How to get Renewable Energy Credits through Pear Energy.
We have received a number of questions about our recent support of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and companies who sell them, like Pear Energy. First, we are not advocating for higher utility rates for Louisiana and New Orleans. Pear Energy is completely voluntary. Customers must make the effort to sign up for the program. No one will be enrolled without his or her knowledge or permission.
The Alliance has three programs: Energy Efficiency, Consumer Protection and Education programs and clean energy. Our partnership with Pear Energy shows our support for renewables by encouraging the growth of clean energy projects. There are many ways to generate energy without creating climate-changing pollution, and using Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) or green power programs has proven to be an effective way to increase investment in clean energy. RECs do help lower carbon emissions but are not a reasonable long-term policy solution to global warming. They are a very good way to grow the nascent renewable industry and signal a demand to utilities and regulators, which help push a long-term solution.
All renewable energy generators produce 2 products: electricity and one REC per mega-watt hour (1000 kilowatt-hours). REC programs are available all over the country. When we spoke with Pear we learned that they specifically purchase from small, community or cooperative renewable projects (most of them are on indian reservations – see list here) and buy them as needed. Pear purchases the REC and then retires it for the customer. This means that the carbon you produce from your energy usage is offset through a certified renewable energy project and avoids double claims to protect against fraud. Other retail REC products/green purchasing programs work by a voluntary block purchase by the consumer in 1000 kWh chunks (or similar). Pear customers may terminate the contract at anytime.
We realize RECs are not for everyone, and as always, we encourage energy efficiency, no matter how your energy is generated. We do believe in supporting the growth of all clean energy choices, and we know you want to have access to alternatives. Louisiana and New Orleans citizens have shown strong support for clean energy and the Alliance promotes a variety clean energy choices for ratepayers because we each have different circumstances, i.e. renting, a shady rooftop, condo/apartment dwelling. Solar panels and wind turbines just do not work for everyone but that should not prevent us from having access to clean energy.
Since Louisiana utilities are not currently offering Green Power programs that allow rate-payers to bundle requests for clean energy with their utility bills, companies like Pear Energy give consumers the option. The Alliance looks forward to a near future where renewable sources like wind farms and utility scale solar plants are based in Louisiana, and we are advocating for that future. In the meantime, you can make it clear to your local utilities that there is a demand for it. The added bonus of Pear’s donation to the Alliance will help us continue this fight here at home.
Want more information on Green Power? http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/index.htm
If you have more questions about Pear Energy, please call 877-969-7327. They are happy to answer questions.