and power its municipal facilities. The utility has committed to purchase the output of two new Texas wind farms expected to be operational by the end of 2008—the 60-MW Whirlwind Energy Center and the 165-MW Hackberry Wind Project. About 100 MW of the wind energy will be used to provide the electricity consumed by city facilities, a goal established earlier this year under the city's Climate Protection Plan. The remaining wind energy will become available to consumers through the utility's GreenChoice program, which has been fully subscribed and unable to accept new customers since early 2006. Under the program, consumers can purchase renewable energy at a fixed price for up to 10 years.

Additional Information - Austin's Climate Protection Plan (PDF 34 KB) Download Adobe Reader

News Article - Austin Energy boosting wind generated power

News Release - GreenChoice® #1 in Nation—Again

August 2006 - H-E-B, a Texas-based grocery chain, is purchasing 27.6 million kWh of green power annually through Austin Energy's GreenChoice Program, making the chain one of the top retail company purchasers of green power nationally, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership. The green power is supplied from wind and landfill gas facilities, and represents about 25% of the total electricity used by the company's facilities in the Austin region. H-E-B also offers E-85, a blended fuel mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, at several of its gas stations.

News Release - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Recognizes H-E-B as a Top Green Power Purchaser among Retailers

News Article - H-E-B's Austin Stores Recognized for "Thinking Green"

January 2006 - Austin Energy's GreenChoice green power program has become so popular that the city has been forced to implement a lottery for its customers "to win entry" into the program. Austin Energy is one of only a handful of U.S. utilities that protect their green pricing customers from fossil fuel price fluctuations; GreenChoice customers pay a fixed-price green rate, currently 3.5¢/kWh, which substitutes for the utility's fuel charge. When recently the utility increased its fuel charge to 3.634¢/kWh, GreenChoice customers found themselves paying 0.134¢/kWh less for green power than other customers pay for the standard electricity service.

On January 12, the City Council adopted a resolution that calls for the Austin City Manager to allocate an equal share of the remaining renewable energy supply among the three customer classes — residential, small commercial and large commercial — and conduct a drawing to select participants. The resolution also calls for Austin Energy "to ensure that additional supplies of renewable energy are procured expeditiously so that customers will have the ongoing opportunity to participate in the GreenChoice program."

News Article - Get It While It's Green

More Information - City Council Resolution on the Austin Energy GreenChoice Program (PDF 98 KB)

November 2005 - Utility customers participating in green pricing programs that offer some form of protection from fossil-fuel price changes are finding that their green power premiums are shrinking or even turning negative. For example, as of November 1, Colorado customers participating in Xcel Energy's Windsource program are paying 0.66¢/kWh less for wind energy than for "regular" electricity because of an increase in the utility's energy cost adjustment (ECA). Since the ECA announcement, Xcel has sold out of its remaining available wind energy supply and has established a waiting list for new program signups.

In Oklahoma, OG&E Electric Services customers purchasing the OG&E Wind Power product now pay 0.13¢/kWh less for wind energy than for traditional electricity and customers of Edmond Electric's pure&simple wind power program now pay 0.33¢/kWh less. Both utilities adjust their fuel charge monthly. Finally, in September, Austin Energy announced an increase in its fuel charge, which will bring the rate for its most recent GreenChoice product offering to near parity with the standard electric rate.

News Release - Fuel Charge Increase Coming

News Article - Energy Bargain Blowing in the Wind

October 2005 - AMD, a leading supplier of computer microprocessors and memory, announced that it has committed to purchase renewable energy to meet 100% of the electricity needs of its Austin operations for the next 10 years, including its new Austin Campus, which is expected to be operational in 2007. AMD was one of the first companies in Austin to purchase green power through Austin Energy's GreenChoice program and has expanded its purchases over time. Currently, AMD purchases more than 52 million kWh of green power annually from Austin Energy, making it the 12th largest purchaser in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership program.

The company's green power purchases have helped reduce overall corporate energy costs because the green power is purchased at a fixed rate over the life of the contract. Globally, AMD has committed to reduce its energy use by 30%, water use by 40%, and greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by the end of 2007, relative to 2002 performance levels.

News Release - AMD To Use 100 Percent Renewable Energy In Austin

News Article - AMD turns greener

News Article - Computer-chip maker becomes Texas' largest user of renewable energy

News Article - AMD to power all its Austin operations with renewable sources

October 2005 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) honored a group of organizations committed to advancing the development of green power markets in the United States. The annual Green Power Leadership Awards, recognizing leading national green power purchasers and suppliers, were presented on October 24 at the Tenth National Green Power Marketing Conference in Austin, Texas.

EPA and DOE presented awards for green power purchasing to 29 organizations. The highest honor in purchasing, the Green Power Partner of the Year Award, was presented to HSBC North America, Johnson & Johnson, the U.S. Air Force and WhiteWave Foods Company. Additional Purchaser Award winners included: Alameda County, California; Aspen Skiing Company; the Atlantic Golf division of the Brick Companies; Dagoba Organic Chocolate; FedEx Express Oakland, California Hub Facility; City of Fresno, Calif.; Green Mountain Coffee Roasters; Harvard University; the Hyatt Regency Dallas and the Hyatt Regency Dallas-Fort Worth; Mohawk Fine Papers; Safeway Inc.; St. Francis Winery and Vineyard; Starbucks Coffee; The University of Minnesota, Morris; the City of Vallejo, Calif.; Western Washington University; Whole Foods Market – Rocky Mountain Region; and the World Bank Group.

Seven awards were also presented to organizations demonstrating notable success in marketing and encouraging green power program participation. The highest honor, Green Power Program of the Year, was presented to Austin Energy's GreenChoice Program for the second consecutive year. Other Supplier Award winners included 3 Phases Energy; Enel North America, Inc.; Florida Power & Light; PacifiCorp's Blue Sky Program; PECO WIND and Community Energy; and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

CRS presented Green Power Market Development Awards to organizations and individuals showing leadership in building and shaping the market for renewable energy. Recipients included 3 Phases Energy, Gainesville Regional Utilities, Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Blair Swezey of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

More Information - 2005 Award Ceremony Booklet (PDF 1.1 MB) Download Acrobat Reader

February 2005 - Austin Energy announced that it has entered into a 12-year contract to purchase 128 MW of wind energy from a new facility located in Nolan County, TX, which will more than double the amount of wind energy used to supply its GreenChoice program. Including this purchase, Austin Energy now contracts for 215 MW of wind energy from West Texas, as well as 11 MW of output from landfill gas generation facilities located near Austin and San Antonio.

Currently, about 7,400 residential customers and 300 Austin businesses participate in the GreenChoice program through which they collectively purchase 380 million kWh of renewable energy annually. Renewable energy now supplies up to 6.5% of the utility's overall energy requirements. The City has established a goal of meeting 20% of its electricity needs with renewables by 2020.

News Release - Austin Energy Doubles Size of its Clean Energy Portfolio

Austin Energy Contact: Carol Harwell (512) 322-6562

October 2004 - At a ceremony held during the Ninth National Green Power Marketing Conference in Albany, New York, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued Green Power Leadership Awards to 19 purchasers and six suppliers. The awards are designed to recognize the actions of individuals, companies, and organizations that are significantly advancing the development of renewable electricity sources through voluntary green power markets.

Among green power purchasers, Montgomery County (Maryland), Staples Inc., Silk, Clif Bar, and the U.S. General Services Administration received Green Power Partner of the Year Awards—the highest purchasing honor given. In addition, the following purchasers were recognized for their substantial green power purchase commitments: Salt Lake City, Johnson & Johnson, New York Municipal Wind Buyers Group, College of the Atlantic, Whole Foods, Interface, Inc., Alterra Coffee Roasters, Lundberg Family Farms, Edwards Air Force Base, Harbec Plastics, California State University at Hayward, Mauna Lani Resort, Rodney Strong Vineyards, and the City and County of San Francisco, Moscone Convention Center.

Among green power suppliers, Austin Energy received the Green Power Program of the Year award, the highest honor. Lenox Municipal Utilities, PaloAltoGreen, Calpine, The Energy Cooperative of Pennsylvania, and PPM Energy, Inc. were also recognized for their substantial achievements as green power suppliers.

The Center for Resource Solutions issued recognition awards for outstanding leadership in building and shaping the market for renewable energy. Green Power Market Development Awards were presented to the following individuals and organizations: Western Washington Green Power Campaign, World Resources Institute, and Rob Harmon of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. Honorable Mention awards were presented to the Maine Green Power Connection, and Alan Apt and Jim Welch of Fort Collins, Colorado.

News Release - 2004 Green Power Leadership Award Winners EPA, DOE, CRS To Honor National Green Power Leaders

February 2004 - On January 8, the Austin City Council approved an increase in the "green power charge" under which customers can subscribe to Austin Energy's GreenChoice renewable energy program. The increase, from 2.85¢/kWh to 3.3¢/kWh, will apply to new program subscribers only; current subscribers will continue to pay the lower green power rates established in earlier phases of the program. GreenChoice subscribers pay the green power charge rather than the normal fuel charge on that portion of their usage subscribed to green power. The current fuel charge is 2.796¢/kWh, making the effective green power premium about 0.5¢/kWh for new subscribers. The green power charge remains fixed for the term of the utility's renewable energy contracts, which is generally 10 years.

Austin Energy attributes the rate increase to a combination of factors, including higher contract costs for wind energy because of transmission congestion costs and ERCOT fees, the costs of servicing new subscribers with spot market purchases until the new wind resources are developed, and inclusion of marketing and servicing costs.

Austin Energy Contact: Carol Harwell (512) 322-6562

October 2003 - Austin Energy announced that the Austin Independent School District has committed to the largest purchase of green power to date through the utility's GreenChoice program. Under the agreement, the school district will purchase 45 million kWh of green power annually, or enough to meet 30% of its annual electricity needs. According to the school district Superintendent, the purchase is a "wise investment for Austin schools" because the price of the green energy is fixed through 2011. During 2000 and 2001, the district was forced to double its utility budget as a result of increases in the price of natural gas.

Austin Energy contracts for 86 MW of wind energy and 10 MW of landfill gas to supply the GreenChoice program. In September, the Austin City Council approved plans to add another 93 MW of wind energy to the program's resource mix. The new wind projects, which are scheduled for construction by 2005, will also enable the utility to meet the city council's goal of deriving 5% of its generation from renewable energy sources.

News Release - Austin School District to make largest purchase of renewable energy; subscription also largest in nation by a school district

July 2003 - Austin Energy announced that Concordia University, located in Austin, TX, has become the first college or university in the nation to subscribe to 100% green power for all of its power needs. The 77 year-old Lutheran school has enrolled in the utility's GreenChoice Program to supply all of the 5.5 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity it uses annually. Concordia will use energy efficiency improvements to offset the additional cost of the green power.

News Release - A Green Power First for the Nation

Austin Energy Contact: Carol Harwell (512) 322-6562

June 2003 - Austin Energy announced that it plans to increase the fuel charge component of its electricity rate in three phases over the next year because of higher natural gas prices and the prolonged outage of one of its nuclear generating units. However, customers who purchase all of their electricity through the utility's GreenChoice program will see no rate impact from the fuel charge increase. This is because GreenChoice customers pay a fixed green power charge in place of the utility's fuel charge. For most GreenChoice customers, the premium paid for green power will fall from its current level of 1.076¢/kWh to just 0.054¢/kWh once the entire fuel charge increase takes effect.

News Article - Austin Energy Fuel Charge to Increase, Will Still Be Among Lowest in State

Austin Energy Contact: Carol Harwell (512) 322-6562

March 2002 - Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), a leading supplier of personal computer processors and memory, has doubled its purchase of renewable energy from Austin Energy's GreenChoice program, making it the largest green power subscriber in the program and among the largest in the nation. AMD is now purchasing 24 million kWh of renewable energy annually or enough to power 2,000 average Austin homes year-round.

A key feature of the Austin program is that the green rate is fixed for 10 years, which is the duration of the utility's green power supply contracts, providing subscribers with a hedge against increases in the price of natural gas and other generation fuels. Austin Energy has power purchase contracts for the output of 59 wind turbines in West Texas and four landfill methane projects under development in Texas. More than 6,600 residential customers, 125 small business and 30 large companies currently participate in the program.

News Release - AMD Becomes Largest Subscriber Of Green Power From Austin Energy

Fact Sheet - AMD Austin, Texas: An Industry Leader in EPA's Green Power Partnership (PDF 276 KB) Download Acrobat Reader

Austin Energy Contact: Carol Harwell (512) 322-6562

October 2001 - With the completion of 59 new wind turbines in west Texas, Austin Energy is now receiving a total of 76.7 MW of wind capacity to serve customers of its GreenChoice program, making it the top U.S. utility green pricing program in the country in terms of new renewable capacity supply. The utility has also contracted to purchase 13 MW of power from landfill methane projects scheduled to come on-line next spring and hopes to add another 25 MW of wind generation in 2002.

More than 6,000 residential customers and 140 businesses are participating in GreenChoice, purchasing nearly 200 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually. A key feature of the program is that subscribers are protected from fuel cost increases for 10 years, which is the duration of the utility's green power supply contracts. Currently, GreenChoice customers pay 0.6¢/kWh more than the utility's standard fuel charge, which is the smallest green pricing premium charged among U.S. utilities.

News Release - Austin in Forefront of Green Power Movement

News Release - Giant wind turbine passes through Austin; 59 turbines to be built for Austin Energy - No longer online at

Austin Energy Contact: Carol Harwell (512) 322-6562

November 2000 - On October 26, the Austin City Council decided to expand Austin Energy's GreenChoice program by 56.7 MW through the purchase of additional wind energy. The utility will now supply nearly 100 MW of new renewables to its customers through the program with most of the energy coming from wind. Through the expanded wind power purchase, Austin Energy expects to meet 53% of its projected load growth between 2000-2003 through new renewable energy sources and savings from energy efficiency.

News Release - Austin Energy to expand wind power; Project part of the largest in the world - No longer online at

Austin Energy Contact: Carol Harwell (512) 322-6562

October 2000 - Just 10 months after officially launching its GreenChoice green pricing option, Austin Energy has fully subscribed the initial 40 MW of renewable energy supply. The utility plans to seek additional renewable energy supplies to expand the program.

In total, nearly 3,000 customers have signed up for the service. Unlike with many other utility green pricing programs, business customers have committed to purchase a majority of the available power—nearly 85%—with one company alone committing to 60% of the initial green power pool.

As a result of two recent fuel cost adjustments, Austin's green power premium has been declining. Because GreenChoice customers are exempt from the utility's fuel charge, subscribers would actually be paying 0.5¢/kWh less for green power today than for standard service. However, customers will not begin paying for the program until power begins to flow next year from a combination of landfill methane and wind projects.

News Release - Initial Green Power Program Reaches 100% Participation - No longer online at

News Release - Rising Natural Gas Prices Increase Fuel Charge; Lower Winter Rates Used to Minimize Impact - No longer online at

September 2000 - Austin Energy, which already had the lowest green pricing rate among electric utilities for power generated from 100% new renewable energy projects, has reduced its rate even further because of rising natural gas prices. Subscribers to the utility's GreenChoice product are exempt from a recently imposed fuel charge increase of 3.9%, or $2.63 per month for the average customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month. Given that GreenChoice customers were being asked to pay an extra 0.4¢/kWh, or $4.00 per month on average, the green power premium is now 0.137¢/kWh, or $1.37 per month. Residential and small business subscribers will receive 100% of their power needs from renewable energy sources when the power becomes available in 2001—Austin has contracted for 20 MW of wind power and 20 MW from landfill methane projects.

News Release - Skyrocketing Natural Gas Prices Require Fuel Charge Increase - No longer online at

Austin Energy Contact: Carol Harwell (512) 322-6562

January 2000 - In what shapes up as one of the most ambitious utility green pricing efforts to date, Austin Energy officially launched a program that will supply its customers with 40 MW from new renewable resources, which is enough power to serve 20,000 homes. Under the GreenChoice program, residential and business customers will pay a premium of 0.4¢/kWh to receive 100% renewable energy, which is among the smallest green pricing premiums charged by utilities. In addition, Austin Energy will match participants' subscriptions dollar-for-dollar. The utility commitment will result in the construction of 12 large wind turbines and six landfill gas projects. The city also plans to add to its current stock of 27 solar installations.

In 1999, the Austin City Council adopted a resolution calling for 5% of Austin's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2005 — the GreenChoice program will raise the amount of renewable energy in the city's portfolio from 0.5% to about 2.5%. Texas' electricity restructuring law requires all for-profit retail sellers of electricity to obtain 3% of their power supplies from renewable resources by 2009. However, as a municipal utility, Austin Energy is exempt from the requirement unless it opts to participate in the competitive market.

News Release - Austin Energy To Lead Nation In Renewables; Greenchoice Helps To Clean Up Atmosphere - No longer online at

July 1999 - The Austin City Council has authorized Austin Energy to negotiate contracts to purchase electricity from wind and landfill gas facilities to fuel its forthcoming "Green Power Program." Austin Energy will negotiate ten-year contracts for the purchase of as much as 77,000 MWh of wind energy and 150,000 MWh of landfill gas electricity, enough power to serve 22,000 typical households. Starting in September, the utility plans to offer customers an option to purchase the green power at a premium of 0.4¢/kWh and will match each dollar received from customer subscriptions to purchase additional renewable power. The utility hopes to obtain 5% of its power from renewables by the end of 2004 compared to 0.5% today.

News Release - Green Power Program to be Launched

April 1999 - On Earth Day, Austin Energy unveiled a comprehensive plan to increase its purchases of power from renewable resources. The "green power" initiative includes a plan to spend $1 million or 2% of actual net revenue, whichever is greater, to purchase up to 100 megawatts (MW) of renewable power annually for all customers. At 100 MW per year, renewables would represent about 4% of Austin Energy's energy mix; the utility's goal is to reach 5% by the end of 2004.

The municipally owned utility also announced plans to initiate a new, voluntary green power purchasing program in the Fall. Funds collected will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the utility to purchase additional green power beyond the 100-MW commitment.

In January, Austin Energy issued a request for pricing (see February 1999 below) for the planned 100-MW purchase. In response, the utility received 12 bids to supply power from a mix of wind, landfill gas, solar, geothermal and biomass resources. Austin Energy is currently evaluating the bids and plans to make recommendations to the Austin City Council in May.

Austin Energy also dedicated the third solar power facility developed through its Solar Explorer Program. Nearly 1,000 families, individuals and businesses are participating in the program, which supports the installation of photovoltaic systems around the city. The latest system will generate 111 kW of power for the Austin grid from a ground-mounted system located at the new Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

News Release - Austin Energy Celebrates Earth Day With Solar Dedication and Unveils Plan to Become Green Power Provider - No longer online at

February 1999 - Austin Energy, the City of Austin's municipally owned electric utility, has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the purchase of up to 100 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy. The utility is soliciting bids from renewable energy providers for both a fixed amount of renewable energy annually and a variable amount based on customer demand for the utility's green pricing program. The green pricing portion of the RFP solicits a detailed marketing plan for promoting renewable energy in the Austin area. The RFP defines renewables to include power generated from solar, wind, hydro or landfill methane gas recovery. Proposals are due on February 24, 1999.

News Release - Austin Energy Seeks to Increase Renewables - No longer online at

Austin Energy RFP Contact: Bob Kahn (512) 322-6514

September 1998 - On August 18, the City of Austin dedicated a 32-kW, PV installation developed through the Austin Energy Solar Explorer program. In addition to generating power for the Austin grid, the system provides shaded parking at a local "Park and Ride." The 640, 50-watt blocks of solar power were subscribed by more than 450 customer participants. Austin is planning two additional projects: a 10-kW installation that will be located at a city library and a 111-kW system at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

News Release - Austin Energy Dedicates Solar Power System - No longer online at

November 1997 - The City of Austin has opened its PV-based green pricing program to all customers classes and has changed the monthly price premium to $3.50 per 50-watt block. The utility changed the premium because some customers felt that the original $7.00 per month premium (for 100 watts) was too high, and to make the program accessible to a larger customer base.

May 1997 - As of May 1, 1997, the City of Austin's PV Friendly Pricing program had about 50 participants.

March 1997 - The City of Austin has developed its green-pricing program under the Utility PhotoVoltaic Group Technology Experience to Accelerate Markets in Utility Photovoltaics (TEAM-UP) PV Friendly Pricing program. The program will be very similar to Detroit Edison's SolarCurrents program. Customers will have the opportunity to purchase 100-W increments of power from photovoltaic systems that will be in three types of applications: shade structures for parking lots, ballast-mounted arrays, and flat-topped commercial buildings.

Austin Energy Contact: Carol Harwell (512) 322-6562


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