Burning of fossil fuels to produce electricity is a major contributor to greenhouse gases. Nuclear power has major environmental issues with extraction and waste disposal. Yet most of us pay a utility company to supply us with electricity from these dirty sources.
We don’t have to.
Almost anywhere in America it is possible to buy electricity from renewable sources such as wind, water, geothermal, landfill waste gas, or solar (state-by-state list here). In southeast Wisconsin our electric company is We Energies. Their green power program is called “Energy for Tomorrow”.
Green Neighbor – Wauwatosa recognizes the choice to buy Green Power as one of the biggest steps you can make toward living sustainably. As our way of saying “thank you” for making this positive choice, we are offering new or upgrading Energy for Tomorrow customers a $5 gift card to Alterra Coffee Roasters.
To receive your gift card, just enter the Promotional Code “GreenPower” when you enroll in Energy for Tomorrow. You can enroll in Energy for Tomorrow online at the We Energies web site. You will need your We account number to sign up. (Note: You need to scroll down to the bottom of the sign-up page to reach the fields where you enter your name, address, etc).
That’s all there is to it. Your Alterra gift card will arrive in the mail with your Energy for Tomorrow welcome packet. Then you can sit back and enjoy a fine hot beverage with the knowledge that your electric bill is helping bring about a newer, cleaner way to power our country.
(Update 2/18/11: It seems that enrolling in Energy for Tomorrow can take some time, possibly a month or two. We have tested our process and believe it will work, but... if you receive an EFT welcome packet without your gift card, please let us know and we will make things right.)
Does Green Power cost more?
The costs of fossil fuel and nuclear power are not fully reflected in your energy bill, so yes, Green Power will cost a bit more. At the time of writing, 100% participation in Energy for Tomorrow adds about 1.4¢/ kWh. For a family using 750kWh electricity per month, this comes out to $10.41 per month. By reducing your electric usage 15% it is not hard to make up for this cost.
Do I need to sign up at the 100% level?
You have the option to sign up for Energy for Tomorrow at the 25, 50, or 100% level. We urge you to participate at the highest level you feel able – if you are concerned about high electric bills, use less electricity! There are many ways to conserve. That said, you will get an Alterra gift card for signing up at any level with the “GreenPower” promotion code.
Doesn’t We Energies already have to generate renewable electricity?
Yes, they do. Currently about 4% of the standard We portfolio is renewable, and by state mandate this will increase to 8% over the coming years. If you want a 25, 50, or 100% renewable portfolio, you need to sign up for Energy for Tomorrow.
Can existing Energy for Tomorrow customers get the Alterra gift card?
Yes, but only if they are not already at the 100% participation level. Use the online form with the same promotional code (“GreenPower”), specifying a higher participation, and your acknowledgement letter should include an Alterra gift card. (And actually, if you are a 100% Energy for Tomorrow customer and can show equivalent greenhouse gas reductions to those of Green Power – tell us how you did it! We might be able to get you a gift card too).
Alterra Coffee Roasters is one of the longest running business participants in the Energy for Tomorrow program. They participate at the 100% level. Plus they sell some pretty good coffee!