Related to the earlier post I was investigating the MG&E web site. I couldn’t figure out how this “Green Power” scheme worked. Would I just be making a contribution to offset the carbon produced by our apartment’s electric use? Or would I actually be switching us to alternative power?
A very patient phone rep explained it to me. It’s better than just buying a carbon offset: for the amount I contribute the power company does indeed increase the renewable energy in their electricity mix. (The New Yorker in me is skeptical of this, but I’m rolling with it.) Does this change the source of electricity coming into the house? Not directly: it’s not like we’re hooked up to a separate green utility pole with cleaner electricity just for us. (Hey, I can dream.) But it does mean I’m paying for clean energy in my portion of the overall pool. Instead of fossil fuels, my portion comes from the wind and solar sources included in the above graphic.
I had the option of purchasing a 300 kWh block each month, paying per/kWh for 50% of our power usage, or paying per kWh for 100% of our power. I may regret this in the summer when the A/C sends our bills way up, but I opted for 100%.
Color me green!