Published on December 27th, 2013 | by Jake Richardson10
Clean Energy Delivered to Your Door: Ethical Electric Interview
December 27th, 2013 by Jake Richardson
Ethical Electric provides clean electricity from renewable sources to consumers in a no-fuss no-muss way. Signing up via their website takes a matter of minutes and you keep the same utility and have the same utility bill – but use electricity from clean sources. Below is an interview with them that provides more details.
1. How do you deliver electricity from wind and solar to local utilities?
Ethical Electric is licensed energy supplier and as member of the grid, we supply the power generation and transmission needs of our customers, but we are free to source energy based on our own criteria, so we buy transmission and 100% local, clean energy on behalf of our customers. We deliver all electricity to the local, power grid run by the local utilities for distribution to our residential customers.
2. Do people who sign up for your service continue to pay the same rates they were before?
Some do, but most customers pay a small premium for 100% local, clean energy that puts your power bill to work for good – that premium is in the $6-8/month range for the average power customer.
3. Do you pay the same bill to the same utility?
So, you get the same power bill that you have always gotten from your local utility, but now the generation and transmission portion of your bill is no longer supplied by dirty energy and is now supplied by 100% local, clean energy and the complicated old tariff is usually a much simpler one or two lines under our name.
4. Are there any tax breaks for using electricity from renewable sources?
There are definitely tax breaks for generators for renewable energy and we take those savings and pass them on to our customers, but generally their aren’t tax breaks for using renewable energy – although they do help with certifications, like LEED, B Corp, of the EPA Green Power Partnership, and sometimes those certifications have tax advantages.
5. What are the main environmental and social benefits to buying electricity from renewable sources?
There are so many! First, pollution from dirty energy is the most dangerous thing we breathe, after tobacco smoke, so things like red alert days for kids with asthma, lung disease and even serious health problems for the young and the old are some of the problems we can help solve by switching to local, clean energy – which is part of the reason local power is so important to us, we want the health benefits for our member’s communities.
The National Academies of Science calculated the health care costs of dirty energy at $125 billion, which is staggering. MIT recently calculated over 52,000 Americans lose their lives due to health pollution from fossil fuels, mostly in the area we serve – this is a really, really big problem that we have the technology to solve, we just need people to stand up and demand it.
Second, clean energy creates jobs, good, typically union manufacturing jobs pouring the mostly recycled steel to make towers or the blades, construction and wiring jobs to build them, and engineering and maintenance for the wind farms. Renewable energy creates several jobs for each equivalent job in fossil fuels, for the same power output, even at competitive prices, so switching to renewable energy creates tens of thousands of good, clean energy jobs.
Third and most importantly, renewable energy is a major solution to the biggest problem we are facing, climate change. Global warming is already impacting us here in the United States and the average customer that switches from dirty energy to local, renewable energy can prevent over ten thousand pounds of greenhouse gases per year. That really adds up.
6. How many people have signed up so far?
Tens of thousands. We are not yet releasing exact numbers.
7. Are you currently available in all states?
Unfortunately not, we are currently licensed in ten states and operational in seven, NJ, PA, DC, MD, DE, IL, and NY. We are soon offering our service in OH, MA, RI, and will be expanding into more states over the next year, but we are only available to customers in open electricity markets, at this time. But, we are looking forward to more states offering their residents the ability to choose clean energy soon.
8. When people sign up for your program does it impact net metering for those with their own home solar power system?
No, we are one of the few energy suppliers that accepts customers using net metering, as we want to support solar power. In fact, we help our members get rooftop solar though partnerships with leading solar installers, like Sungevity. We are happy to power our members homes with the wind and the sun.
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