New York Green Energy Program Offers Grants

Niagara Mohawk customers are receiving information in their bills on how they can enroll in the renewable energy program, GreenUp, and join more than 7,700 fellow customers who have chosen to have electricity produced by less-polluting, renewable resources.

Syracuse, New York- September 22, 2003 [] To celebrate the success of the first year of Niagara Mohawk’s green energy offering, the Niagara Mohawk Foundation and the program’s four participating renewable energy providers, Community Energy, Green Mountain Energy, Sterling Planet, and EnviroGen, also announced grants to Syracuse Habitat for Humanity, the Syracuse Real Food Co-op, the Albany-based Environmental Advocates and Sierra Club New York Chapter, and the Buffalo-based Lexington Real Food Co-op to participate in GreenUp. “We are pleased with the first year of GreenUp as an example of how the shift to renewable power and the environmental benefits that it provides can be driven by consumer demand,” said William F. Edwards, president of Niagara Mohawk, a National Grid company. The program requires the four renewable energy providers to secure New York-based renewable energy resources, such as wind, bioenergy or hydropower, and offer it to Niagara Mohawk customers. After a customer selects a renewable energy provider, that provider will notify Niagara Mohawk of the customer’s decision. Niagara Mohawk’s supply portfolio will receive the energy on behalf of the customer and the company remains responsible for all service to the customer. For a typical residential customer the additional cost for cleaner energy would be US$3.75 for half their monthly usage or $5.00 to $7.50 for their entire usage, depending on the provider they select. Niagara Mohawk estimates a typical residential customer uses 500 kWh of electricity a month. The surcharge will be included as a line item on the customer’s Niagara Mohawk bill and will be forwarded to the provider the customer selects. “The potential for development of additional sources of electricity, such as pollution-free and emission-free wind energy, will help diversify New York’s energy mix and contribute to a cleaner New York. New York State has enough wind resources to supply 20 percent of the state’s electricity,” Brent Alderfer, president of Community Energy said. “For just a few dollars, customers can help the environment and help grow secure, domestic sources of electricity.” To note the first anniversary of GreenUp, grants are being made to local organizations to underwrite their participation in the program. The Niagara Mohawk Foundation and Green Mountain Energy Company will provide a joint $2,500 grant for Syracuse Habitat for Humanity homes and projects to participate in the program during the next two years. Syracuse Habitat For Humanity typically remodels or builds 10 to 15 homes a year. “Our customers feel pride for what they are doing to support clean electricity and give back to the local community,” said Tom Rawls, chief environmental officer and general manager of Green Mountain Energy Company’s Eastern Region. “Their monthly purchase of 100 percent pollution-free electricity avoids CO2 emissions, as well as contributes to the renewable energy that is being purchased to provide renewable energy service to Habitat homes.” The Niagara Mohawk Foundation and Sterling Planet will provide a joint $2,500 grant for the Syracuse Real Food Co-op to participate in the renewable energy program. The Real Food Co-op, a not-for-profit organization, offers organically grown and environmentally friendly food and other products. The Niagara Mohawk Foundation and Community Energy will provide a joint $2,500 grant to the Environmental Advocates and the New York Chapter of the environmental organization Sierra Club to participate in the program at the groups’ shared Albany headquarters. The Sierra Club is one of the nation’s leading environmental organizations. Environmental Advocates of New York works to ensure the development and implementation of sound environmental policy in New York and to educate and involve a diverse group of interests in environmental, health and energy issues. The Niagara Mohawk Foundation and EnviroGen will provide a joint $2,500 grant to the Buffalo-based Lexington Food Co-op to participate in the program. The Lexington Food Co-op is a membership based, not-for-profit organization that provides high quality food products, including organically grown foods, locally grown produce and other food produced and packaged with minimum impact on the environment.
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