How to Buy Green Power in Your State
Since there are several types of renewable energy resources that can be used to produce electricity, there are also several ways to buy green power. The first thing to consider is location. That is, should you buy green power from a power grid or should you consider having an onsite facility? The latter choice will require a higher investment but, in the long run, the benefits from lower energy production costs are greater. Large companies and individuals who own large tracts of land may want to have an onsite facility. Individuals living in cities and smaller companies with no area to spare for photovoltaic cells or windmills may opt for buying green power from a power grid.
When the decision is to buy green power from a power grid, the next step is to determine which of the renewable energy companies can provide the best option. One aspect to consider is the percentage of electricity that is produced from renewable energy sources. Some energy companies utilize renewable energy resources for as low as 10% of the total power they produced while other companies produce up to 80% of their power from alternative energy sources.
Another aspect to consider is the cost of green power. Longer contracts with a renewable energy company usually entail lower costs. The consumer must also ensure that the contract indicated a fixed price with no fuel-cost adjustments. Paying for green power is not always cheaper than paying for conventional power produced by fossil fuels. When the price of oil is low, green power would be more expensive. But when the price of oil rises exponentially, green power becomes very affordable.
What if your state has no supplier of green power? In this case, consumers should look into RECs or Renewable Energy Certificates. The REC, which is sometimes called the Green Tag, is one of the government’s renewable energy incentives. An energy company that produced one Megawatt-hour of electricity from a renewable energy source is credited with one REC. This REC is then sold to consumers, separate from the green power produced. The income generated from selling RECs will finance the building of more renewable energy plants. From the consumer’s perspective, buying an REC is not equivalent to paying for the electricity being consumed in the house. The REC is an investment that will increase the availability of green power.