Low-carbon electricity plans get cheap in Texas 

Source: By James Osborne, Dallas Morning News • Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2015

While many green power choices are pricey, some consumer electricity plans are getting more affordable with time. In the last few years, renewables have become one of the cheapest options in Texas thanks to the state’s wind farms.

A review of state-run website PowertoChoose.org found that plans with 100 percent renewable energy made up three of the top 10 cheapest plans in Dallas.

“Generally, most green marketing programs tend to be at a cost premium. If you’re starting to see green power become competitive with regular power plans, that might be something newer than what we’ve been seeing on a national level,” said James Critchfield, director of U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership.

From 2001 to 2009, renewable energy plans like the one offered by Austin Energy cost customers an additional $50 a month compared with the additional $7.50 a month customers pay now. This year, Dallas-based TXU Energy offered a plan for customers to pay an additional $9.99 a month for renewable electricity.

Though renewable energy in Texas has flourished, renewable energy plans in most states continue to be pricey. Still, prices for wind energy across the country are gradually decreasing.

The American Wind Energy Association said that in the last five years, wind energy prices have dropped by more than 50 percent. Ultimately, this leads to customer cost savings, it said.

“What you see is if you build it, they will come,” said Tom “Smitty” Smith, Texas director of Public Citizen, a nonprofit. “And the price of energy will drop”.