Friday, April 18, 2008

Energizing myself to switch providers

I carted around Jay Hancock's article from the February 24 Baltimore Sunday Sun, stuck it inside my tax return folder, with a vow to look at alternate energy suppliers. BGE had put notes in the monthly bill long ago, which I promptly misfiled. It was always "later."

Fortunately, Mr. Hancock's article included the address of his energy blog:

I recalled he listed companies generating, or brokering, power from green sources, including partial or complete wind use. After seeing the Maryland legislature fumble this issue yet again (will discuss later) I decided to act instead of thinking of acting. I'll give partial credit here, not for their research but more for the group think/act model. Jay's site included phone numbers, but more importantly for instant gratification at 11:00 PM, web links.

After checking with Kathy that the cost premium won't cause domestic turmoil, I decided to go with a familiar brand, Pepco Energy. Kathy owns less than 100 shares of that company, and they are located under 100 miles away, so I have confidence in this transaction.

Links in Jay's blog (subtitled "Where to buy non-BGE and low-pollution electricity") led to a simple choice on the Pepco Energy Services site: Green or Wind. I flipped a coin and went for green. I know there are downsides to hydroelectric power, but this green also includes photovoltaics, so I went for the diversity.

Here's a link to Pepco's PDF file of terms and conditions - 2 pages, 32 KB.

The complete transaction to switch suppliers was possible online (hooray, no phone menu tree to navigate!) and is subject to approval still. Once I start seeing the changes in my bill I'll write it up, updating prior blogs like "electric-rates". I added a worksheet to my online home energy tracking page showing what the premium for this switch would have been on our current bill.

Thanks Jay!

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