Sunday, April 6, 2008

treat yourself to some greenergy

A few months ago, my nearby aunt and uncle told us that our local energy provider, Pepco, offers 100% wind power. A little investigation revealed that Pepco does indeed have a private subsidiary, Pepco Energy Services, that offers residential power generation/transmission from either (1) 100% wind sources or (2) a mix of wind, solar, hydro, and biomass.

Great, think the skeptics, but only chi-chi yuppies can afford the whole "green" racket, right?

Sorry, dear skeptics, but the price tag for either source turns out to be only TWO CENTS more per kWh than your nasty (NOT the least bit "clean") coal or nuclear power. Last month, this amounted to a difference of SEVEN DOLLARS.

(We opted for wind because we were uneasy about some of the ecological dangers of hydroelectric dams and biomass. And because windmills are just doggone cool, notwithstanding the NIMBY naysayers.)

Honestly, coal and nuclear just aren't as pretty.

To recap:
For seven dollars a month, you can
(a) save part of the world's oldest mountains, North America's largest contiguous forest, and lots of poor folks' lives, homes, schools, drinking water, roads, and health, all of which are destroyed by destructive mountaintop removal mining,
(b) save tons of carbon emissions at the other end of the coal power process, thereby helping stop global warming,
(c) save tons of other pollutant emissions from coal-fired power plants, and
(c) reduce the dangers for humans and other life from nuclear waste, nuclear energy production, and nuclear catastrophe (not that nuclear production offers much for efficient carbon reduction, either).

How about that, folks?

Now, of course, that cost difference (i.e., our $7) varies with power consumption. But cutting down on power use is easily within a household's grasp: the key is just to unplug or shut off ("standby" doesn't count!) things you're not using anyway, such as phone chargers, coffee makers, stereos, TVs, microwaves, computers, and so forth. They're not doing anything but costing you money!

Aha, pipe up the skeptics, this is all well and good for you Marylanders with your Pepco, but who's to say we could get a similar deal in Minnesota, Wyoming, Maine, etc.?

Oho, quoth we in the Small Red House, who's to say you can't?

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