Palo Alto Leading the Way in Green Energy Purchasing

From The Mercury News (registration required) comes a story about Palo Alto Green, a program that allows homeowners and businesses to “ensure that the electricity they consume is being replaced by energy from wind and solar power generators.” And while such programs exist in a number of places around the country, Palo Alto Green stands out for its participation level

Since its creation in 2003, the program has rallied the support of 13 percent of utilities customers in the city, and officials are shooting to boost that participation rate to 15 percent. And while this may seem just a fraction of the city, it is “leaps and bounds” ahead of the national average of just 1 percent, said Brian Ward, the program manager for Palo Alto Green. Some customers say the program is about making a statement in support of the environment.

Congrats to Palo Alto residents who recognize the wisdom of paying a little extra each month to support the development of green power options. At the same time, I can understand how some might be sceptical of such a program. So, is this just paying to feel good about yourself, or can programs like this help create more economic incentives for wider adoption of renewable power?

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