Friday, October 14, 2011

Austin's Power: The Texas Capital Is A Model For Clean Power Adoption

Via Fast Company -

How do you get people to use renewable energy when it’s more expensive than fossil-fueled power?

For answers to that question, you might want to look at places with high adoption rates for renewables. Austin, for instance.

This month, Texas’s capital became the largest municipality in the country to use only renewable energy. That's 100% of all of its energy. All the city’s public buildings, including its airport and water treatment plants, are now powered using wind from West Texas. In the last nine years, Austin Energy, the city’s publicly-owned utility, has produced more renewable energy than any in the country. And, the city is well on the way to sourcing 35% of all energy from renewables by 2020.

And yet Austin's consumers sometimes pay 15 to 25% more for electricity under the utility’s Greenchoice program than other customers. And the city government has paid $9 million a year extra to make the switch (from a total of bill of about $28 million). How come they’re willing to pay such a premium?

Well, not everyone has been that willing. Some voters and businesses have decried the move, saying it adds to living costs at a time when people can't afford expensive choices.

But Ed Clark, a spokesperson for Austin Energy, points to a long history of green activity, and the city’s high number of tech companies as supportive. “Austin has a tremendous emphasis on quality of life. There is not a single significant polluting industry in this entire community,” he says.


Read more of the story @ Fast Compnay

No comments:

Post a Comment