RE: [hreg] renewable electricity
Here are two informative blog postings that may help you understand what’s going on and the intricacies of REP pricing.
It has been suggested that it may be better to look at the entire system and reducing energy consumption may be more important than using green power. In other words, maybe it is better to use a cheaper “non-green” power company and take the money saved by doing so and investing it in more insulation/weatherstripping/solar hot water/etc., resulting in lower power usage. An idea worth considering, at least. That is what I’ve done at my house (which is why I now have the problem of so many months below the 1000 kwh threshold!).
All electricity is put into the grid, ERCOT, regardless of the method by which it is generated. It can't be saved nor sent to your residence or business separately. When you choose a provider you are funding the method by which electricity is generated. Thus in order for Green Mountain to continue to build & maintain wind farms, the company needs customers.
At one time BP was a major funder of Green Mountain Energy. This is not longer the case. Those shares were sold to NRG, owner of CenterPoint. http://grist.org/article/2010-11-23-how-green-is-green-mountain-energy/
So yes there are ties to the fossil fuel industry. I don't know how similar this is to major food companies buying the smaller organic food companies.
So the question at hand: Is it possible to select an electricity provider that is generating electricity by a renewal method & not be indirectly or directly profiting a fossil fuel company? Many companies give customers the choice of energy generated by a renewal method at a higher rate. In Texas, that method tends to be wind.
On Mon, May 6, 2013 at 2:24 PM, evelyn sardina <evelynsardina@...> wrote:
Same thing happened to me! After the BP spill I wanted to switch from Green Mountain since I have heard that BP is same as Green Mountain. I buy their supposed 100% renewable energy so I pay more for my electricity already. I got an email from a pretty reputable organization about Pear Energy which should be all wind and solar energy generated energy. When I went to the webiste to see how much they charge they state that I would only pay 2 cents more than what i am already paying, but I already pay at a premium so how much is does 2 cents moreadd up to? I want a clear answer and plain english sp that I know what I would pay. On their For the Home page they state that you would only pay 2 cents more for up to 1000 dollars and 1.5 there after. Again use more and you get a discount. OMG! So I emailed them to see exactly how much per kilowatt I would be paying but same as you guys. I am still waiting to hear from them. When anyone of you figure this thing out could you please post your findings or email me so that I know the results? I would really appreciate this. Evelyn
--- On Sun, 5/5/13, Robert Johnston <junk1@...> wrote:
I’m not an expert, but have shopped for REPs several times and have a few comments.
First, I don’t think any of the green power companies truly sell green, since we all tap into the same grid. Most of the renewable energy content is provided by buying credits/offsets. They wouldn’t be able to tell you the source since they just buy the offset/credit.
Second, agree on the base charge issue. A few have <900 or <800 but most are <1000 kwh. One even has a $19.95 base charge. Look carefully, because they don’t all handle TDU and smartmeter charges the same; some include it in the base charge and some don’t. In most cases, the TDU includes a fixed monthly charge (in addition to its per kwh charge) regardless of usage, so it makes sense for the REP to pass that along. But it definitely penalizes you for becoming energy efficient. I’ve added insulation and adjusted my thermostat so that I’m <1000 on about half the year. I wrote the PUC to complain but didn’t even get a response. I don’t see them as very strong consumer advocates let alone green power/efficiency advocates. The way it stands, you are being incentivized to INCREASE your power usage if you fall into the “between zone” typically somewhere in the 800-1000 kwh range. Below that zone you are paying less than you would with 1000 kwh usage simply because you use so little power that even the base charge doesn’t make it more expensive to save, but once you are in the zone, it is actually cheaper to burn more kwh to get the usage >999 so that you don’t incur the base charge.
TruSmart seems gimmicky to me, btw. They have “free energy Sundays” (or was it Saturdays?) on one plan. But, as with Reliant’s time-of-use plan, if you calculate it all out you’ll find it more expensive than a regular plan. I don’t know why after paying for our smartmeters they can’t offer us time-of-use plans that actually let us save money when we reduce peak loads on the system, but nobody has that yet. I exchanged several emails with someone in PUC on this matter and they couldn’t help me either.
Can anyone explain what is going on with renewable content in our electricity? I'm shopping for a new provider on http://www.powertochoose.org/ and I came across this statement on the Electricity Fact Label for TruSmart Energy.
"Renewable Content 100% (A ‘green’ product may include Texas natural gas and renewable energy.)"
A year ago I went with Mission Power's Green product which said 100% renewable, but I always got the impression they were a natural gas company and when I asked the source they didn't answer. At renewal time they offered me 'fixed rate product' (10.3 cents) with 0% renewable. So, I'm shopping again.
I notice that a lot of them have a $10 usage charge <1000 kwh, which seems to be designed to penalize solar or energy conservative homes. Any advice?
"In every culture and in every medical tradition before ours, healing was accomplished by moving energy." Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Laureate in Medicine