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    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 . . .

    • Clean Currents and Green Mountain are good. Citizens Power too. http://makebenproud.com/ has a handy run down.

    • django

      As of Oct 28,2013, AEP seems best with 8.69 cents, fixed price for 18 months and no early termination fee.

    • Ashley

      It is so difficult to choose anything but natural gas due to cost. My landlord has switched our home from oil to electric to natural gas and I really see a HUGE savings in energy bills in this old house we live in. Literally, went from $300 per month to $175 per month in the winter.

    • Ashley

      They make it so hard to say no. It’s a shame.

    • Joe Chill

      Right now, the happening deal for nationwide green electricity sources is AEP and the happening deal for PA source green electricity is the Clean Currents promo, http://www.makebenproud.com/

    • Hey Ashley – We all have to make compromises when it comes to finances and ‘being’ green. For me, I tend to buy some of the cheaper shampoos because some of the ‘cheap’ organic brands or $8-12 a bottle.

      One of the main problems with supporting Natural Gas (cost included) is that when you choose Natural Gas, you’re supporting the industry dedicated to fracking, contaminating our water supply, lowering property values (which has started to happen) and more – which means that there’s more incentive to continue their sh*tty behaviors. Water is priceless, and I don’t want our supply to be screwed with.

      Is there other ways your home can make some energy savings? Perhaps adding some insulation in the winter, swapping out some older light bulbs for CFLs and/or getting a timer to change up the temperature when you’re out of the home (automated)?

      Whatever you choose is totally up to you (and we respect that.) Just wanted to add some food for thought (or heat!). Thanks for giving us your perspective on the flip side and keep us updated with your home-ventures!

    • We love Clean Currents, Energy co-op & Community Energy! Go wind power! 😉

    • Make sure to always check the rates and what kind of energy you’re getting! Support clean energy. 😉

    • Richard Graves


      I wanted to let you know, since unfortunately Clean Currents actually out of business, that Ethical Electric is only Certified B Corp supplier of just 100% local, clean energy left: http://www.ethicalelectric.com.

    • CleanEnergyWiz

      green mountain energy is owned by NRG. http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2013/06/10/americas-20-worst-corporate-air-polluters/2/

      Community Energy and the Energy Co-op source 100% PA renewables only and are the only two local philly companies. Community Energy is the only supplier that uses 100% of it’s profits to build new local solar projects. If your biggest concern is fighting climate change then Community Energy is your best bet.

    • Joe Chill

      It appears that most unfortunately Clean Currents and Community Energy were no exception to everybody having a rough winter. It is important to note that as of April 15, 2014 switching to a competitive supplier will not affect the ability of low-income households to get PECO Consumer Assistance Program rates (and LIHEAP grants as always). http://www.makebenproud.com/ added new filters and more descriptive labels to its table. It is strictly unbiased and impartial as always. Keep the faith.

    • Joe Chill

      Clean Currents was in a different position which kept them from surviving the polar vortex in that they offered all fixed-term plans, which is usually a wiser consumer decision. Community Energy adapted by offering two variable rate plans. One offers the same wholesale mix electricity as PECO for about the utility price-to-compare going rate while putting the profits back into new PA local solar projects. The other variable plan is their known 99% PA wind and 1% PA solar at a rate they had to temporarily spike to “weather the storm”.

    • Abby

      I’m a confused consumer. I read on other sites that Green Mountain is not as green as they say. I’ve been using NRG and now I’m reading the same about them. I thought I was choosing green when I chose them. On top of it, it was a fixed plan which ended up costing more than PECO. I found Inspire Energy on PA Power Switch which is actually one of the cheapest listed but claim to be 100% solar power. That doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t know who to trust. Can you clear this up? Is Inspire Energy to good to be true at $.06 rate?

    • Leonard Levin

      So many energy companies out there make claims on the green factor of their services and it becomes almost mind numbing trying to find the right company for you. Realistically speaking, there are several factors that need to be weighed when choosing an energy supplier. 1. Can they back up their claims of how much green energy they provide?
      2. Do they have a fixed rate program that makes sense for you as the consumer.
      3. Is this a company that has a strong track record?
      4. What is the company’s outlook for the future energy market?

      I have been in the renewable energy business for the past 3+ years and have seen a lot of companies make coutlandish claims and have seen companies come and go due to their inability to perform under current market conditions. Those companies that fully focus on beating their competitors prices are the ones that won’t stick around. Due to the current economic and energy crisis we are seeing, the company itself and their actuaries need to take into account where this market is heading in the next 5 to 10 years. Unfortunately, those companies that live for today and resort to price wars eventually end up bankrupting themselves.

      If you would like more info, please feel free to reach out.

    • Molly

      I just switched to Green Mountain. Is there a good resource for info on Green Mountain? PA power switch has their rate at 0.0690 vs PECO at 0.0849 yet my first bill is half PECO and half Green Mountain and the GM half is more than three times the PECO half. My roommate looked up reviews and found tons of complaints about how awful they are and wants nothing to do with them. But I see on here you say they are a good company. Any recommendation on where I look to figure this out? I want to support green energy and green jobs but I don’t have money to pay that outrageous of a bill.

    • Jake

      You forgot Inspire energy. They are based in Fishtown area of Philadelphia and offer the most competitive and stable pricing in comparison to all these other companies. Call me with questions 267-884-2566

    • Jeff S

      The Energy Co-Op does not charge the $15/year membership fee anymore.

    • Stella

      Have you heard anything about Inspire? I am debating signing up with them, but it would be great to get a good, local review.

    • We support Inspire Energy. The CEO was a Wharton Grad, and they support many local initiatives! (Full disclaimer: Inspire Energy is a Green Philly sponsor, but we selectively partner with businesses that do good.)

    • Green Mountain is another branch of NRG, which is heavy on the Natural Gas. Green Mountain is better than natural gas, but it’s better to support a Philly-centric and local business like Energy Co-Op, Inspire Energy or Community Energy.

    • Sarah

      Do you have any recommendations on natural gas suppliers through PGW’s energy choice program? I’ve been taking advantage of green electric suppliers for years but am relatively new to gas service.

    • Sean

      Thanks for updating! Id like to change over to clean energy if it’s available.

    • Dee

      This is very helpful. Thank you.

    • Harry Tumbelweed

      List the government subsidies each company receives. Also, please list the killing rate of falcons and eagles, and other wildlife that would normally be exposed to these “renewable sources”.