As of 2016, renewable energy accounted for only 12% of the United State’s energy consumption. Renewable energy sources are immensely valuable in their ability to compete with fossil fuels while preserving our environment, but remain vastly underused. These programs from your power providers support the use of renewable energy sources by buying from wind, solar, and hydroelectric plants. Actions like this reduce the dependence on fossil fuels, increase the use of non-polluting energy, and help preserve the environment.
Pacific Power, Midstate Electric, and Central Electric Cooperative offer monthly plans for their customers. Payment is a small premium each month, usually about $2 to $5, and the company uses that money to purchase from renewable energy sources. This not only increases the company’s use of green power, but also creates demand for these products.
Pacific Power’s month-to-month plan, Blue Sky, also supports various community projects in Oregon such as the solar installation on the Habitat ReStore, Lava Ridge Elementary, and the Parks and Rec District office, as well as preserving the habitats of native fish like salmon. Their simplest plan, the Blue Sky Block, costs only $1.95 extra per 100 kwh (kilowatt-hours) used in your home. You can use this handy calculator to find how much your selected premium helps the environment. Have more questions about the project? Check out this FAQ.
Central Electric Cooperative has a similar program, called Green Power. By paying around $2 extra per month through a 100 kwh year-long contract, you help them support various green energy sources throughout Oregon. They also have a solar program, Shared Solar, which benefits a solar installation at their office on SE 27th Street here in Bend. Solar energy is a great asset to any household and even one 10 kwh panel system can prevent over 5,000 pounds of greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere. For those of us who don’t have the time to install solar panels on their own roof, this plan is a great way to use solar energy in your own home. You purchase a subscription to one or more whole panels, half panels, and even quarter panels, and your house will begin using local solar power.
Midstate Electric provides a plan where a resource called Environmentally Preferred Power (EPP) is purchased in a contract with Bonneville Power Administration. This power is produced from wind farms along the Columbia River Gorge that have been endorsed by three leading Northwest environmental groups. The amount you pay depends on the amount of green energy you would like to sign up for, with 100 kwh blocks available. The minimum you can purchase is 2 blocks, being about $5 extra on your monthly bill. While there is no guarantee you will receive this green power, the energy will be provided to the Northwest power grid.
These programs are great opportunities for you to quickly and easily help our renewable resources become commonly used. Green energy is safer for the planet and for you. Investing in these organizations will make a massive difference in safeguarding our environment for years to come.