100 Day Challenge #10: Switch to a renewable energy plan for peace of mind
When Toby and I moved back to the U.S. a few years ago, one of the first decisions we had to make after choosing an apartment was selecting the electricity provider and plan that we wanted. I know not everyone has the option to choose their electricity provider (some people are stuck with just one option), but we're one of the lucky ones and were able to choose renewable energy as our electricity source. It’s so much fun logging into our account every now and then to see how many pounds of CO2 we’ve avoided so far! Below you can see a snapshot of the latest update.
From day one, we chose Green Mountain Energy and have been on a 100% renewable energy plan ever since.
Although we try to reduce our usage and be as efficient as possible, we have a strong peace of mind knowing that the electricity we do consume is fully renewable.
Well, if you want to be technical, there’s no way of knowing if the actual electrons coming to our house were produced from renewable sources, but we at least know that the amount of energy we consume is added to the grid from renewables. Tomato-tomahto if you ask me.
One of the things that I really like about our plan is getting weekly updates reporting how much energy we’ve used that week, what that represents in terms of CO2 emissions avoided, and the projection for our monthly bill based on our current usage.
We even get this handy graph that shows us our daily electricity usage and correlates it to the temperature outside. Can you tell, I really geek out on the data!
According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) the largest source of energy in the US in 2018 was natural gas accounting for about 35% of our total production, with coal in second place at 27%. Unfortunately the top two energy producers are still fossil fuels, but renewables weren't too far behind at almost 20%!
Moral of the story: it’s GREAT knowing that we get our electricity from renewable sources. If you have the option of choosing a provider with a 100% renewable plan, do it! I admit we pay 1-2¢ more than the average for our area, but knowing that the electricity we’re using isn’t being produced by fossil fuels is well worth it!