Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wind and Solar on the Electric Bill

For the past few years our local power company has offered customers the option of paying extra for wind power to balance the coal, oil, and natural gas nonrenewable fossil fuels that provide most of our electricity. But it was a pricey proposition.

Yesterday’s mail brought news of several new wind farms and a new solar energy producer in our community, which have greatly reduced the cost of this renewable energy program for consumers. Just $6/month is supposed to offset the carbon dioxide emissions in an average households electricity use. Since these are offsets — basically just contributions toward the utility’s acquistion of renewable energy — and not direct purchases of solar and wind power for one’s own home, I want to investigate this further before signing up. But it’s certainly encouraging to see solar and wind power playing a larger role in this very traditional utility’s offerings.

Today’s mitzvah: Visit your electric utility’s web site and investigate their renewable energy options.

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