Austin-based Green Mountain Energy Company is celebrating the 10th anniversary of electric competition in Texas by recognizing its hundreds of thousands of customers who have chosen renewable energy. On January 1, 2002, the state of Texas opened its electricity market to full competition, allowing Texans the ability to choose their electric provider. As the first retail electric provider in the state to offer renewable energy and the longest serving green power provider in the U.S., Green Mountain has led the way in changing the way power is made.
“Opening the market to retail competition enabled Texans to not only choose their electric provider, but also choose the source of energy they want to support,” said Paul Thomas, president of Green Mountain Energy Company. “As the first electricity provider in Texas to offer renewable energy to residential and commercial customers, Green Mountain is proud of the role we have played in the growth of renewable energy in the state and the success Texas has modeled for other states. We’re especially thankful to all of our customers who have recognized the importance of clean energy and made the choice to support it.”
Green Mountain will be celebrating in 2012 with some of its first customers, who were among the earliest supporters of clean energy in Texas. The company will also be marking the anniversary through social media, customer engagement programs and at festivals and events throughout the year.
10th Anniversary of Texas Electricity Choice
Over the last 10 years, the Lone Star state has evolved into one of the most successful competitive energy markets in the nation:
• In 2008, 80% of registered voters in Texas favored a competitive electricity market1;
• By 2010, 55% of residential customers had exercised their power to choose and selected a competitive retail electric provider or product1;
• In 2011, the Texas market was described as the best retail market in the country for the fifth consecutive year and received a ranking of “Excellent” in the Annual Baseline Assessment of Choice in Canada and the United States (ABACCUS) report.
Recognizing the exponential growth in the renewable sector over the past decade in Texas, Paul Thomas said,“More and more, consumers are recognizing the critical role that clean energy can play both in the health of the environment and in our state’s economic future.”
• Renewable energy in Texas has grown from 1% of Texas’ overall electricity mix in 2002 to approximately 7% in 20102
• Solar energy alone generates over 8.2 million kilowatt hours (kWh) annually in the state, the equivalent of covering seven football fields with solar panels! 2
• The vast majority of the state’s growth in renewable energy since 2002 is due to wind, which has grown 10-fold from 2.6 million megawatt hours (MWh) to 26 million MWh.2
• Over the past decade, nearly three times as much wind energy has been produced in competitive markets than non-restructured markets3
1.Texas leads the nation in the amount of installed wind generation capacity; as of 2010, 6.4% of the state’s power was provided by wind4
• In 2010, nearly 10,000 jobs in the state were directly related to the wind energy industry5
Green Mountain’s Environmental Impact Since 2002
When Texas residents and businesses become Green Mountain customers, they help support the renewable energy industry and the development of clean energy sources like wind. Over the past 10 years, Green Mountain and its customers have made a positive impact on the environment and to the Texas economy, including:
• Delivery of more than 10.7 billion kWh of cleaner energy to Texas customers;
• Spurring the development of 32 new solar energy facilities at various schools and nonprofit organizations in Texas through the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club™;
• Avoiding nearly 8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which is the equivalent of:
1. not driving nearly 9 billion miles;
2. not plowing the entire state of Texas (172 million acres) with a diesel tractor;
3. not burning over 8 million barrels of crude oil;
4. 6.5 million Texas houses turning off their lights for a year.
Green Mountain continues to have aggressive growth goals, including new market expansion plans and new products and services for both its residential and commercial customers.
About Green Mountain Energy Company
Green Mountain (GreenMountain.com), the nation’s leading competitive retail provider of cleaner energy and carbon offset solutions, was founded in 1997 to “change the way power is made.” The company is the longest serving green power marketer in the U.S. Green Mountain offers consumers and businesses the choice of cleaner electricity products from renewable sources, such as wind, as well as a variety of carbon offset products. Green Mountain’s largest customer is the “world’s most famous office building,” the Empire State Building in New York City. Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid over 14.8 billion pounds of CO2 emissions. As a wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG), Green Mountain is backed by one of the nation’s largest renewable power producers.
1 PUC Chairman, Donna Nelson – Oct. 2011 speeches to Texas Wind Energy Workforce Summit and Gulf Coast Power Conference
2 EIA Net Generation by State by Type of Producer by Energy Source, Annual Back to 1990. Released Nov. 2011; equivalent based on photovoltaic solar capacity factor of 22.5% (NREL Renewable Energy Databook, Table 3.13) and average solar panel area of 100 sq.ft./kW.
4 AWEA Wind Energy Facts, published August, 2011
5 Perryman Group,“Winds of Prosperity” report, May 2010.