Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Green Energy

One of the larger decisions we made earlier this year as a response to the climate changes was to switch our electricity use to renewable energy. Our neighborhood covenants prohibit setting up solar panels and windmills, so we opted to use our energy company's option of buying blocks of renewable energy. The program is called NatureWise and lets you buy electricity in blocks of 100kWh at $1 per block per month in addition to the regular charge.

We downloaded our 2-year history of electricity usage from Wisconsin Public Service's (WPS) web site and calculated that we averaged about 900 kWh per month, so we signed up for 9 blocks, making our entire electricity usage renewable for $9/month, and cutting our carbon emissions by 4,644 kg (10,238 lbs) CO2 per year.

The program works by committing WPS to purchasing the blocks of electricity from renewable sources (wind, solar etc) to be added to the grid, thereby lowering the amount of fossil fuels WPS uses to generate electricity. The specific electricity coming to our house hasn't changed and comes from whatever source is closest (or however the electricity distribution works...).

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