Utilities all over the country now are including more and more renewable energy generation sources in their power mix. Renewable energy comes from wind farms, solar systems, geothermal, and some sources of hydro power.
Utilities do one of two things to get renewable energy for their customers. They either own and produce their own power from a renewable energy plant like a wind farm, or they buy Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from a renewable energy producer. These RECs are essentially the green attributes of the power and can be sold independently of the actual electricity.
Right here in our own area, Rocky Mountain Power offers it's customers the chance to buy Blue Sky Renewable Energy, which comes from wind and solar energy in the surrounding region. By purchasing green power, you lower your carbon footprint as well as encourage the development of new renewable energy projects so we can start phasing out our fossil fuel energy sources. Blue Sky power is sold in 100 kilowatt-hour (kWh) increments or 'blocks' and cost $1.95 per block. You can buy as many or as few of blocks as you want and is completely voluntary. On average about 10 blocks a month will cover 100% of a home's electricity use. For example: If your average electricity use every month is 850 kWh, if you guy 8 blocks of Blue Sky, you'll almost offset all your power with renewable energy. If you buy 9, you'll be over 100%. Buying 1 block per month for a whole year would equate to planting 65 trees or not driving your car for 1,474 miles. To purchase blocks of renewable energy from RMP, go to Blue Sky Renewable Energy and "sign up now" at the bottom of the page, or call 1-800-769-3717 and an agent will take care of you.