…WHAT REALLY HAPPENS WHEN I BUY RENEWABLE ENERGY?
In this age of environmental consciousness, more people are choosing to purchase “green” or renewable power. And with the increase in renewable energy demand comes a change in the electricity industry. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, at least half of all consumers have the option to purchase renewable energy directly from their power supplier, and everyone has the option of purchasing renewable energy certificates.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BUYING RENEWABLE ENERGY DIRECTLY AND BUYING RENEWABLE ENERGY CERTIFICATES?
In some areas, consumers have the option to directly purchase electricity which has been generated from renewable sources. In that case, the electricity purchased may come specifically from a wind or solar farm, or other power plant generating energy from renewable sources in the same or adjacent community to where the consumer resides.
Although there is an increasing number of clean power generators, not everyone has the ability to purchase electricity directly from one. Renewable energy certificates, or RECs, allow the consumer to contribute to the generation of “green” energy if their electricity is not able to be generated by a power plant with renewable sources.
DOES “GOING GREEN” REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
What is the impact made on the environment by “going green”? According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2016, the average annual electricity consumption for a residential utility customer was 10.766 kilowatt-hours (kWh). Plugged into the Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Calculator, that would be the equivalent of wiping out the greenhouse gas and/or CO2 emissions from:
19,638 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle
8 tons of waste recycled instead of landfilled
8,766 pounds of coal burned
902 gallons of gasoline consumed
If this is the carbon footprint from a single home, one can imagine the impact on the environment made by an entire town, community, or state.
I’M READY TO JOIN THE GREEN MOVEMENT SO WHAT NOW?
AEP Energy offers several renewable price plans with you and a cleaner environment in mind. To view our price plans, click here and enter your zip code.
Our ECO-AdvantageSM plan matches 100% of your electricity usage with national Green-e Energy® certified, wind Renewable Energy Certificates. So you’ll feel good knowing you are managing your budget and supporting a cleaner environment. For more information about Green-e Energy®, see www.green-e.org/rec.
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