Houston Wins At Green Energy

The City of Houston is once again the top purchaser of green energy among local governments in the United States. Houston also ranks in the top ten renewable energy consumers in both the public and private sectors.

For the fourth straight year, the City of Houston is the leader in the amount of green energy it buys and uses.

In fact, the top three municipalities in the renewable energy arena are Houston, Austin and Dallas.

Houston Sustainability Director Laura Spanjian says the city also beats out companies like Starbucks and Hilton and even the U.S. Department of Energy.

“Thirty-three percent of our energy comes from wind farms in West Texas. And we’re looking to see if we can increase that percentage over the next year or so to maybe 50 percent. And if you add in the private sector, we’re number six in the country.”

Houston’s contract with Reliant Energy is up next year. The city will put out a Request for Proposals for a new contract, either with Reliant or another energy provider. Spanjian says part of the contract negotiations will involve upping the amount of green energy the city buys.

She says it’s not a coincidence that Houston, Austin and Dallas are the top municipalities on the list.

“What’s great about Texas is actually that wind is extremely affordable and it’s extremely cost-competitive. You know, solar is not for this state. California is the solar leader and Texas is the wind leader. In fact, if Texas were a country we would be the sixth largest wind producer in the world.”

Texas produces 10,000 megawatts of wind every year. The number one purchaser of green energy across all sectors is Intel Corporation.


Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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