Austin, TX -- This morning, Sierra Club’s Lone Star Chapter hosted a telepresser to discuss to the recently launched Texas Clean Energy Scorecard, which grades Texas utilities based on their commitment and investments to renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. This new interactive tool is the first of its kind in Texas and allows electricity consumers to learn about electricity production in Texas, how their utilities are performing, and how they can do better.
Texas produces and consumes more electricity than any other state in the US and has enormous wind and solar production resources, as well as the ability to expand energy efficiency programs throughout the state. This raises an important question on how Texas utilities are living up to the state’s potential to transition away from its reliance on fracked natural gas and coal production to clean energy.
Texas is the largest energy and electricity producer and consumer in the US by far, and is also the leading state in terms of carbon dioxide and other pollution coming from our electricity sector, but our potential to invest in clean, renewable energy resources is larger than any other state, as is our potential to save energy through energy efficiency efforts.
Sierra Club spent the past year compiling and analyzing data from Texas utilities. The scorecard’s findings show that the majority of Texas utilities are not doing enough and are underperforming. Only five utilities scored above a 60 out of a 100. However, the Chapter expects to see improvements in 2020.
The scorecard grades Texas’ major electric utilities and providers based on their clean energy initiatives and energy efficiency investments. The scorecard assesses efforts of approximately 40 retail electric providers in the competitive market, 18 electric cooperatives, 10 municipal utilities, and nine investor-owned utilities. The scorecard grades are on a 100 point scale.
“The Texas Clean Energy Scorecard will be updated in early 2020 with new data and we expect that there will be progress, said Cyrus Reed, Lone Star Chapter Conservation Director and Interim Director. Some of these same companies have told us they are either in the midst of signing big contracts or they intend to do major clean energy investments in the coming months and years-- and we expect that Texas consumers will respond and demand clean energy now.”
This website takes dense and intricate data and makes it easily understood for Texans who want to know more about their utilities and hold them accountable to renewable energy goals.The Chapter hopes to see improvements from some of the top scoring utilities, including CPS Energy that reins over San Antonio.
“I was pleased to read through the scores and descriptions of CPS Energy and see that while CPS Energy has done some good things on local solar and low-income weatherization, they only received a 65 and have much more they could be doing to reduce local and global pollution and move toward clean energy,” said Russell Seal, Member of the Climate Action San Antonio Coalition, “CPS continues to plan to rely on dirty coal plants.”
A recording of the telepresser can be found here.
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.