When you choose the Green Source option, 100 percent of your electricity is clean, renewable electricity. You pay a slightly higher rate per kilowatt hour to purchase power that reduces air pollution and supports development of renewable electricity generation facilities.
Q. What is the source of Green Source electricity?
In 2010, approximately 44 percent of the electricity for Green Source came from New Low-Impact Hydro sources, 35 percent from new wind sources, 14 percent from new biomass (wood waste) power, and 7 percent from new geothermal power.
Q. What is “new low-impact hydro power”?
Low-impact hydropower is hydropower certified by the Low Impact Hydropower Institute to have been generated at dams that have met stringent standards to minimize their impact on rivers, fish and wildlife. Because of this distinction, regular hydropower is not considered renewable energy, but low-impact hydropower can be classified as renewable.
Q. What is “new wind” energy?
New wind power is generated by wind power projects that began operations after July 23, 1999. Because these facilities are recent additions to the electric grid, the electricity they generate offsets older forms of generation that typically generate air pollution.
Q. What is “new biomass” energy?
Some of the electricity in PGE’s renewable product portfolio is generated from renewable biomass. Biomass generation technologies use plants and organic matter to generate electricity. These resources may be burned directly or converted into another fuel before being used. PGE’s renewable products use only two sources of biomass: wood and landfill gas. Electricity derived from burning municipal solid waste is not purchased for any of our products.
Q. Will the renewable electricity option I choose come directly to my home?
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No company can guarantee that electricity from a particular generating facility flows to your home. Instead, electricity, including the cleaner renewable electricity that you buy from PGE, is delivered to the regional electricity grid, not specifically to your house. You can be confident that the amount of electricity you use throughout the year will be matched by the same amount of renewable electricity. This cleaner electricity is delivered into the grid and displaces the more polluting energy you would have purchased otherwise.
By making a choice for Clean Wind, you can help build a sustainable energy future with additional renewable resources for the Northwest.
Q. How is the money from the Clean Wind program being used?
The funds from customers who select the Clean Wind option are set aside in a fund to pay for new renewable power generation resources. Purchasing Clean Wind ensures that more of our growing energy needs will be met with green, renewable resources.
Q. Where is the wind power that PGE purchases for all customers generated?
All of the renewable energy comes from 100 percent new sources (built after July, 1999) located in the Western Electricity Coordinating Council region. For 2010, PGE purchased renewable power from these sources.
Q. Will my power be shut off or reduced when the wind doesn’t blow?
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No. Since wind power is an “intermittent” resource, PGE fills in the gap with other resources when the wind is not blowing or blowing at a reduced level. PGE renewable power is as safe and reliable as Basic Service.
The Habitat Support supplement is in addition to your purchase of Green Source or Clean Wind. If you add this to your renewable power selection, you are helping the future of salmon in Oregon at our local level. This monthly $2.50 fee goes directly to The Nature Conservancy
, and is dedicated to salmon habitat restoration. The Nature Conservancy coordinates use of funds to improve habitat on streams throughout the region and help preserve this historic legacy for future generations.
Q. If I’m already a renewable power customer, can I add Habitat Support to my current service?
Yes. At any time, you can add Habitat Support to your renewable power option. Sign up online.
Q. What are the environmental benefits of adding Habitat Support?
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Q. What are PGE’s renewable power programs?
This choice also supports local salmon restoration projects and reduces dependence on power generation that can harm salmon. To date, Habitat Support customers have restored more than 130 miles of stream habitat in our service territory.
Through our renewable power choices, PGE customers can help develop clean, renewable sources of energy. Two options are available:
In addition, you may add Habitat Support to one of the two main options.
Q. Who is Green Mountain Energy Co.?
Green Mountain Energy Co. provides energy to PGE for the Green Source and the Habitat Support options. They are the nation’s largest and fastest growing residential provider of cleaner electricity. Green Mountain Energy Co. is a privately held company headquartered in Austin, Texas. The company also has offices in Wayne, Pa.; Milford, Conn.; Dublin, Ohio; Mt. Laurel, N.J.; and Burlington, Vt. For more information, visit the Green Mountain Energy website.
Q. How is Green Mountain Energy Co. working with PGE?
Green Mountain Energy Co. was selected to offer the Green Source and Habitat Support products to PGE customers through 2012.
Q. Why is PGE offering these renewable power options?
PGE has always believed in good environmental stewardship. In addition, our customers have frequently told us they like — and would support — environmentally friendly energy options. Also, Oregon Senate Bill 1149, which took effect in 2002, requires us to offer these types of options.
Q: If I buy renewable power, how much of my monthly bill is spent on marketing these options?
PGE’s renewable power program is #1 in the nation for renewable power sales. We’re proud of our outreach to educate our customers about these options and the benefit to our environment.
Over the last decade, PGE has been a pioneer in bringing renewable power options to market. Thanks to our customers, this program has been extremely successful, currently ranked number one in the country for kilowatt hours sold to residential customers. To achieve this level of success, PGE conducts outreach to educate our customers about these options and the benefit to the environment.
Here are the facts about PGE’s outreach efforts.
- PGE’s promotion, education and marketing expenditures for green power are a relatively small part of the green power customer’s electric bill, about 4 percent of the average of $84.18 Green SourceSM monthly bill.
- The entire premium for 100 percent renewable energy, the amount paid over and above the standard price for electricity, is only eight-tenths of one cent per kilowatt-hour — about one third of the national average of 2.36 cents per kilowatt-hour.
- PGE’s marketing costs, per kilowatt hour, are about half the national average.
The outcome has been a huge environmental win for the region. As a direct result of this promotion and education, our green power customers have avoided generation of estimated 3 billion pounds of carbon dioxide at conventional power plants since 2002, reducing the potential for climate change. That’s like taking 244,248 cars off the road. Because of our customers’ commitment to the environment, Oregon has become a leader in production of clean energy and PGE’s renewable power program is No. 1 in the U.S. for the number of renewable power customers.*
* NREL ranking 2010.
Q. Why doesn’t PGE just give 100 percent renewable energy to everyone without charging more?
PGE attempts to keep costs as low as possible for all customers. Currently, renewable power is more expensive than our traditional Basic Service mix. PGE is adding more wind power to our overall mix all the time, but for now, customers who want even more renewable energy have the option to pay a little more for that choice.
Q. Who is eligible to participate in renewable programs?
PGE residential customers and small to mid-size commercial and industrial customers on Rate Schedule 32 — see your bill — can participate. For details, see our Power Options section. There also is a separate Clean Wind program for larger (Schedule 83) business customers.
Q. How do customers benefit?
PGE customers have a unique opportunity to build demand for clean, renewable power, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, support the construction of new wind, geothermal and solar power plants, and help restore salmon habitat. Business customers can receive recognition and promotional support for their involvement. Businesses can demonstrate good corporate citizenship and environmental stewardship to their customers by participating in this program.
Q. How do I sign up?
Customers can sign up online or enroll by calling a PGE customer representative at 503-228-6322 or 800-542-8818 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
After your enrollment is received, your renewable power charge will appear on your bill after the next regularly scheduled meter-read date.
Q. How long a commitment do I have to make?
You may cancel at any time, but your bill will reflect the additional monthly charge through your next regularly scheduled meter-read date unless you are disconnecting your service.
Q. Will I actually receive electricity only from renewable resources?
The renewable electricity that you buy from PGE goes into the regional electricity grid, not specifically to your home. You can be confident that the amount of renewable electricity you choose to purchase will be delivered into the grid to displace the more polluting energy you would have purchased otherwise.
Q. Who monitors how the money will be spent?
The use of funds from PGE’s Clean Wind program are closely watched by various organizations, including environmental groups and the Oregon Public Utility Commission, which has authorized PGE to collect additional revenue to support this program.
PGE and Green Mountain Energy Co. are responsible for purchasing sufficient supplies of renewable power to meet the requirements of this program.
For salmon habitat restoration, PGE has formed an alliance with The Nature Conservancy, one of the world leaders in preserving the natural environment, to manage funds from Habitat Support.
The Nature Conservancy invests the funds in protecting Oregon rivers and streams that benefit salmon.
Q. Where do I go to get more information on the renewable power options?
For more detailed information, call a customer service representative at 503-228-6322 or 800-542-8818 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday − Friday.
More information on wind power in the Northwest is available at the Renewable Northwest Project website.
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