In a country that talks a lot about the need for clean power there sure is a lot of NIMBY attitude as well as extremely powerful lobbying against any serious move to utilizing clean power alternatives. So it is surprising to hear that there is one municipality in the country that uses only renewable energy, and even more surprising to hear that it is Austin, the capital of Texas.
We’re not just talking dribs and drabs here either as Austin can claim that 100% of it’s energy is coming from renewable sources. That’s all of its public buildings, it’s airport and the water treatment plants. All being powered using wind from West Texas.
In fact, the city’s publicly-owned utility, Austin Energy, has produced more renewable energy than any other power company in the country.
The utility first introduced its energy saving scheme back in 1982 and then a green building program in 1991, and its first wind program back in 1995 and even though Austin Energy’s customers sometimes pay 15 to 25% more for electricity under the Greenchoice program it seems to be a premium they are willing to pay.
For that though they also get a better sense of transparency over what the energy is costing over the duration of any contracts entered into by Austin Energy, as well as seeing their costs go down over the life of those contracts.
It also turns out that Austin isn’t alone when it comes to Texas cities and renewable energy programs. Both Houston and Dallas place in the EPA’s top 10 list of government clean power adopters.
via Fast Company