Testimonial: I Switched to Green Power

September 2, 2004

Say it loud, say it proud.

by Anne-Lise Breuning, Tenant, NoHo
2004-09-01

Growing up in a solar house in New Mexico made me a strong believer in green power. So I was thrilled when I read on my ConEdison bill “you have the power to make a difference…. Choose green power.”

But don’t bother calling the toll free number listed, it took 3 months for the information to arrive. You don’t have to wait— just go online to www.askpsc.com, the NY State Public Service Commission website to get the details.

When I switched in April 2004, as a resident in Manhattan, I only had one option for green power, ConEd Solutions. Now there is also a second option, 1st Rochdale Coop, which started offering green power this month.

ConEd Solutions and 1st Rochdale Coop are Energy Service Companies. ESCOs were created after NY State deregulated the electricity market. We can now choose an ESCO that will by buy power from green power plants. Although some ECSOs say they might start, only a fraction supports green power. Also ConEd Solutions and 1st Rochdale Coop do not exclusively use green power.

Since ConEdison owns the power grid in NYC, it will always be the utility used to deliver the electricity no matter where you buy the power. The ConEdison delivery fee and my ConEd Solutions charge will be on the same bill. Also note that the power that is directed to my apartment was not necessarily generated from green power sources, BUT I have paid ConEd Solutions to buy more green power to add to the mix.

ConEd Solutions charges 12.2 cents/KWH. Their green power is 25% wind, 75% hydro. (No monthly fee, taxes not included, there is a 3$ cancellation charge if you break the required year long contract.) There is also a 25$ rebate after 3 months. 1-888-320-8991 www.conedsolutions.com

I also spoke with Jackie Conkin at 1st Rochdale Cooperative Group. 212-673-3900 ex 262. She was really excited about green power and said that 1st Rochdale supports energy conservation, as well as, green power. Price is fixed if you use under 400KWH a month -14.4 cents total (12.9/KWH plus 1.5 cent charge) Power is a mix of 30% low hydro, 30% bio, 40% wind. www.1strochdalenyc.coop/cleanerElectricity.html or (1-877-624-3253)

Another thing that I found in this switcharoo was the new “environmental disclosure label”. Twice a year all electricity suppliers will send all NY State consumers a list of the sources of power used to generate their electricity (coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydro etc.) The label also lists the relative air emissions of Sulfur Dioxide, Nitrogen Oxides and Carbon Dioxide they created compared to other suppliers in NY. You can see a sample label at www.askpsc.com.

So far it was an easy switch over but I have yet to receive my first bill. I called my father in New Mexico to tell him the good news and he replied, “those bastards! Charging you more for green power, just goes straight in their pockets. They should be charging more for traditional power.” He did admit, however, that it was step in the right direction.

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