is Green Power?
The term "green power" generally refers to electricity supplied
in whole or in part from renewable energy sources, such as wind and
solar power, geothermal, hydropower, and various forms of biomass. Increasingly,
electricity customers are being given electricity supply options, either
as retail power markets open to competition or when their regulated
utilities develop green pricing programs. Many electricity customers
in Texas now have an option of purchasing a green power product directly
from their electricity supplier or by switching to a supplier with a
green power product. If such an option is not available, customers can
support renewable energy development through the purchase of renewable
By choosing to purchase a green power product, you can support increased
development of renewable energy sources, which can reduce the burning
of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas. Greater reliance
on renewable sources also provides economic benefits and can improve
our national energy security. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's
web site provides additional
discussion of the benefits of renewable energy.
I Buy Green Power in Texas?
Depending on where you live in Texas and who supplies your electricity,
you will be able to buy green power in at least one of the following
- Switch to a retail electric provider that offers green power. This option is available to Texas electricity customers located
in deregulated areas of the state. To see if switching is an option
for you, visit the Texas Electric
Choice website maintained by the Public Utilities Commission of
Texas. After you enter your ZIP code, this site will tell you whether
you can choose a retail electric provider, and, if so, what options
are available. Another way to compare the green power offerings against
each other and against other offerings is to visit the Power
Scorecard, a web-based information tool created by a coalition
of environmental groups that lets consumers compare the environmental
impacts of green power and conventional power products.
Can I Buy Green Power in My State?
This U. S. Department of Energy web site shows which organizations offer green power in Texas. Their information includes utility green pricing programs, retail green power products offered in competitive electricity markets, and renewable energy certificate (REC) products sold separately from electricity. Included are Green Mountain Energy Company, CPS Energy (San Antonio), Austin Energy Green Choice, El Paso Electric, TXU Energy, Reliant Energy, First Choice Power, and Gexa Energy.
- Request a green power option from your current electric utility. If you can't switch, your current electricity provider may have
already created a green power option. Some municipal utilities, rural
electric cooperatives, and investor-owned utilities now offer a green
Your Own Clean Electricity
A DOE web site. Generating electricity using your own small
renewable energy system fits the circumstances and values
of some home and small-business owners. Although it takes
time and money to research, buy, and maintain a system,
many people enjoy the independence they gain and the knowledge
that their actions are helping the environment. renewable
energy system can be used to supply some or all of your
electricity needs. Some people, especially those in remote
areas, use the electricity from their systems in place of
electricity supplied to them by power providers (i.e. electric
utilities). These are called stand-alone
How can you be sure that your green power purchase will benefit the
environment? Check these resources:
Clean is the Electricity You Use?
In the United States, electricity
is generated in many different ways, with a wide variation in
environmental impact. Traditional methods of electricity
production contribute to air quality problems and the risk of
global climate change. With the advent of electric customer
choice, many electricity customers can now choose the source
of their electricity. At this U. S. Environmental Protection Agency web site, you can use the Power
Profiler to generate a report about your own electricity
Energy Efficiency Assistance for Customers of Investor-Owned Utilities
Texas law requires investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to give their customers the opportunity to implement energy efficiency measures in their homes and/or business for lower utility bills. This is achieved by providing incentives to energy service companies and other providers of energy efficiency services to offset a portion of the up-front cost associated with energy efficiency measures. The web site provides links to these Texas IOUs: AEP, CenterPoint, Entergy, TXU, TNM, Xcel, El Paso.
Helpful Information and Links
Network - The Green Power Network provides news and
information on green power markets and related activities. The site
provides up-to-date information on green power providers, product
offerings, consumer protection issues, and policies affecting green
power markets. It also includes a reference library of relevant papers,
articles and reports. It is operated and maintained by the Department of Energy's National
Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Renewable Energy and Your Electric
A Fact Sheet from InfinitePower
Enter your zip code to find an electric provider in your
area. This is a Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) web site
where customers can choose the retail electric provider
that meets their own requirements. Some electric providers
offer lower rates, wind or solar power, or the promise of
better customer service. At this site customers can shop
and compare. Also see these PUCT videos on electric choice, and the Power Guide to Electric Choice - How it Works .
Return to Top of Page