May 9, 2014 -- The City of Houston uses more renewable energy than any other city in the U.S., according to new figures from the Environmental Protection Agency.
It's also in the top 10 list for renewable energy use against any type of organization along with some of the most forward thinking companies in the nation, including Apple and Google.
With 48 percent of energy required to power more than 300 public buildings coming from wind energy, the City of Houston was 9th in the EPA's list of green energy users.
Technology firm Intel came in first, getting 100 percent of its power from renewable sources. It uses a whopping 3 billion kilowatt hours annually.
Texas-based Whole Foods made it to fourth place. The company even gives energy back, getting 107 percent of its power from solar and wind.
Walmart made it to 6th place purely by size, committing to getting just 3 percent of its power needs from renewable sources.
Coming in just above the City of Houston was Apple Inc.
"We're really proud of it," said Laura Spanjian, director of the office of sustainability. "We started with 30 percent, we've increased that to 50 percent, the mayor felt is was very important for us to cut greenhouse gas emissions and set an example."
While the city coming in first in the list of local governments is impressive, other cities like Austin and Portland, Oregon, manage to get 100 percent of their energy from renewable sources. They only rank behind Houston because their total usage is less.
Spanjian said the plan is to expand the renewable energy program.
"We want to show that you can work on emissions goals and have a strong economy. The two are not incompatible," Spanjian said.
Earlier in the year, Mayor Annise Parker commited to reducing the city's greenhouse gas emissions by a further 10 percent and say they encourage Houstonians to follow suit by trying to reduce energy consumption particularly by driving less.
Parker told the C40 cities climate summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, in February that, "Houston has proven to the world that it can maintain its title as the energy capital of the world while at the same time pursuing green policies that lift our reputation as a world leader in sustainability."
The vast majority of Houston's carbon footprint is caused by building energy usage, transportation and waste, according to the city.
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