For all other areas, follow these steps:
- Identify wind and solar suppliers in your area.
- Google terms like “wind, solar, [your city]” and “renewable energy, [your zip code].”
- Look at your city’s Public Service Commission website.
2. Look at the available plans for each company by going to the company’s website, entering your zip code, and selecting for wind/solar plans.
3. Click on plans that are “wind,” “solar,” “green,” and/or “renewable energy.” For plans that are labeled as “green” and/or “renewable energy,” click on the plan, then find the “fuel mix” to make sure it is wind or solar (as opposed to nuclear, for example. Wind and solar are the most environmentally friendly renewable energy sources.
4. Compare plans.
- Identify your annual kWh usage by using the numbers on your electricity bill.
- Identify your current Transmission Services or Electric Supply kWh (kilowatt-hour) unit price by looking at your electricity bill. On most bills, there is a sentence that says something like, “Based on billed use, your average annual price to compare is X cents per kwh.” Compare this number with the kwh unit price in each wind/solar energy plan. Note that only the “Transmission Services” or “Electric Supply” costs will change. “Distribution Services” or “Electric Delivery” costs will not change.
- Multiply your annual kWh usage by your annual average price. This gives your annual Transmission Services or Electric Supply cost.
- Multiply your annual kWh usage by the kWh unit price in each green energy plan to get the annual Transmission Services or Electric Supply cost for each green energy plan.
- Compare the annual Transmission Services or Electric Supply cost of your current plan and the annual Transmission Services or Electric Supply cost of the green energy plans. You can divide the annual the annual Transmission Services or Electric Supply cost by 12 to get the estimated cost/month for each plan.
- If there is a cost increase, this is a kind nudge to make the switch — you’d be making an investment to end climate change, mountaintop removal mining, fracking, Standing Rock, etc. We can contribute significantly to ending these issues simply by switching to wind and solar in our homes.
4. Choose a plan and sign up as instructed on the company’s website.
FYI/Answers to FAQs:
- Your utility will remain as your utility.
- There will not be an interruption to your service, because wind and solar are in larger supply than demand. There are many wind farms and solar farms with which companies contract, so there is always wind or solar available for companies to purchase and supply to your home.
- Your electricity currently comes from your utility's default fuel mix, which is probably mostly coal, natural gas, and other fossil fuels. Switching to wind or solar energy simply means you instruct your utility to purchase your energy needs from wind or solar.
- Switching to wind or solar energy is an investment in wind or solar technology. Eventually wind and solar will be the least expensive energy options for everyone everywhere. Purchasing wind or solar now makes that shift happen faster.
- Widespread use of wind or solar energy (1) significantly mitigates climate change and (2) makes mountaintop removal to mine coal in Appalachia, fracking, and oil pipelines that threaten livelihoods literally become things of the past, and (3) mitigates wars fought for oil. The lessening of suffering that independent, renewable energy leads to is quite simply phenomenal.
- Once you sign up your home for 100% renewable energy, talk to the property manager at your place of work, school, place of worship, apartment building, gym, etc about that building making the switch. Property managers can get very good commercial rates.