“Shopping for Clean Electricity” How to Choose a Green Electricity Supplier

Pennsylvania's "Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act" was signed into law in 1996. Until then, only utility companies could sell electricity in Pennsylvania. There was no competition and our prices were about 15% above the national average. The Act gave consumers the right to choose who generates our electricity. This led to more choices for consumers, introduced competition among generators vying for our business and lowered prices. (Rate caps, all of which expired by 2010, were also part of this Act.) PA utility companies still distribute electricity, but now we choose who generates our electricity, and how they do it! Many generators offer electricity from renewable energy sources including solar, wind, hydro and geothermal.

But even if you’ve decided to pick a renewable generator, there are still many factors to consider as you select from the list of competitive generators supplying your area. Generators offer a wide range of renewable energy products, at different prices, from different sources and of different types (electricity itself, RECs bundled with wholesale electricity, REC add-on options, certified or not, from PA/outside of PA, 100% or mix…you get the idea!). PA Power Switch lists 15 renewable energy options for MetEd customers alone (and even more for PECO and PPL)! Plus there are special, important, considerations for those of us who generate our own electricity.

To address this abundance of riches, we are very pleased to have Christina Simeone as speaker for our September meeting. Currently Energy Center Director at PennFuture, she previously served as policy director for the Alliance for Climate Protection where she worked on climate and energy legislation in Congress and the national climate campaign Repower America. She served as an executive policy specialist at the PA Department of Environmental Protection and is now chair of the DEP's Climate Change Advisory Committee. She holds a master's degree in environmental studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and undergraduate degrees in economics and music. Her presentation will explain the terms and topics we need to know to select an electricity supplier that soundly reflects our environmental values and personal priorities.

After the meeting, plan to stick around and chat with friends old and new. We're also interested in your ideas for MAREA speakers, activities and services. Light snacks will be served. Hope to see you there!

For questions, contact Vera Cole,[masked] or [masked].

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