Bioenergy, Hydropower, Wind Power

How do I find a green energy provider in my area?

I’m trying to find a green energy provider in my area to switch to. I would like to take the full plunge into 95% good, if you know what I’m saying. Is there a website or a contact that might help me locate renewable energy providers in my area? – DL, Toledo, Ohio

DL – Green Power has come a long way in offering consumers ‘choices’ but it still has a long way to go. In March of 2004, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released its annual ranking of leading utility “green pricing” program and according to NREL, more than 500 utilities in 33 states now offer these programs. In 2003, more than 1.2 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy were sold through green pricing programs, an increase of more than 30% from 2002. EPA has a Green Power Partnership and has a great web site to locate green power providers by state (see below), One of the better e-newsletters is put out by the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) called Western’s Green Power and Market Research News. There are many other excellent newsletters dedicated to this issue available. You can’t “tag” electrons, so when customers pay a higher electricity rate for power, the electric providers, in turn, pay more for “green” power generated by existing hydropower and landfill gas facilities generally, and add wind, biomass and solar (usually in that order) as it comes available on the market. Green power is a solid step consumers can make to transform the market – particularly renters and homeowners that have limited options in using solar water heating, ground-coupled heat pumps, small wind, photovoltaics or other on-site clean distributed energy themselves. – Scott Sklar