Washington, DC [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released its annual ranking of leading utility green power programs.Using information provided by utilities, NREL develops the Top 10 rankings of utility programs in the following categories: total sales of renewable energy to program participants, total number of customer participants, customer participation rate and the lowest price premium charged for a green pricing service using new renewable resources. In Green Power Program Renewable Energy Sales, from the top: Austin Energy (wind, landfill gas); Portland General Electric (PGE — existing geothermal and hydro, wind); Florida Power & Light (FPL — landfill gas, biomass, solar); PacifiCorp (wind, biomass, solar); Xcel Energy (wind); Basin Electric Power Cooperative (wind); Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD — wind, landfill gas, small hydro); National Grid (biomass, wind, small hydro, solar); OG&E Electric Services (wind); and Puget Sound Energy (PSE — wind, solar, biogas). Customer choice programs are proving to be a powerful stimulus for growth in renewable energy supply. In 2006, total utility green power sales exceeded 3.5 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), about a 30% increase over 2005. More than 500,000 customers are participating in utility programs nationwide, up more than 10% from 2005. “Higher prices for conventional energy sources, as well as increasing environmental concerns, are focusing greater attention on renewable energy options,” said Blair Swezey, NREL principal analyst. In Total Number of Customer Participants, from the top: Xcel Energy, PacifiCorp, PGE, SMUD, PECO, FPL, LADWP, National Grid, PSE, and We energies. In Customer Participation Rate: City of Palo Alto Utilities, Lenox Municipal Utilities, Montezuma Municipal Light & Power, PGE, SMUD, Silicon Valley Power, Holy Cross Energy, Central Electric Cooperative, River Falls Municipal Utilities, and Orcas Power and Light Cooperative. Price Premium Charged for New, Customer-Driven Renewable Power, which includes only programs that have installed or announced firm plans to install or purchase power from 100% new renewable resources: Austin Energy (wind, landfill gas); OG&E Electric Services (wind); Edmond Electric (wind); Avista Utilities (wind, landfill gas, biomass); Indianapolis Power and Light (wind); Eugene Water and Electric Board (wind); Clallam County Public Utility District (landfill gas); PacifiCorp (wind, biomass, solar); Idaho Power (wind, solar); Mason County PUD 3 (wind); Sacramento Municipal Utility District (wind, landfill gas, hydro); and Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (wind, landfill gas, biomass). For data on which rankings are based, use first link below.