City Council Must Examine Green Energy Alternatives to Nuclear Expansion Before Vote

For Immediate Release
October 19, 2009

Groups propose a 10-point alternative plan that would cost less and create local jobs

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(San Antonio) At a press conference today, activists and energy experts called for San Antonio City
Council to vote against nuclear expansion because they have not compared the costs and benefits of a
comprehensive green plan to building additional reactors. The group presented a 10-point plan that could
provide more energy at lower cost and create thousands of local jobs.

“San Antonio could meet its energy needs at less cost through a combination of energy efficiency,
renewable energy with storage, and geothermal energy while putting local people to work,” said Amanda Haas
of the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center. “The STEP and Mission Verde plans, if enacted, will help us move
towards a sustainable energy future. However, the only plan before the City Council is a plan for more nuclear
reactors. We call on City Council to halt the push for nuclear reactors which would leave a legacy of radioactive
waste and instead pursue a safer, green energy future that will create thousands of local jobs in San Antonio
instead of exporting them to Bay City and Japan.”

“We have developed a 10-point plan that studies show would be cheaper than building the nuclear
reactors,” said Tom “Smitty” Smith of Public Citizen’s Texas office. “These alternatives would include more
weatherization, retrofits, building codes, lighting, solar, wind with storage, geothermal, biomass, natural gas
and combined heat and power. In combination, these resources could more than meet San Antonio’s energy
needs at costs below that of the additional reactors. The demand for electricity is down by 7% nationally from
2008-2009 and many new federal programs may decrease the demand for electricity even further. CPS’s own
projections for electricity demand have fallen. City Council should develop a comprehensive alternative plan
and see which is cheaper before they vote on what could be $6.5 billion dollar mistake.”

Two independent studies on CPS and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission data have shown
that alternatives are far cheaper than a nuclear plant. While CPS is making big commitments to weatherization,
they have been typically spending more money than others to achieve the same result. CPS is spending two to
three times more per saved megawatt than other utilities in Texas or Houston. In Houston the city teamed with
its local utility and did a neighborhood-by-neighborhood retrofit program that saved 14.6% of the energy usage
in each home for $1,000, a fraction of what CPS is spending. A recent study for CPS found the cost of
efficiency was about half the cost of the proposed nuclear reactor. If CPS builds the nuclear plant and the
energy is too expensive to sell it could send the utility into a nuclear death spiral.

As an example of the kinds of energy savings that could be obtained, Bob Spermo of Bullseye Home
Energy Audits reviewed the results of a home energy audit he performed on a local home and found that the
homeowner could save energy in her home through insulation in the attic, solar screens, radiant barriers, and
replacing old air conditioners with more efficient ones. In other newer homes it makes sense to tighten up
leaking ducts and do blower door tests to look for leaks.

“Solar panels are a cost effective way to capture the power of the sun and to save energy. The City has
adopted a goal of installing solar on 50,000 homes and 6,000 businesses by 2020. If they were to do this it
would cut the need for 250 MW of energy and create 1,000 new jobs, according to the City’s Mission Verde
Plan.” said Dustin Aubrey of Nova Star Solar. “The cost of solar panels is declining rapidly. If the city council
would make a large scale solar PV commitment and make CPS do it, we could be one of the nation’s most
solar cities.”

Houston has recently agreed to a 25-year solar power purchase agreement at a price of 8.2 cents per
kilowatt-hour for the first year. Houston’s NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE: NRG) will foot the $40 million bill to
develop, build and own the 10 megawatt solar farm in northwest Houston. This is less than the projected price
of energy from the nuclear plant which is 8.5 cents per KWh.

“One of the cheapest ways to save energy is to pull the energy from underground. Texas is blessed
with steady temperatures in rock below the ground surface that can be captured and circulated through heat
exchangers in our homes and offices, reducing dramatically the energy we need for heating and cooling,” said
Charlie Lonsberry from Southwest Mechanical, who installs geothermal systems. “Many San Antonio homes
use geothermal energy for heating, hot water, and cooling – and they’ve been doing so for years. Geothermal
can also be done on a large scale to produce electricity.”

“City Council hasn’t done a good job of looking at the alternatives. They have relied entirely on CPS’s
cost estimates, which are often old or biased, and as a result they are making a decision without adequate
analysis of alternatives. Our 10-point plant would be cheaper than building new nuclear reactors,” said Peggy
Day of the Alamo Group of the Sierra Club. “The City Council should examine the alternatives before voting to
fund the bonds for further nuclear development. Not only will this decision affect the cost consumers pay, but it
also has grave moral consequences. We will create waste that will be radioactive and can cause cancer or birth
defects for 10,000 years. 60 years after the dawn of the nuclear age we have yet to figure out what to do with
the waste. What right do we have to leave this toxic mess behind?”

For more information on the alternative plan see