Friday, July 18, 2008

Wind Power

Our house is powered entirely by alternative energy. We don’t have a windmill in our backyard nor solar panels on our roof but we use clean energy just the same because of our affiliation with a company called Community Energy . We purchase wind power Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s) from Community Energy and they ensure that clean wind energy is generated and delivered to the power grid on our behalf, ultimately making the mix of electricity in the power grid cleaner. By buying wind energy from Community Energy we increase the amount of pollution-free wind generated electricity, and decrease the need for energy generation from other non-renewable polluting sources.

The wind power REC’s we purchase from Community Energy cost $2.50 per block of 100 kWh in addition to what we pay our electric company. We began by purchasing four blocks of wind energy per month in early 2006 when our average monthly kilowatt-hours (kWh) used was approximately 850, so that we would be powered 50% by the wind. Late last year, we switched all of the lights in our house to CFL’s which reduced our monthly kWhs by 100. We anticipate our recent switch away from the electric clothes dryer to clothesline will save an additional 50 kWh per month which will bring us down to a monthly average of 700 kWh. In order to be 100% wind power, we now buy 7 blocks of wind energy REC’s per month for a total cost of $17.50. By reducing our electric bill by a total of 150 KWh per month through conservation measures, we have shaved $15 off of our electric bill which practically pays for the 7 blocks of wind energy REC’s. By making these simple changes we are encouraging wind farms to be built which will ensure cleaner air for the future.


Tom Gray said...

Nice work! We're doing that too, with RECs from Bonneville Environmental Foundation.

Wind power is readily available, affordable and abundant. Along with energy efficiency, it should be one of the first steps we take to respond to the threat of global warming.

For an authoritative look at what wind power can do, see the 20% by 2030 Technical Report from the U.S. Department of Energy at

Thomas O. Gray
American Wind Energy Association

Darcy said...

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the great comment and links. I have spent the better part of the morning checking out the links and your blogs and find the information fascinating.


Tom Gray said...

Thanks, Darcy, and thanks for spending your hard-earned cash to help build a better power system than the one we are using today.



I knew about being able to purchase windpower through the electric company but procrastinated in signing up. Your article inspired me to join the fray of the many people that are doing so. Thanks for the important nudge and story about your household use -- Barbara

Cateepoo said...

Your article inspired me also. I wasn't able to figure out how to sign up in my area but I have emailed them.