Ten Palo Alto neighborhoods have helped the city garner first place for renewable-energy participation in a federal Department of Energy ranking of effective renewable-energy programs.
PaloAltoGreen has won the first-place rating by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory 2010 Top 10 for the sixth consecutive year.
About 21.5 percent of the city's Public Utilities customers participate in the voluntary program, which offers residential, commercial and industrial customers energy from 100 percent wind and solar sources for an additional 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour.
The city also ranked fourth in green-power sales as a percentage of its retail electricity sales. PaloAltoGreen customers purchased renewable energy equaling 7.4 percent of the electricity the public utility sold in 2010.
The top ten neighborhoods participating in the renewable-energy program in 2010 were (by percentage):
Crescent Park: 34.88
College Terrace: 34.32
Community Center: 34.26
Duveneck/St. Francis: 33.75
Leland Manor/Garland: 32.71
Barron Park: 32.45
Palo Verde: 29.99
More than 200 businesses have also joined PaloAltoGreen, including SAP Labs, HP, Lockheed Martin, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, TIBCO, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Vi at Palo Alto, IDEO and the City of Palo Alto, according to the city.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable-energy and energy-efficiency research and development.
"Participating in utility green power programs is one way that consumers can support renewable energy development. These utilities are national leaders," Lori Bird, laboratory senior analyst, said.
Each year the laboratory releases its "Top 10" rankings of the nation's best performing utility renewable-energy programs. Such programs allow electricity consumers to purchase energy generated from renewable resources such as wind, biomass and solar.