Green Power Sales Increased 20% in 2008 – NREL

Green power sales in 2008 increased by about 20% over 2007, according to new figures released by the Department of Energy.

The DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released its
annual assessment of leading utility green power programs, showing that
more than 850 utilities across the U.S. now offer green power programs.

Under these voluntary programs, consumers can choose to help
support additional electricity production from renewable resources such
as wind and solar.

According to the NREL analysis, some of the most popular programs account for up to 5% of total electricity sales.

Wind is the primary source of electricity generated for green energy programs, NREL said.

"Despite the economic downturn, utility green power sales continued to
expand nationally last year," said NREL senior energy analyst Lori
Bird. "These utilities are the national leaders."

Using information provided by utilities, NREL developed "Top 10"
rankings of utility programs for 2008 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.

Top Programs

Ranked by renewable energy sales (kWh/year), the green power program of Austin Energy (Texas) is first in the nation. Rounding out the top five are Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) (Ore.), PacifiCorp (AMEX: PPW-P) (Oregon and five other states), Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) (Minnesota and seven other states), and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (Calif.).

Ranked by the percentage of customer participation, the top utilities are City of Palo Alto Utilities (Calif.), Lenox Municipal Utilities (Iowa), Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR), Madison Gas and Electric Company (Wis.), and Silicon Valley Power (Calif.). (See attached tables for additional rankings).

In 2008, total utility green power sales exceeded 5 billion
kilowatt-hours (kWh). More than 600,000 customers are participating in
utility programs nationwide.

"Participating in green power programs is one way that consumers
can reduce their environmental footprint," NREL analyst Claire Kreycik,
who co-authored the report.

NREL analysts attribute the success of many programs to
persistent marketing and creative marketing strategies, including some
utility partnerships with independent green power marketers. In
addition, the rate premium that customers pay for green power continues
to drop.

To see ranking figures, visit the link below.

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