City of Palo Alto Receives Highest Renewable Energy Participation Rating in Nation

AEN News

Palo Alto, CA - PaloAltoGreen, the renewable energy program offered by the City of Palo Alto Utilities, has achieved the nation's highest participation rate, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 2005 Top Ten list. With 13.6% of utility customers enrolled, PaloAltoGreen has outperformed the national average of 1.3% participation for green pricing programs. This is the first year that PaloAltoGreen has achieved the #1 spot for best-in-nation participation.

"We are proud to be a community that makes a voluntary green power program, like PaloAltoGreen, the enormous success that it is," said Palo Alto Mayor, Judy Kleinberg. "This is just another example of Palo Altans' environmental stewardship in maintaining a safe, healthy and sustainable city."

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. Each year, NREL releases "Top 10" rankings of the nation's best performing renewable energy utility programs. Such programs allow electricity consumers to support electricity generated from renewable resources such as wind, biomass, and solar.

"PaloAltoGreen's No. 1 ranking establishes the program as a national leader in clean energy offerings in the utility industry," said Blair Swezey, Prinicipal Policy Advisor for NREL. "Green pricing programs are fulfilling the ever-increasing consumer demand for clean energy options and are indicative of the overall growth in renewable energy industries."

The popularity of this green power option has far exceeded expectations. A key to PaloAltoGreen's success has been the program's innovative implementation and the community's enthusiastic support. Offered through the City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) in partnership with 3 Phases Energy, the program takes a community-oriented approach and tracks the tangible environmental benefits of participation.

Business support for the program is also strong, confirming that supporting sustainable energy is good for business. More than 100 businesses have committed to PaloAltoGreen, including major corporations such as Agilent Technologies, CV Therapeutics, HP, Lockheed Martin, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Roche Palo Alto, and Schering-Plough Biopharma.

When customers choose to support 100% renewable energy for their home or business, CPAU buys Green-e® certified renewable energy on their behalf that supports wind resources in the West and solar resources in California, and even within the Palo Alto community. The renewable energy for PaloAltoGreen is supplied by 3 Phases Energy, a renewable energy company that also partners with CPAU in marketing the program to the community.

PaloAltoGreen is an example of a successful utility renewable energy option for customers that improves environmental quality and decreases dependence on fossil fuels, while rallying public support, pride and enthusiasm.