August 4, 2010
City of Austin Ranks in Top 50 Nationwide for Renewable Energy;
Austin Energy Customers Whole Foods, Dell, Cisco in Top 10
The City of Austin municipal government is ranked among the Top 50 nationwide for purchases of renewable energy in rankings released this week by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Whole Foods Market, Dell Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. were all ranked in the top 10 for green power purchasing at their operations combined throughout the U.S., including operations in Austin.
The top 50 purchasers use more than 12 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, equivalent to avoiding the annual carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of 1 million average American homes. The rankings are at http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/toplists/top50.htm.
“Businesses and the public sector lead the way in greening the way electricity is made here in Austin,” said Karl R. Rábago, Austin Energy vice president for Distributed Energy Services and nationally recognized leader in green power market development, “and their commitment over the years is a solid foundation for the entire community reaching an ambitious 35% renewable energy goal by 2020.”
The City of Austin, ranked 50th, purchased more than 74 million kWh of renewable energy through Austin Energy’s GreenChoice program, the equivalent of powering more than 6,100 average-size homes in Austin year-round. The green power accounts for 17% of the City of Austin’s electricity use. The goal of the City’s Austin Climate Protection Plan is to have City municipal facilities powered 100% by renewable energy by 2012. City of Austin facilities account for more than 428 million kWh of electricity use annually.
Whole Foods Market ranked third nationwide with 817 million kWh of green power used in its operations throughout the United States. Dell Inc. ranked fifth with more than 431 million kWh for operations in the U.S. and Cisco Systems Inc. ranked seventh with more than 400 million kWh in the U.S. Locally, Whole Foods, Dell and Cisco Systems all subscribe to green power from Austin Energy.
The goal of Austin Energy is to meet 35% of its generation needs with renewable energy by 2020. Currently, about 10% of its generation is met with renewable energy. Austin Energy’s green power program, GreenChoice, has led the nation in voluntary renewable energy sales by a utility-sponsored program for eight years in a row. GreenChoice currently has more than 10,100 subscribers purchasing more than 775 million kWh of renewable energy annually, the equivalent of powering more than 64,000 homes in Austin year-round. Visit www.austinenergy.com for more information about GreenChoice and other Austin Energy programs.