Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Austin Energy's GreenChoice Program - It's Back!

Via: Austinist

After being closed to new subscribers for a period of time, Austin Energy's GreenChoice program is extending its green arms for Austinites far and wide. Claiming to be the nation's most successful utility-sponsored green power program, GreenChoice is an opportunity to walk the sustainability talk.

In a world of anonymous carbon offsetting claims, Austin Energy's green power flows into Austin from wind turbines in McCarney and Sweetwater, Texas in addition to receiving electricity from several solar installations and three landfill gas projects in Austin and San Antonio.

So how does it work? By subscribing to the program, you will receive a charge of 5.5 cents per kWh which is fixed until December 31, 2022 (compared to the fuel charge of 3.65 cents per kWh). In short, the average residential customer consuming about 1,000 kWh per month wil pay about $18.50 more per month for GreenChoice power. But before you get in a monetary tizzy, take a moment to look at the bigger green picture.

As natural gas and fossil fuel prices continue to rise, an investment in GreenChoice decreases our reliance on these sources and will decrease air pollution. Here is the caveat, when you sign up, this does not necessarily mean your individual home or business specifically receives the renewable energy. It is a tried and true community model based on giving to get. According to Austin Energy:

When you subscribe to GreenChoice, Austin Energy contracts for green power to meet your needs. Green power then is delivered to our electric system daily. This means less electricity is needed from natural gas or coal-fired power plants. The green power reaches Austin over the statewide transmission system. Once it enters our system, it mixes with power from the generating plants. This means the electricity generated from "green" sources is not be directed to a specific home or business. Rather, as more customers subscribe to GreenChoice, the proportion of green power in that mix grows larger and larger.

So do your part today and subscribe at Austin Energy or call (512) 972-7548 while there is not a waiting list.

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