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  • Clean Energy Suppliers: What are The Best PA Wind & Renewable Options? wind-farm-clean-energy Full view

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

    renewable and clean energy suppliersHappy 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.

    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.

    Here’s a few of the clean energy suppliers broken down for you (Note: the rates may vary based on several factors, so please check with the supplier directly for current rates):
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

    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

     

    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 eco-friendly wine and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Pounce DeLeon.

    Your thoughts . . .

    • http://makebenproud.com/ Joe Chill

      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

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

    • 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.

    • 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/

    • http://www.greenphillyblog.com/ Julie

      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!

    • http://www.greenphillyblog.com/ Julie

      We love Clean Currents, Energy co-op & Community Energy! Go wind power! ;-)

    • http://www.greenphillyblog.com/ Julie

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

    • Richard Graves

      Julie,

      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”.