Last summer, we joined the Green Power Program at Puget Sound Energy. The Green Power Program allows energy customers to buy and add into the system energy from green energy sources (wind, solar, biomass and landfill gas). It’s a good way to support the growth of green power sources for your local utility. Since independent residential green energy infrastructure (home solar systems for example) can be quite expensive, this is the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to go green with your energy usage, in my opinion. In reality, I do believe that it will take consumers working with energy companies to really solve our green energy needs. While independent efforts to introduce green energy do help, I believe the real solution for the vast majority of energy users with come through our existing grid tapping into green energy sources in the future. You can help support this conversion.
How the program works (from the PSE Green Power Program page):
- When you enroll in PSE’s Green Power Program, PSE purchases renewable energy credits from regional renewable energy facilities on your behalf.
- This guarantees that electricity from wind, solar, and biomass facilities is delivered to the regional power pool (the grid).
- Electricity from renewable energy facilities reduces the need for electricity generated from non-renewable sources like fossil fuels, creating measurable environmental benefits.
- PSE’s Green Power Program is certified by Green-e Energy, the nation’s leading voluntary certification program for renewable energy.
On top of this, it really is inexpensive and you can choose a program that will work with your budget. We chose to purchase green energy for 100% of our electricity usage. Looking back over our bills, we used the most electricity in January and paid an addition $17 to participate in the program. Most months it is even less. By doing this, on average, each participating household helped avoid the release of 13,375 pound of carbon dioxide emissions into the air.
We still plan to do independent energy savings and green energy projects, including grid-tied solar, but for now the Green Energy Program allows us to green our energy consumption in a way that is easy and inexpensive. If you have a green energy program at your local utility, check into it today!