Going green: Sometimes, It Takes a City

Going green: Sometimes, It Takes a City

Abby Stone
Jul 24, 2008

Today, Ana's focusing on the programs implemented by the city of Austin in an effort to go green. Tell us what you think in the comments.
ataus-072408-green01.jpg.jpgThis month, Apartment Therapy readers have been sharing all of the ways they're going green @ home. Little changes that individuals make can really add up. So imagine what can happen when an entire community makes a commitment to conserving energy and water. Take a look at -- and maybe find inspiration in -- what Austin's doing ...

One popular program involves signing up for a free programmable Power Partner thermostat. In exchange, residents allow Austin Energy to coordinate the "cycling" of your air conditioner with others to reduce demand for electricity.

Residents can also buy steeply discounted rain barrels directly from the city.

In addition, Austin Energy's GreenChoice program is considered the nation's most successful utility-sponsored green power program. (At one point it was so popular that residents had to enter a lottery for a chance to sign up.) Program participants pay a little more on their utility bills, which allows the city to buy more electricity from clean, renewable sources, including wind farms in West Texas.

The city also offers appliance rebates, free materials and installation of home energy improvements, energy audits, and workshops and resources on green building.

So, what kind of green programs does your city have?

-Ana

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