You can green your electricity supply without putting solar panels on your roof. It’s called buying your electricity from a Green Energy supplier. The way it works is the supplier builds one or more large solar fields or windmill farms in available space out west or even on available land closer to home and transmits that energy over the various lines across the country. Yes the electrons get all mixed up, but when you pay your bill, your money goes to the green supplier to support building more solar/wind fields.
The first thing you need to do is pull up your electricity bill from Eversource or whatever Utility is serving where you live. Somewhere on that bill there will be a section with a name like “Total Charges for Electricity. “ There they will break down the cost per kilowatt hour (kWh) between supply charges and delivery charges. The supply covers the cost of the power used to create the electrons that flow into your home over the electric power lines. The delivery charge covers the costs to build and maintain the power lines and other equipment needed to deliver those electrons. It is simply not reasonable to have muliple companies with multiple power lines delivering those electrons. So the delivery job falls to your local electric company be that Eversource, Liberty Utilities, Unitil or some other.
This Is Your Choice
Where you have a choice, and where green energy comes in, is with the supplier. Right now I know of two such suppliers serving New Hampshire — ENH Power and Direct Energy. You can get an estimate of their current price per kWh at powersetter.com. Generally 100% Green Power will be slightly higher per kWh for the same time period.
Before making a change here’s what you need to look for. 1) Price/kWh. 2) Is the energy from a 100% green source? 3) How long is the contract? 4) What is the charge if you need to or choose to break the contract?
For your Utility company ( Eversource, Unitil, Liberty, etc) the answers are: 1) Check with your utility or look on your current bill. 2) None of them provide 100% green. 3) There are no contracts but by law the price is fixed for 6 months and is updated twice per year. 4) There is no charge to change energy suppliers.
To get the answers to these questions for ENH (800 549-6160) or Direct Energy (866 268-1215), you need to call the potential supplier. You can find some of the answers on the internet.
The process for changing suppliers could not be easier. You contact the new supplier, provide them with the information they need to set up your account. They will then work with your utility to reflect the new supplier and supply charge on your bill. You won’t need to keep track of two electric bills. Everything will be reflected on the one bill you will continue to receive from your local Utility.
You do need to be aware of when the contract with the new supplier runs out. If you do not renew, they will either change you to their month-to-month rate or put you back on your Utilities month to month charge which will likely be noticeably higher. So be aware of when your contract runs out and renew it in the final month of your contract to keep the best existing contract rates.
Malia Till, Social Responsibility Committee