Friday, May 16, 2008
NStar offers green energy option
Electric utility NStar announced on May 1 a new “NStar Green” program to allow customers to buy their electricity from renewable energy sources, specifically, wind farms, for a small surcharge. Participation will reduce the need to burn fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, coal), reducing greenhouse gas emissions that create global warming.
NStar has signed a ten-year agreement to buy electricity directly from the 195-turbine Maple Ridge wind farm in northern New York state and the 44-tower wind project in development at Kibby Mountain in Maine. NStar will buy a total of 60 megawatts from these wind farms, enough to power 60,000 homes. This serious commitment to alternative energy sources was developed in collaboration with a number of environmental organizations. “Long-term contracts with wind farms and other renewable energy projects make sense for consumers, the region’s growing clean energy industry, and the planet,” says John Rogers, manager of the Northeast Clean Energy Project of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). As demand for alternative energy increases, more wind projects can be funded.
Customers can sign up now to buy all of their electricity from these wind farms for an additional 1.45 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is $7.25 a month for an average Massachusetts user of 500 kWh (check your monthly bill for your kWh usage). Alternatively, customers can offset half of their energy use for 0.85 cents per kWh, which is $4.25 a month for an average user. (Wind energy is currently slightly more expensive to produce than energy from conventional sources.) There is no term commitment, and nothing else about your electric service will change. For information about enrolling in the NStar Green program, see nstar.com or call 1-800-592-2000. ∆
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