How about we take a brief break from all the politics to talk about something near and dear to our Green hearts – clean energy? My wife and I own a little mom and pop jewelry store in Lowell. We have been here since 2002. Nothing would make me happier that to have a solar array or a couple wind generators on the roof of our 3 story building – built in 1868. That is simply not in the cards right now.
However, I am pleased to tell you that our building is now a Certified Clean Energy Partner with Arcadia Power. We are basically buying RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates) from Arcadia to offset the amount of energy we use in an average month. Arcadia looked at the past 12 month of bills and came up with a monthly average of kilowatts used. Then they gave us an amount that represents the difference we would pay to have our electric be provided directly by a wind farm. For us it works out to $10 a month.
Here in Lowell we have our own local utility – Lowell Light & Power, so we continue to pay them and then pay Arcadia the extra $10 every month. If you are set up with the bigger utilities like Detroit Edison and Consumers Power you can actually just pay one single bill and still have your electricity coming from a clean, renewable source.
How cool is that, I ask you? I will gladly pay $10 a month to help get Michigan weaned off dirty power – from coal or oil. If enough of us do this, then the demand for renewable electricity will rise even faster than it is now and we can be on our way to a Green Future – you know, the one Jill and Amaju talk about all the time! Ooops, no politics.
Here is a simple chart that explains how the RECs work. Oh, just in case you are thinking this sounds like something kind of fishy – Arcadia Power has the endorsement of the Sierra Club. That endorsement helped push my decision.
If you have your own renewable energy source, fantastic! However, if you are like us, then finding Arcadia Power can make you feel a whole lot better when you pay your electric bill.
You can learn about them here: Arcadia Power.