"Green" Energy ?
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    Default "Green" Energy ?

    I'm wondering what you would do in this situation.

    DH and I strongly believe in alternative energy - solar, wind, hydro, etc. On our latest electric bill, we now have options to add "green" energy to our electric bill. Currently we are paying .11571 per KWH. There are two different "green" options we can add - one will add .024 per KWH (would add $11.88 to our last bill) and the other will add .020 per KWH (would add $9.90 to our last bill).

    I know what I want to do (go with the second option and pay the extra .020), but I'm wondering what you would do if you had this choice.

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    I saw a similar program on my bill. It mentioned using renewable energy; however, it to cost more. I would change if there was an economic incentive, but I don't want to pay more for electricity.

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    What does it mean to be "green" in their case?
    Is version 1 and 2 the same way just from different providers?
    Knowing might make you feel warm and fuzzier about your choice.
    And what are your priorities? Do you feel that you should first get the debt under control or that your principles outweigh that?

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    My initial reaction would be to pay for a greener solution. But yesterday I was listening to a radio program about our EF - environmental footprints. They said there are various sites where you can measure this on the internet (http://ecofoot.org/) and it seems that buying food that is grown locally is one of the best things you can do. The greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels (petrol/gas) makes any transport add incredibly to an environmentally less friendly footprint. Air travel is a big no no. Also living in the size house appropriate to your needs is also a very good thing to do.

    Sorry to rave on. To answer your question, I think I'd work on my food and house first and then decide if I wanted to pay for the green version of electricity. You also have to add to the equation the environmental costs of earning the extra money needed to pay for the green electricity.

    As with most conservation issues, the answer is not clear cut.

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    Rhonda,
    You've raised good points. Check out this website, www.perc.org. They do a lot of research on the environment. Sometimes, we think we are being environmentally friendly, but we're really creating more pollutants. I use to recycle all my plastic; now, I just trash it all. There's a study that Waste Management has down and it actually takes more energy to recycle plastic than to make new.

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    Shopgirl, thanks for directing me to that most interesting site. As much as it pains me to say this, unless there is a monetary value on "stuff" we often waste it or think it doesn't matter. I used to be against paying fees for local government services like rubbish disposal and tips but now I believe it's the only way people will see them as precious and worth being careful with. There is an end point with land fill and safe drinking water. We need to be much more careful when using these services and paying for them seems to be the only way to go. When the dollar is involved, people sit up and take notice.

    Regarding recycling, I prefer to reduce my consumption of plastics, paper, water and chemicals, rather than bringing more of them into my life and then recycle. I'm an anti-consumerist and I rarely buy anything unless I absolutely have to have it. I try to reuse things I already have to fit a new need. It works nicely most of the time, other times it's frustrating. But I'm fairly new to this. I've been trying to live like this for a few years and I still haven't sorted out all my systems yet. I'll get there. In the meantime I'm always interested in new avenues of information and I really appreciate you pointing me towards PERC.

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    Sara, I wanted to add that I am using environmentally sound ways of reducing electricity usage.  It supports the committment above where I reduce whatever I use. I have skylights in three rooms - a bathroom without a window, the laundry room also without a window and my kitchen. This saves turning on lights.

    We added verandahs to the front and back of our home to reduce sunlight and heat entering the main living areas.

    We have a solar hot water system, which comes with en electrical booster for non-sunny or cold days. We didn't plug the booster in and we've never needed to use it.

    We use energy saving light gobes throughout the house.

    We only buy appliances that have a 5 star (energy saving) rating.

    I also wanted to add that I too support the alternative energy movement and hope the day comes soon when we rely much less on fossil fuels.

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