Green Options in the Green Mountains

Green Mountain Power has introduced a new monthly Renewable Energy service, CoolHome, that will enable its customers to take action in the fight against global warming.

Colchester, Vermont – January 14, 2003 [] Voluntary charitable donations will help to build Vermont methane generators and other Renewable Energy projects, which will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. “We’ve made it very simple for customers to do something that works every day to fight global warming,” said Stephen C. Terry, Green Mountain Power’s Senior Vice President of Corporate and Legal Affairs. “Now our customers who are concerned about global warming can choose to include a contribution to the non-profit Clean Air-Cool Planet on their Green Mountain Power bill each month. Our electricity supply is already unusually low in emissions. Now our customers can choose to lessen the impact of their total energy use.” CoolHome was first introduced to Green Mountain Power customers as a one-time-payment pilot program in May 2002. Customers reacted positively to the program and the change to monthly payments makes it easier to participate. Green Mountain Power’s new program allows customers to support fledgling Renewable Energy projects through US$6 monthly tax-deductible donations to Clean Air-Cool Planet (CA-CP), a nonprofit organization bringing climate change solutions to the Northeast. In turn, CA-CP uses the donations to support development of new Renewable Energy projects through Vermont-based NativeEnergy. Each household participating for one year reduces carbon dioxide emissions by six tons – the annual fossil fuel and electricity-related emissions of the average Vermont household. CA-CP makes this happen by purchasing and retiring “Renewable Energy credits” from NativeEnergy, allowing participating households to enjoy a year of “climate-neutral” living. “This kind of market-based initiative will give thousands of Vermonters a chance to make a contribution towards a better world for all of us,” said Michael Dworkin, Chairman of the Vermont Public Service Board. “At the same time, it shows how a small utility can be a leader in an emerging field. I look forward to this innovation becoming a model, as others offer similar choices to their customers.” Among the Renewable Energy technologies associated with the program are: Essex Junction Wastewater Treatment Facility, Essex Junction, Vermont – this project will capture the methane gas created at the facility and will use the renewable fuel to power two 30 kW electricity-generating turbines. The electricity from these turbines will reduce the facility’s consumption of electricity from the grid and reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 3,450 tons over 15 years. Farm Methane Projects throughout Vermont are expected to be added to the current roster. The Rosebud Sioux Wind Turbine Project, Rosebud Sioux Reservation, South Dakota – the first Native American-owned and operated utility scale wind turbine in the Great Plains. The turbine will displace electricity currently generated mostly by burning coal, upwind of Vermont, which also contributes to acid rain. The turbine is the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s first step in developing a sustainable economy based on the wind.
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