Choose Green Electricity

One of the most important choices you can make is to opt into a Green Power program.  Choosing green electricity immediately removes up to one third or more of your direct emissions.  The best news - it doesn't cost much to switch!   Recycle a bit more or do an energy efficiency action and you can easily save money and make up for the extra cost.

Easy
Households: 1 completed, 3 committed
3930
Points ?
$-140
Annual Savings
$60 - $240
Upfront Cost
These are estimates
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Energy and water savings

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kWh Electricity
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Therms Natural Gas
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Gallons Gas
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Gallons Water
  • Support the growing renewable power industry
  • Support green jobs
  • Significantly reduce carbon emissions and air pollution

Purchase Air Travel Offsets

We are partnering with Carbon Lighthouse to provide high quality offsets for Air Travel. These offsets remove emissions directly from utilities in the U.S. and support more renewable energy.

For more information, go to Carbon Lighthouse"

Purchase offsets for air miles

Price: $3/1,000 miles

Total price: $

Purchase Once

Purchase Anually

*Purchase just for this year, or subscribe to purchase offsets anually.

Overview

The Action
We will enroll in a 100% Green Electricity program.
Is this action for me?
Yes! This action is for everyone.
When and Who?
This action can be done anytime and by anyone.
How long will it take?
Quick - usually a quick phone call or online sign up.
What is the cost?
Around $5-20/month or $60 - $240/year.

Benefits

  • Support the growing renewable power industry

  • Support green jobs

  • Significantly reduce carbon emissions and air pollution

Resources

Rebate/Credit

Choose 50 or 100% renewable energy directly from your utility.

Programs

Learn about the new East Bay Community Energy program in Alameda County.

The Basics

Green power is when your electricity comes from clean, renewable energy sources. Green power options are now available for almost everyone in the U.S. Signing up for a green power program significantly lowers your carbon emissions, creates U.S. jobs and supports the development of renewable energy! In the near future renewable energy will be cheaper than traditional options, in the meantime, it's worth a few dollars a month to lower your impact in a big way today and support the development of clean energy sources.

Checklist

Learn about Green Power options
Choose the best program for you
Sign up!

What is Green Power?

Green power is electricity that is generated from clean, renewable sources like solar, wind and geothermal.  These energy sources protect against climate change and improve our health - they don’t produce carbon emissions or air pollution.   Here are a few green power sources:

  • Solar power - uses solar panels to capture the rays of the sun and turn them into electricity.

  • Wind energy - energy from the wind turns wind turbines to create electricity.

  • Geothermal energy - uses naturally occurring heat from inside the earth to make clean power, like the steam and heat from geysers.

Benefits of Green Power

Did you know that electricity generation is one of the largest sources of pollution in the country?  Burning fossil fuels like coal and natural gas to generate electricity creates both climate emissions and air pollution.  Choosing green power makes a big difference in both lowering carbon emissions and improving our health.   If we switched to 100% clean renewable power in the U.S. we would eliminate:

  • Two-thirds of the emissions of sulfur dioxide that cause acid rain and 50,000-100,000 deaths caused by air pollution every year.

  • 30 percent of the emissions of nitrogen oxide that create smog and cause heart and respiratory problems including premature death. They also stress forest ecosystems.

  • 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, the primary cause of climate change.

  • Toxic-metal emissions (such as mercury and lead).

Natural gas creates less carbon emissions per ton than coal when burned.  As a result there have been plans to increase the use of natural gas for electricity generation.  However, fracking, the process sometimes used to extract natural gas from the ground, creates additional emissions, including large amounts of methane which is a very powerful greenhouse gas.  Fracking can also pollute the soil and groundwater in the area where the natural gas is extracted.  If we account for the additional emissions from extraction combined with gas line leakages, natural gas is almost as polluting as coal for climate emissions and is not a good choice for protecting our future.

Luckily, we have clean renewable options that are ready to go and affordable.  With the prices of renewable energy dropping very quickly, renewable energy will be cheaper than fossil fuel options for most if not all of the U.S. in just a few years.  This will make it even more affordable to switch to clean, renewable energy resources and both lower climate emissions and improve our health.  In addition, the solar industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S.  The growth in solar and wind technology will create hundreds of thousands of jobs in upcoming years - the best kind of jobs - local, U.S. jobs.  By choosing green power now you are both lowering your impact and helping to spur this transition on!

Choose a program

Check the resources section for green power programs available in your area.  Here are a few of the main types of programs:

Green Power -  this is the most common and often the easiest to choose.  It is a program provided through your utility where you can choose to purchase green energy for a small premium.  It’s easy - you just call your utility or go online and sign up.  They do all the work of installing the extra renewable power.   Many utilities offer these programs.  Premiums generally range from $5-$20/month, which you can easily make up by taking other energy efficiency actions.  

Some programs have a range of options, like 50%, 75% or 100% or some just offer the 100% option.  Each program varies slightly in the options offered.  If you live in an area where you have the option of choosing different utility providers, you could choose to switch to the utility that offers the most renewable power.

Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) - if your utility provider doesn't offer a green power program, another way to choose green power is through an independent energy provider offering renewable energy certificates.  They use your extra payment to purchase renewable power somewhere in the country.  The renewable power they purchase may not be local to you, but it is renewable and will lower your impact.

Community Renewable Energy - in some areas you can contribute to solar panels being installed in your community and take part in the green power benefits.  If you can't put solar panels on your home, but want to be part of a solar project, this is a great option.  Community renewable energy programs allow customers to purchase a share of a renewable system developed in a local community and receive the benefits.  

One example is the Holy Cross Energy solar project in El Jebel, Colorado where 80 kW of solar panels were installed, supported by 18 community members.  Participants purchased shares and then receive a credit on their bill each month for the energy generated.  Some projects allow customers anywhere in the country to participate.

Choose the best program for you

There are many different types of green power programs.  You may only have one available in your area or you may have a choice.  If you have a choice, there are a few main factors to consider: price, upfront cost (if any) and the extra benefits of the particular program.  

Finally, not all green power is created the same - some programs have more added benefits. When you sign up for a green power program, the solar panels or wind turbines used to create that power may be in very different places.  They might be located in your state, or they may be located far away.  The best option is if they are in your local area where they can create local jobs and improve your local air pollution.  The closer to home, the more benefits for your community.

Check the resources section below for options available where you live.

Celebrate!  

With this one action, you may have met your initial household goal or possibly moved up a badge level!  This is a BIG, yet simple and low-cost step to protecting our future!