1.6.5 Green Power Purchase
Reduce the environmental impact through direct purchases of electricity generated from renewable sources. Renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro generate green power are offered to private and public entities.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) coordinates and monitors programs and partners with a wide variety of leading organizations, such as Fortune 500 companies, local, state and federal governments, businesses, as well as colleges and universities. See above URLs for Green Power Locator.
A number of programs or initiatives have been developed in the U.S. to help address green power product credibility, such as certification programs, advertising and marketing guidelines. These programs help to verify green power marketer claims as well as to educate and inform customers about environmentally preferable competitive market choices.
The added cost may be offset with energy efficiency savings elsewhere. Reducing the total amount of electricity you purchase can help make green power more affordable. Green power prices are most often quoted as a premium — additional to the standard electricity rate, unless you are buying a renewable energy certificate. A few states offer incentives that reduce the cost of green power.
By choosing to purchase a green power product, you can support increased development of renewable energy sources, which can reduce the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas. Greater reliance on renewable sources also provides economic benefits and can improve our national energy security.
Legislations differ. If retail electricity competition is allowed in your state, you may be able to purchase a green power product from an alternative electricity supplier. Even if your state is not implementing electricity market competition, you may still be able to purchase green power through your regulated utility. Renewable energy certificates (RECs) can be purchased independent from current electricity supplier.