PSE Green Power customer Ashley DeLancy - Thurston County.

Green Power Program Frequently Asked Questions

 


How do I sign up?

You can sign up your home or business online or you can call a PSE Energy Advisor at 1-800-562-1482, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Will my purchase really make a difference?

Yes! By increasing the amount of power generated from renewable resources you:

  • Reduce the nation's dependence on fossil fuels
  • Help to build or buy a wider range of renewable energy sources in our region
  • Raise community awareness about the benefits of green power so that it becomes readily available and at a lower cost.
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Will renewable energy resources be delivered directly to my home or business?

The electricity generated from the renewable resources that you support is put into the Northwest power-supply grid along with electricity from all of our other resources. Much like water or natural gas, it isn't possible to differentiate the sources at the point of delivery. By choosing PSE's Green Power Program, you are supporting the environment and helping to increase the proportion of renewable energy that is available to the entire system.

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Why does renewable energy cost more than basic electrical service?

Since PSE's prices are regulated by the state public utility commission, we are required to provide the lowest-cost electricity. The company's least-cost plan for power generation includes renewable energy, such as wind and biomass. Above these levels, PSE customers can propel even more renewable development by enrolling in PSE’s Green Power Program.

The program costs more because customers are supporting the addition of more renewable energy above and beyond what PSE is already purchasing for customers.

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How can I reduce my monthly energy bill and still participate in the program?

An easy way of reducing costs is to reduce the amount of energy you use. For example, if you installed compact fluorescent light bulbs in all of your most frequently used light fixtures, you would reduce the amount of electricity you use, reducing your bill. That would also lower your cost for green power. In fact, if you conserve enough energy at the same time you buy green power, your overall electric bill might not increase at all. You would benefit and so would the environment!

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What does it cost to participate in PSE’s Green Power Program?

PSE offers two renewable power options to its electric customers. Each option supplies safe, clean energy for future generations, while promoting resource diversity and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.

  • Blocks: PSE’s Green Power Program lets you purchase renewable energy in 160 kilowatt-hour (kWh) blocks for a fixed cost of $2 per block per month, with a minimum purchase of $4 per month. You can buy as many blocks as you'd like, allowing you to match a portion or all your energy usage to new renewable resources around the region.
  • Usage: If you elect the usage option, your renewable energy purchase is based on your total monthly usage. The additional cost is $0.0125 per kWh, or about $10 - $12 more per month for the average household. The environmental benefit is equivalent to taking a car off the road for a year.*
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Does PSE make a profit on the Green Power Program?

No. See below how we use the money from the program.

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Does PSE also sell the renewable energy from the Green Power Program facilities to other utilities?

No. While PSE operates renewable energy facilities that produce power which may be sold to other utilities, those facilities are entirely separate from the renewable energy facilities that supply the renewable energy credits, or “green tags” to the Green Power Program. Green Power Program funds are directed to Pacific Northwest renewable energy facilities that supply additional electricity into the grid.

PSE does not make a profit from those funds. Further, all of the Green Power Program facilities, as well as the program itself, are certified by Green-e Energy, the nation's leading voluntary certification program for renewable energy. For more information about the Green Power Program funds and Green-e Energy certification, refer to "Where does PSE’s Green Power Program money go?"

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Where does PSE's Green Power Program money go?

PSE uses the funds collected from the Green Power Program to purchase renewable energy on Green Power Program customer's behalf, educate our customers about the program, and administer the program. PSE is required to report annually on our Green Power Program's progress to the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Committee (WUTC) and Washington State Department of Community Trade and Economic Development, who in turn present their findings from throughout the state to the Washington State Legislature. PSE does not make a profit on the Green Power Program.

In addition, The Green Power Program is certified by Green-e Energy, the nation's leading voluntary certification program for renewable energy.

Green-e Energy audits the program annually to ensure that PSE's Green Power Program meets the minimum environmental and consumer protection standards established by the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions. For more information on Green-e Energy certification requirements, call 1-888-63-GREEN or visit green-e.org.

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Doesn’t most of Washington’s energy come from clean hydro power already?

About 42 percent of PSE’s energy generation comes from hydro power and 56 percent comes from fossil fuel generation (coal and natural gas). To learn more, see PSE’s power supply profile.

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Do other utilities offer similar programs?

Yes, all across the United States, over 600 utilities offer similar programs. There are 16 utilities in the state of Washington that offer voluntary Green Power to their customers. Green power programs vary according to each utility's unique circumstances. PSE's Green Power Program is consistently ranked one of the Top 10 Programs in the country by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

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Am I required to participate?

No. Participation in PSE's Green Power Program is strictly voluntary.

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Can I cancel whenever I want?

Yes, you may cancel at any time, just contact a PSE Energy Advisor at 1-800-562-1482.

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Can I sign up if I live in an apartment?

If you pay your electricity bill, you have the decision-making authority to enroll in the Green Power Program.

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Is my purchase tax deductible?

No, the Federal government does not provide a tax deduction for utility voluntary green power programs.

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How can my business participate in the Rewards Card Program?

Is your business in PSE’s electric service area? Enroll in PSE's Green Power Program, participate in the Rewards Card program and welcome more customers! If your business is already participating in PSE’s Green Power Program, find out more about the Rewards Card by calling a PSE Energy Advisor at 1-800-562-1482, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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* Based on the EPA’s Green Power Equivalency Calculator.