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Green utilities top ten list from NREL

The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) in Colorado has issued a list of America's top ten utility green power programs in each of four different categories. The winners include utilities well known for their green pricing programs, such as Wisconsin Electric, Madison Gas & Electric (MG&E), Wisconsin Public Service, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Public Service Co of Colorado, Sacramento Municipal Utility District's Greenergy, and Texas Utilities (TXU). Lesser known winners include Hawaiian Electric, the tiny utility Holy Cross Energy, and Orcas Power & Light. The programs were measured on the basis of the total number of customers participating, the customers who have signed up as a proportion of the utility's total customer base, the amount of new renewable energy development, and the premium charged for new renewable energy development. NREL lauded certain aspects of the winning programs. Wisconsin Electric, with 12,000 participants, was recognised for its use of wind, hydroelectric and landfill gas. MG&E won plaudits for its 4.7% participation rate and for having added 8.2 MW wind capacity. The Los Angeles municipal utility is ranked first for its success in signing up new customers. Since June 1999, the program has enrolled about 47,000. There are several dozen utility green pricing programs, in which customers volunteer to pay more in return for the utility using more green energy, in the US.

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