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Renewable Energy

The fastest growing energy source in the country is renewable energy and the Energy Cooperative of America is pleased to be able to offer our customers a 100% renewable energy supply option.  This clean source of energy is comprised of wind, hydro, and bio mass.  We are able to offer this green energy alternative to our New York customers in the National Grid, Rochester Gas & Electric, New York State Electric & Gas and Consolidated Edison utility territories.

The cost of producing renewable energy is slightly higher than conventional electricity, aka “brown power.”  As a result, there is an additional charge of 1 cent per kilowatt hour (Kwh) for the renewable energy supply option.  For example,  if conventional electricity is selling for $0.05 per Kwh then you would add 1 cent to that per Kwh price, making the total cost for renewable electricity supply $0.06 per Kwh. 

For the average residential customer with an annual usage of 8,400 kilowatt hours per year, the added cost for exercising this option is approximately $84 per year.  We applaud the many customers that are currently utilizing renewable electricity and their commitment to reducing their environmental impact.

Customers interested in learning more about programs and funding available for decreasing their carbon footprint may visit the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) website at www.nyserda.ny.gov

The Advantages of Renewable Energy

For the first time in New York State history, as a result of energy deregulation, it is now possible to direct your “consumer vote” to support a 100% renewable source of energy that:

  • Does not damage people’s health – the generation of conventional fossil fuel electricity results in the creation of NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) which are one of the key ingredients of Smog. Smog, Ozone, and small particulate particles associated with coal burning are credited for endangering human health especially to people with asthma and other lung diseases

  • Supports our environment – Conventional electricity usually leads to the creation of SO2 (Sulfer Dioxide) which is one of the main ingredients of Acid Rain. Acid rain is credited for damaging the environment, in particular the lakes as well as the forests in the Adirondacks and New England.

  • Generates no climate changing Greenhouse Gases – Fossil fueled electricity by definition creates CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) gas. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global climatic change.

  • Creates no radioactive waste – Conventional nuclear power creates radioactive wastes that will remain dangerous and must be taken care of for thousands of years.

  • Spares the world’s resources – Fossil fuels are a finite resource that once used can never be used again. Renewable energy resources by definition do not burn nor deplete fossil fuels.

How the Program Works

The renewable electricity offered in this program is:

Hydropower facilities in the United States can generate enough power to supply 28 million households with electricity, the equivalent of nearly 500 million barrels of oil. Wind PowerMechanical energy is derived by directing, harnessing, or channeling moving water. The amount of available energy in moving water is determined from its flow or fall. Hydropower produces no waste products, and it does not pollute the water or the air.

The Biomass energy in this program is landfill methane fired electricity. Landfill fired electricity takes methane, an unavoidable byproduct of landfill decomposition and burns it in a turbine to generate electricity. This takes the methane, a powerful greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than CO2, and converts it into Carbon Dioxide. Each unit of methane burned removes the equivalent of 20 units of CO2 out of the environment. At the same time, each unit of electricity created from landfill methane replaces a unit of fossil fueled electricity and the CO2 that would have been created by that fossil fueled energy.

The Wind Power is generated at commercial wind farms in New York State.


The way this program works, you are still using the utilities wires and the utility is still providing emergency service and meter read services (and in fact we are paying the utility to bill you). If you sign on to the renewable program, for every unit of electricity you use, the Cooperative is required to purchase that number of renewable units and place them into the utilities system. The “green electrons” don’t necessarily go directly to your house. However, if you or someone else is not buying them, there is no reason for the Cooperative to buy them and no reason for the generators to produce them. The New York State Public Service Commission will audit the total amount of renewable energy that our members bought and the Cooperative purchased and the renewable generators placed into the utilities system to make sure we are all getting the renewable power that we are paying for.

By casting your “consumer vote” in support of renewable energy, you will be:
creating a market demand for cleaner energy
encouraging developers to build more renewable generation facilities in New York State.

The Energy Cooperative of America purchases
all of our renewable energy from distributors located in New York State.

How Much Does This Cost?

Normally you would expect to pay a little more for renewable energy. This is partly because most renewable energy facilities are relatively new and need to pay for their construction costs while most conventional electrical generation facilities are older and have already paid for their construction.

This program is selling the renewable electricity for 1 cent per Kwh more than the price of conventional electricity.

Those customers who leave National Grid, RG&E or NYSEG as their energy provider to join the Energy Cooperative will take advantage of the benefits from energy deregulation which will save around a third to a half a penny per Kwh. This will result in a net additional cost for the combination of renewable energy plus energy deregulation of just over half a penny to three quarters of a penny per Kwh more than conventional energy (for a residential account with the average usage of 600 Kwh a month, this should work out to around ten to fifteen cents a day more than the price of conventional power).

Sample Bill

Links

U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
www.eere.energy.gov

EPA - Green Power Padtnership
www.epa.gov/greenpower/

Union of Concerned Scientists
www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy

American Wind Energy Association

www.awea.org

Bonneville Environmental Foundation
Tool to measure & reduce your household carbon footprint
www.b-e-f.org/carbon/

NYSERDA

www.nyserda.org

US Department of Energy Wind Research Program
www.nrel.gov/wind

101 Terrific Site on Renewable Energy
www.environmentalsciencedegree.com/terrific-renewable-energy


 

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