The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Green Power, or renewable energy program, retains its first-place ranking as the number one utility, with 87,000 customers, the most in the nation, according to an updated listing released by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).LOS ANGELES, California 2002-03-15 [SolarAccess.com] NREL also announced that LADWP ranked second in participation rate of customers signed up and third in the amount of green power purchased. More than 90 utilities in 31 states offer green pricing programs, according to NREL. “The LADWP is a strong advocate of green power initiatives and programs that drive adoption of renewable energy. It’s wonderful to see L.A. residents embrace these programs and for the Department, the nation’s largest municipal utility, and to be recognized by the NREL for having an active interest in the environment,” said LADWP General Manager David H. Wiggs. The Green Power program has resulted in reducing greenhouse gases by 70 million pounds annually. The LADWP Green Power Program is open to all customers — low income, residential, commercial and industrial. Low-income customers are able to sign up without cost as they are allocated 100 percent from existing renewables. Residential customers pay an average of US$3 per month for new green power covering 20 percent of their purchase of new green power and are allocated 80 percent from existing renewables at no additional cost. They also receive two compact fluorescent light bulbs to lower their energy usage when they sign up for green power. Commercial and industrial customers may sign up for as little as US$30 per month, up to 100 percent new green power. Major companies and organizations that have signed up for Green Power include Loyola-Marymount University, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Kaiser-Permanente, the Episcopal Diocese in Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Many low-income customers who signed up for the program did so due to the award-winning Neighborhood Bill Reduction Service Program (NBRS). Under this effort, cited by the California Municipal Utility Association (CMUA) in 2000 as the best use of public benefit funds, community-based organizations conducted home energy and water surveys of low-income customers. Customers received free energy and water-saving devices and also the opportunity to sign up for Green Power. More than 125,000 low-income customers have participated in the NBRS program in 2000 and 2001. NBRS has resulted in annual savings of more than 35 million kWh and 35 million pounds of greenhouse gases. In addition, NBRS resulted in reduced utility bills of US$350,000 to low-income customers. Plans call for a new NBRS program to begin later this year. The LADWP Green Power Program purchases new Renewable Energy, or green power, from clean non-polluting sources such as wind, solar and biomass resources. The program purchases the amount of energy based on funds provided by customers who have chosen to participate in the program. People outside the LADWP area may also purchase green power in Los Angeles through the purchase of “Green Power Certificates.” Certificates may be purchased for as little as US$5. Proceeds from the sale of certificates go directly for the purchase of new green power.