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The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has selected the top 10 utilities in the U.S. that offer green power programs. NREL chooses leading utilities - out of more than 600 companies - under 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.

Under these voluntary programs, consumers can choose to help support additional electricity production from renewable resources, including wind. More than 500,000 customers are participating in utility programs nationwide - a more than 10% increase from 2005, NREL says.

Ranked by renewable energy sales, the green power program of Austin Energy is first in the nation, followed by Portland General Electric, Florida Power & Light, PacifiCorp and Xcel Energy. Ranked by customer participation rates, the top utilities are City of Palo Alto Utilities, Lenox Municipal Utilities, Montezuma Municipal Light & Power, Portland General Electric, and Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

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