By Zachary Shahan
A new initiative by New York City, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACENY) is making it possible for residents of New York to buy Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) through three easy steps on a simple, new website. The website is called Green Power NYC.
The program is starting off fairly limited, but is clearly helpful to consumers and the environment and is looking to grow.
Currently, people can purchase wind energy or a mix of wind and hydroelectric through the website. Danny Bradbury reports that "Green-e, the non-profit organisation that the system uses as its authorised verifier of RECs, has certified more than 65 separate REC providers that can provide energy to New York state," but there are currently only two electricity providers people can choose from on the website — Community Energy (Conedison Solutions) and Sterling Planet. Nonetheless, I think this is a good start.
This is a great method for increasing the use of renewable energy in the area and the country — it brings it directly to people in a convenient way, people who already know we need to switch to renewable resources and don't want to wait any longer.
As the website says: "By purchasing renewable energy, you're helping build the market for new renewables and sending a signal that the demand for new renewables is growing. It's the fastest way you can help transform the electricity sector. "
In addition to individuals, small businesses using less than 10,000 kWh per month or approximately 100,000 kWh per year can buy RECs though Green Power NYC.
The cost for consumers who decide to go green is 1 cent to 2.5 cents per kWh (automatically added to their electricity bill or billed to their credit card).
This looks like a good program and hopefully one that other localities or organizations will look to implement soon as well.