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One Way It Is Easy Being Green

Rural Intelligence: Community: Passages Image

The hydroelectric power plant in Falls Village, CT

Can you trust your power company when it says it will charge you more for sustainable energy? Do you really have any choice unless you go off the grid? For now, signing up for your utility company’s green programs is one simple toward solving the climate crisis, encouraging them to invest more in renewable energy. Is there any reason to wait?

If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to be more eco-conscious and environmentally pro-active, look at all those pieces of paper stuffed into your electric bill. One of them probably gives you the information you need to sign up for clean energy. If you live in Litchfield County, Connecticut Light & Power allows you to opt to have all your electricity come from a company called Sterling Planet, which makes energy from renewable sources: 33% wind, 34% landfill gas and 33% small hydro. CL&P estimates that it will cost a typical household $3.85 to $8 more per month, which seems a bargain to help free us from our dependence on oil, coal and nuclear energy.

• If you live Hudson, NY, you can sign up for National Grid’s GreenUp renewable energy program. For residents of Eastern Columbia County, you can enroll in New York State Electric & Gas’s “Catch the Wind” program and buy a block of 200 kilowatt-hours of wind-generated electricity every month for one year that reduces carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to planting 1 acre of trees or not driving 2,194 miles.

• In Berkshire County, Western Massachusetts Electric supports renewable energy programs but does not allow one to opt to get all one’s energy from sustainable sources.
But some Berkshire residents can be part of The Massachusetts Electric Company’s GreenUp  program whose providers include Community Energy, Mass Energy Consumers Alliance , and Sterling Planet.

• It’s not so easy for most Dutchess County residents to go green, because Central Hudson Gas & Electric only points you in the right direction to do your own research. But other residents can sign up for New York State Electric and Gas’s Catch the Wind program.



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