January 25, 2016 -- The City of Houston is in the top spot on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) Top 30 Local Government list of the largest green power users from the Green Power Partnership. The City is using nearly one billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which represents over 75% percent of its total power needs. In addition, the City of Houston, is generating green power from an on-site solar and wind energy systems. The City's choice to use green power is helping to advance the green power market and support clean renewable energy alternatives.
Houston has signed an agreement with Reliant Energy, an NRG Energy company, to increase its purchase of Green-E certified renewable energy credits. The City will be using more than 950,000 MWh of green power per year, which, according to U.S. EPA, is equivalent to the amount of kilowatt-hours needed to supply more than 87,000 homes each year.
Green power is zero-emissions electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass, and low-impact hydro. Using green power helps build demand for the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and helps users reduce their carbon footprints.
“We are proud to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for our green power use,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “By making the choice to use clean, renewable energy, our organization becomes more sustainable, while also sending a message to others across the United States that using green power is a sound business decision and an important tool in reducing one’s carbon footprint in the fight against climate change.”
In addition to the City of Houston's spot on the Top 30 Local Government list, the City of Houston, TX also appears as No. 6 on the National Top 100 list. This green power commitment also qualifies City of Houston, TX for EPA’s Green Power Leadership Club, a distinction organizations earn by significantly exceeding EPA’s minimum green power use requirements.
“The EPA is pleased to recognize the City of Houston, TX as a leading Green Power Partner and applauds its purchase of green power, leadership among local governments, and support of the voluntary renewable energy market,” said James Critchfield, program director of EPA’s Green Power Partnership.
Recent sustainability initiatives that the City has approved include:
- Adopting an anti-idling ordinance for motor vehicles with a gross vehicle rating of more than 14,000 lbs;
- Establishing a commercial Property Assess Clean Energy (PACE) program to enable Houston owners of commercial, industrial and residential properties with five or more units to obtain low-cost, long-term loans for water conservation, energy-efficiency and renewable retrofits; and
- Moving forward with a 30 MW solar power purchase agreement for municipal operations.
About EPA’s Green Power Partnership
The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 1,300 Partner organizations voluntarily using billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies; small and medium sized businesses; local, state, and federal governments; and colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit https://www.epa.gov/greenpower.