• Top Ad Placement

    Advertise on Green Philly

  • Clean PA Energy Suppliers: What are Best Wind & Renewable Options? windfarm Full view

    Clean PA Energy Suppliers: What are Best Wind & Renewable Options?

    Happy Valentine’s Day! Want to show some love for your mother today? We mean Mother Earth

    Make the switch to clean energy with a PA Wind & Renewable supplier if you haven’t yet! It’s easy, won’t break the bank and you’ll be guilt-free of awful carbon emissions.

    What are the eco-friendly PA Power Options?

    Which one should you choose? I recently found out there’s a few options to consider when I moved…

    I’m a procrastinator. Although I moved to a new apartment a few months ago, I signed up for PECO (as required for most apartments) and noticed that it was ending the PECO WIND program as of December 31st! With that, I needed to research other alternative energy suppliers. Since my brother is an environmental professional, I called to ask for his opinion.

    (Actual conversation with my brother):

    Julie: I was debating which energy supplier to use and looking at a few renewable companies. Any thoughts?

    Brother J: Well, you could try to pretend to save the world and go with a renewable energy company. But rates vary. Right now, there’s no subsidies for wind or solar so that’s running kinda expensive. However, natural gas is the cheapest energy type right now.

    Julie: Cheap is relative until you account for the number of our shale resources being fracked and contaminated water supply…

    As cheesy as it may sound, I couldn’t go against my conscience and go with a ‘varied’ energy supplier after thinking about it. Josh Fox, you made an impact with Gasland. I’m voting with my dollar.

    So what is a Philly resident to do for a smart clean energy supplier? Do you have to break the bank? Luckily, there’s a few resources out there for you. PA Power Switch lays out price comparisons and types of energy with what’s available by your zip code.

    PA clean energy suppliers:

    (Note: the rates may vary based on several factors, so please check with the supplier directly for current rates):

    • The Energy Co-op:  Based in Philadelphia, the Energy Co-op is a member-owned, not-for-profit company so you can have a say on what’s going on. They have a fixed annual price with no cancellation fees. They do have a minimal membership of $15/year, and 100% renewable electricity is based at $.1069 per kWh. The Energy Co-op provides two product choices (both Green e-certified): EcoChoice100 (100% renewable: 99% PA wind energy and 1% solar power from the rooftops of their own members in Southeastern PA) and EcoChoice25 (20% renewable: 24.75% PA wind farms and .25% solar). A graph is available here for a comparison of what PECO customers purchase.
    • Inspire Energy: Co-headquartered in Philadelphia, Inspire is a local company that models its business after its values. Founded by CEO Patrick Maloney in 2013, he was inspired by “the fundamental belief that collectively, we can change the world”. When you sign up for Inspire, you get the same energy bill (Likely PECO in the 215), but the Inspire supply charge will replace your current utility charge. No need to change your automated payments – it’s seamless for you.
    • Community Energy is based locally in Radnor, PA and 100% of their renewable energy come from PA Wind & Solar. The rate is currently at $0.103 per kWh. There’s no membership fee and no cancellation fees, but the price can fluctuate.  PRO: You can support local green jobs and economy with this supplier.
    • Clean Currents is based in Maryland and certified sustainable as a Certified Green Business & Certified B-Corporation. They exclusively sell green clean energy, advocate for environmental legislation and support local businesses. Their rates average $.086 per kWh based on the type of wind product. UPDATE: Clean Currents is out of business.
    • Green Mountain Energy uses sun, wind & water for clean energy and have saved customers 19.4 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions since 1997. Their rates start at $.087/kWh (flexibility month-to-month), 9.1¢ (fixed), and 11.0¢ for Pollution Free Gold Reliable; many are from 100% pollution free sources including local wind & solar. One other fun fact about Green Mountain: Customers also have the opportunity to support solar installations for local non-profits. Signing up for their Pollution Free Gold electricity product includes membership to the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club, which has donated over 500 kW of solar energy to non-profits. UPDATE 8/24/17: Although Green Mountain Energy is “sustainable”, their parent company is NRG. NRG is controversial due to their Natural Gas and coal facilities and Clean Water Act violations; and not the best choice. We’d vote that they’re “better” than going for pure natural gas, but suggest the above local companies over Green Mountain if you’re making the decision.

    Choose PA Wind always keeps you up to date on where you can purchase local PA wind power. Many other suppliers give clean energy options, but often offer Natural Gas as well (as another main product) to keep rates low. Therefore, you’re still supporting natural gas fracking as a side product from the company.

    Readers, what supplier are you using? Anything you’ve heard about the various clean energy suppliers?

     

    Photo: Washington Note

     

    Julie Hancher

    About Julie Hancher

    Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake.

    Your thoughts . . .