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    After Direct Energy announced the launch of its green energy arm New Leaf Energy, consumer advocates were quick to say it was clear evidence that demand for renewables is growing in the South.

    According to the Houston Chronicle, although the Texas electricity market is already saturated with alternative energy providers, New Leaf Energy is the first to be certified by Green-e Energy, which verifies renewable standards for retail energy providers.

    The presence of a new player in Texas' renewable electricity market "is consistent with the kind of polling that has been done for over 15 years that says that most Texans would prefer to get clean and green energy from their power company," according to Tom Smith, director of the Texas office for consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.

    According to the news source, 23 percent of all electricity plans offered by power companies in the Houston area were 100 percent renewable power options.

    What's more, recent polling shows that more than 25 percent of Texans are willing to pay slightly higher electricity rates every month if it means lowering their power company's carbon footprint.