Xcel Energy fares well in a national ranking of investor-owned utilities on renewable energy usage and energy efficiency.

Minneapolis-based Xcel garnered 21 percent of its retail electricity sales from renewable sources in 2014, coming in fourth behind Southern California-based Edison International at 23.2 percent, said the report by Ceres, a nonprofit group that tracks climate change and sustainability issues.

The leader was Sempra Energy, also based in Southern California, with 36.5 percent of its sales coming from renewable sources such as wind and solar. San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric ranked second, at 25 percent.

As for total production of power from renewable sources, Xcel was second at 18.5 million megawatts in 2014. Pacific Gas & Electric was first at 19.5 million megawatts.

Ceres, which did the report in conjunction with "clean tech" researcher Clean Edge, ranked the nation's 30 largest investor-owned utilities on renewable energy and efficiency. The report used 2014 data.

About 90 percent of Xcel's renewable power that year came from wind energy, said Dan Bakal, director of electric power at Ceres. Xcel is known as one of the country's wind energy leaders.

Xcel also ranked ninth in "life cycle energy efficiency," a measure of cumulative estimated savings from all energy-efficiency programs it put in place in 2014, according to Ceres. The utility ranked 14th in "incremental energy efficiency" — savings for just the year 2014.

Utilities such as Xcel often offer rebates to customers for adopting energy-efficient lighting and appliances, among other conservation measures.

The report said that U.S. clean energy deployment had reached all-time highs in 2014. And it has only accelerated since then.

Mike Hughlett • 612-673-7003