Environmentally Friendly Electricity: Why I Am Opting Out

cost of going greenI received a letter from my electric power company recently encouraging me to sign up for the company’s “Green Generation” program. If I joined the “Green Team”, I could purchase energy generated from wind power and landfill gas for a mere .01667 cents per kilowatt hour. I could also purchase Green Blocks instead at $2.50 per block. I could purchase as many of these blocks as I want because it is not related to my actual energy usage. I like to try to do what I can for environment. I recycle. I drive a fuel efficient car. I’ve signed up for paperless statements. Why not use environmentally friendly electricity?

Then I ran the numbers. Last month, my house


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7 Responses to Environmentally Friendly Electricity: Why I Am Opting Out

  1. Monkey Mama says:

    I don’t mind supporting green energy “because it is the right thing to do.” Personally.

    But you bring up a good point. Blindly buying into these programs is not exactly wise. I actually pay an extra $60 a year to support green energy initiatives through my small, government-owned electric company. They are very affordable, don’t raise rates very often, and have a strong proven commitment to green energy.

    Our gas comes from PG&E and they try to pass of a similar program – theirs is “carbon offset purchase” program. From what I can tell it has no substance. It looks like little more than a gimmick to make more money and so I don’t participate. You have to be skeptical with these things.

  2. Somone says:

    Speaking of the hybrid car buyers getting a tax rebate– why don’t those of us who opt not to have a car AT ALL get a rebate? That’s FAR more environmentally friendly than owning a hybrid.

  3. Debbie M says:

    Are you sure that amount isn’t replacing one of your other charges? That’s how my company does it. It might not be as expensive as you think.

    My company also did figure out a way to give us something for our participation. They locked in our rates for ten years. Since the price of oil has jumped, my rates are actually lower than the regular rates now. (Of course that was only a possible benefit and it will expire for me in five years.)

  4. justme says:

    my business gets tons of junk mail from our utility about this and if we join we get an ad in the paper saying we are green, honestly we just cannot aford this we have cut our use put everything on timers only offer bags and packaging when required or asked we cannot pay money to say we are supporting the enviroment I guess corporations and such can do this but mom and pops it a little harder
    they already charge us a higher business rate anyway
    I wish I could get people to send my business money without offering aditional services

  5. Kirsten says:

    We’ve signed up for Bullfrog Power, which is the same kind of program you describe.

    I don’t see why them not routing the “green” power to your house is a problem. The more people who sign up, the higher a percentage of our power has to come from green (in our case, solar, wind, and low-impact water) sources.

    We spent three months using a Kill-A-Watt meter to measure and reduce our electricity consumption before switching. As a result, our bill hasn’t gone up, because we only needed to use about 15% less electricity.

  6. Pingback: Carnival of the Green #147! « Confessions of a Closet Environmentalist

  7. Felix says:

    I agree that it pays to read the fine-print before joining any of these programs. They have to be worthwhile to be given money.

    I strongly disagree with your argument that since your personal green energy will not actually be delivered to your home but fed into the grid is a reason not to join. It is not like receiving green energy makes your life any better, supporting alternative fuels to hopefully someday have a carbon free society is what these programs intent. If the green energy was produced and used in China instead, your contribution would still have the exact same effect: namely that 1,363 kwh of electricity more than before will be produced in a more environmentally friendly manner. Not more and not less.

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