Clean Electric Energy -- Resources for the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania


CONTENTS:



























Introduction
Switch to Wind
Wind/Solar at Home
Resources







































Introduction
Switch to Wind
Wind/Solar at Home
Resources










































Introduction
Switch to Wind
Wind/Solar at Home
Resources








































Introduction
Switch to Wind
Wind/Solar at Home
Resources








































Introduction
Switch to Wind
Wind/Solar at Home
Resources

Introduction -- Why Switch to Renewable Electric Power?

The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.
Psalm 24:1

There is a strong Biblical tradition that underlies our concern for environmental justice, but it's not always clear how to turn that concern into practice. People in the Lehigh Valley now have the option to choose wind-generated electric power for home, church and business use. It is easy to sign up and does not require you to change your electric company (PPL for many folks in the Lehigh Valley, and PECO in the Philadelphia area.)

Under the current price structure, the costs are slightly higher for wind-power, but the long-term benefits are substantial--especially since utility rates don't reflect the huge environmental cost of conventional power-plant emissions.

(See CleanYourAir.org for more about power plant emissions, or links for information about Global Climate Change / Global Warming.)

Scientists continue to document the long-term detrimental effects of our gluttonous consumption of fossil fuels, including rapid extinction of plant and animal species, rising waters inundating South Pacific Islands, bleaching (extinction) of coral reefs, glaciers rapidly disappearing world-wide, new insect infestations in Alaska's forests devastating three of the four primary species of trees, more frequent occurrence of extreme weather conditions -- such as the "1000-year" rainstorm that flooded parts of the U.S. East Coast in July 2004. (See, for example, Sept. 2004 issue of National Geographic on "Global Warning.")

For every household that purchases clean electricity,
the environmental impact is like:
  • planting over 950 new trees
  • taking 1.7 cars off the road
  • not driving 20,000 miles
    every year!

Lehigh Valley folks have a choice -- we can continue to "wait for the experts" -- as some folks in the petroleum industry are betting we will do -- until disaster strikes home; or we can accept responsibility for our own habits and choose to honor God's creation in very practical ways. The primary supplier of wind-generated electricity in Pennsylvania is Community Energy Inc. The wind-generated power is distributed to local electric customers by companies such as PPL and PECO. Besides commercial wind power, it is also possible for home or business owners to set up their own solar or wind generation for clean electric power and security from commercial power interruptions. There are comprehensive resources on the web (see the links below) -- including details about how to sign up for wind power; glossaries which explain the meaning of technical terms used to describe wind and solar power. And for anyone who wants to explore do-it-yourself clean power, there are extensive charts, tables, and discussion of legal requirements for home wind and solar systems.


Switching to Wind-Generated Power

-- The Fast and Easy Way!

For folks who are customers of PP&L, there are currently three choices for "clean energy." Community Energy Inc. offers 100% wind-generated electric power. Native Energy offers electricity created from burning the methane generated by farm animals (much cleaner than coalbed and landfill methane), and also offers 100% wind power. Greenmountain Energy offers two options with either 10% or 15% wind-generated power. This is an overview of how the process works; details may be found at through the links below, or you may call the toll-free numbers for further information.

When you sign up for wind-generated power provided by Community Energy, you may choose to replace PP&L-generated electric power in units of 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) each month -- up to the full amount of your consumption. PP&L will continue to bill you at the standard rate, including power transmission and various other charges. In addition, you will pay a monthly charge of $2.50 for each 100kWh of wind-generated power that you wish to purchase.

Because many different electric generation sources are attached to the electric grid (the wires that bring power to your home), one cannot say precisely where the electricity that enters your home originated. But for every 100kWh that you purchase, more wind-energy is connected to the grid, and less comes from other pollution-generating sources owned by PPL.

Under the current system of cost allocation, wind-generated power costs more than other "conventional" sources of power generation -- since the current billing system does not account for the damage caused by power-plant emissions. PPL customers pay the additional charge directly to Community Energy (which can be billed monthly to a credit card -- or other arrangements for payment can be made), and PP&L will continue to bill you monthly at its standard rates. The difference for PP&L is that a portion of your monthly payment to PP&L (the amount for energy usage) will go to Community Energy as well to support the construction and maintenance of more wind generation capacity.

A residential customer who uses about 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity every month would pay an additional $12.50 per month to convert to 100% wind energy.

Native Energy wind farms are under construction in South Dakota. Look for more information here later about purchasing electric power from Native Energy, or see the contact information below.

Note that PECO customers in the Philadelphia area can now request Community Energy wind power and be billed directly through PECO (see www.pecowind.com or call 1-866-WIND-321).

For Green Mountain Energy,the arrangements for payment are similar to those for Community Energy; however, Green Mountain supplies a maximum of 15% wind-power, and includes other sources of power that produce greenhouse gases.

For further information or to sign up with Community Energy, see the web page www.NewWindEnergy.com or call toll-free: 1-866-WIND-123.
For further information or to sign up with Native Energy, see the web page www.nativeenergy.com or call toll-free: 1-800-924-6826.
For further information about Green Mountain energy, see the web page www.GreenMountain.com, or call toll-free: 1-888-246-6703 or 1-800-286-5856.

For additional information about these choices and other utilities follow these steps:
  • Go to www.cleanyourair.org
  • Near the top of the page or the bottom of the page click on the words Buy Now! or the words It's Easy.
  • Scroll down to the list of states and providers. In the Pennsylvania list, click on whomever you currently buy electricity from (such as PP&L or PECO).
  • You'll see a table showing all your potential providers, not just the clean ones. We suggest you choose a product that has the green and yellow logo in the product column which means the energy source has been independently audited and certified as being what it claims to be.
  • There are columns to the right that show details on the product mix and pricing information.

  • Wind and Solar at Home

    How to do it yourself

    Local Organizations Interested in Renewable Energy Issues


    Other Related Resources



    Contact webmaster: webcomm@ppjr.org.

    Location: http://www.ppjr.org/power/
    Last Updated:August 30, 2004
    Created: 08/01/04