Clean Energy Delivered to Your Door: Ethical Electric Interview

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

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.

Image Credit: Steve Wilson

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.

If you are interested in learning more about better forms of power, check out the clean energy channel.

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

CleanTechnica Holiday Wish Book

Holiday Wish Book Cover

Click to download.

Our Latest EVObsession Video

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

Jake Richardson

Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Twitter:

Jake Richardson has 1008 posts and counting. See all posts by Jake Richardson

10 thoughts on “Clean Energy Delivered to Your Door: Ethical Electric Interview

  • This would be a very hard sell. It’s only done on paper to increase your premium rates to appease your conscience. I am not buying this gimmickry, but I am buying and installing solar, how about that?

    • Marion, I signed up with Pear Energy, which similarly provides 100% renewable energy via my local electric utility company. (Viridian is another such company, and I believe there are several more.) In a way, it is just accounting, since the electricity is just electricity no matter where it comes from. But I trust that my extra 2 cents per kwh on top of my regular bill is all going to fund renewable energy that would otherwise not be funded, and that small sacrifice will make it easier and cheaper for others to join in the future. Buying and installing your own solar would be even better, but we are not in a position to do the same, so I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to say now that 100% of our electricity comes from renewable energy.

      I’d like the same opportunity to designate all our natural gas comes from renewable sources rather than the fossil variety.

      • Eesh! They make you pay more? That sucks. We’re 100% and saving money with Viridian. Same with our natural gas…they buy carbon offsets.

  • One day I received a letter from PECO (my utility) asking me if I wanted to pick up their wind option. This was incredibly weird for me because I chose Community Energy Inc. for my supplier after PECO deregulated. PECO deregulating means it CAN NOT be an energy supplier only a distributor. Determined to find out who the sender of this Clean Energy option from “PECO”, I found out that it was Ethical Electric that sent me the letter. In my opinion Ethical Electric is not very ethical. They sent a letter that led you to believe that it was from PECO saying they are offering a clean energy option. On this letter I found the name of the company once in small writing. If you are looking for a renewable energy supplier in Pa go with Community Energy Inc. They will match the local utility’s price and the proceeds from your electric bill go towards building local solar projects. I commend Ethical Electric on being a renewable supplier, but I would like it if they would be more ethical in their customer acquisition practices.

    • Corbin, I wonder if the letter you received was more PECO’s doing, leveraging the trust some customers might have in them. If so, Ethical Electric would not be to blame for not being so visible in the letter, and they might prefer to be more visible.

      • It was not PECO’s doing. If PECO did that, it would show support for a particular supplier over others. It would also show support of renwable energy by PECO, which I do not believe they support to much. After all, the PECO wind program only was instituted after PECO was sued for not offering a clean energy option.

        I think it was a ploy by “Ethical” Electric to make people believe it was PECO mailing them instead of another energy supplier. PECO used to offer a clean energy option for a slightly higher rate before deregulation occurred. A target audience, former PECO Wind Program customers, may believe that this is that program beginning again. I’m not on here to bash Ethical Electric because I support renewable suppliers, but I just wish they would be more ethical and not mislead customers to think that it was PECO. The week after I received the letter from Ethical I received a similar one from a brown power company offering a better rate than the utility and they had the common sense to put their name all over that information sheet. They did not make me believe it was PECO. So why did Ethical Electric?

  • Wind power can be ethical or not. It is not ethical when it destroys habitat as it does on ridge lines in Vermont.

    • How do you feel about the forests of Vermont being wiped out by insect invasion, disease, drought and massive forest fires?

      Do you think it ethical to assist in the destruction of the planet in order to protect your view?

      • I’m against the forests of Vermont being wiped out by insect invasion, disease, drought and massive forest fires. And, who said anything about the view? The issue is habitat destruction and interrupting travel corridors of bears and other animals. Industrial wind turbines don’t belong everywhere. Some thought has to be given to our fellow animals.

        • I don’t believe for a moment that wind turbines on ridges are blocking the movement of mammals. In some cases routes may be changed, but that’s minor.
          And please contemplate on this for a while.

          Climate change will result in habitat destruction on a massive, massive, massive scale.

Comments are closed.