Report Names Top Utilities With “Green Pricing” Programs

By William Atkinson | Nov 9, 2020

Each year since 2000, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, Colo., has compiled and reported data on electric utilities that offer “green pricing” programs to their customers. These programs allow homes and businesses to procure green power directly from their electric utilities.

The types of power available for green pricing programs include wind, solar, biomass and small hydro. The NREL identifies three types of green pricing programs: energy-based (by far the most common), contribution programs and capacity-based programs.

Energy-based programs allow customers to choose a discrete amount of energy to be supplied from renewable sources, either in 100-kilowatt-hour (kWh) “blocks” or as a fixed percentage of their monthly electric energy requirements. In fact, many utilities with energy-based programs allow customers to obtain 100% of their electricity use from green power sources.

Contribution programs allow customers to contribute to a utility-managed fund for renewable energy project development. Most of these programs are designed to help fund green power for community locations, such as schools.

Capacity-based programs offer their customers fixed blocks of electricity capacity generated from renewable energy sources.

The NREL has just released its report for 2019, which lists the top ten utilities in four categories: total green power sales, total green power customers, green power sales rates and green power participation rates.

The top ten utilities in total green power sales were: 1) Portland General Electric, Portland, Ore. (2,315,319 megawatt-hours [MWh]), 2) Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Sacramento, Calif. (1,189,504 MWh), 3) PacifiCorp, Portland, Ore. (911,579 MWh), 4) Xcel Energy Inc., Minneapolis. (843,686 MWh), 5) Austin Energy, Austin, Texas (775,702 MWh), 6) Puget Sound Energy, Bellevue, Wash. (570,580 MWh), 7) Silicon Valley Power, Santa Clara, Calif. (391,901 MWh), 8) Dominion Energy Virginia, Richmond, Va. (358,447 MWh), 9) Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tenn. (225,767 MWh) and 10) Consumers Energy, Cincinnati, (204,609 MWh).

The top ten utilities in total green power customers were: 1) Portland General Electric (225,492 customers), 2) Xcel Energy (145,565), 3) PacifiCorp (134,485), 4) Sacramento Municipal Utility District (71,867), 5) Puget Sound Energy (62,480), 6) Dominion Energy Virginia (33,640), 7) Austin Energy (23,720), 8) Consumers Energy (19,710), 9) We Energies, Milwaukee. (13,052) and 10) Seattle City Light, Seattle, (10,964).

The top ten utilities in green power sales rates were: 1) Portland General Electric (Green Source Program) (19.97%), 2) Sacramento Municipal Utility District (8.53%), 3) City of Oak Ridge Electric Department, Oak Ridge, Tenn. (7.39%), 4) PacifiCorp (7.06%), 5) Portland General Electric (C&I Clean Wind Program) (5.94%), 6) Alameda Municipal Power, Alameda, Calif. (5.61%), 7) Wellesley Municipal Light Plant, Wellesley, Mass. (4.65%), 8) River Falls Municipal Utilities, River Falls, Wis. (4.16%), 9) Columbus Water & Light, Columbus, Wis. (3.09%) and 10) Puget Sound Energy (2.91%).

The top ten utilities in green power participation rates (based on total megawatt-hours of green power sales) were: 1) Portland General Electric (25.53%), 2) River Falls Municipal Utilities (13.22%), 3) Alameda Municipal Power (11.84%), 4) Sacramento Municipal Utility District (11.23%), 5) Wellesley Municipal Light Plant (10.15%), 6) PacifiCorp (9.05%), 7) Silicon Valley Power (7.54%), 8) Muscoda Utilities, Muscoda, Wis. (5.80%), 9) Puget Sound Energy (5.41%) and 10) Stoughton Utilities, Stoughton, Wis. (5.02%).

About The Author

ATKINSON has been a full-time business magazine writer since 1976. Contact him at [email protected]

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