For those of us who cannot or don't want to install a renewable energy system on our homes, purchasing green power from an electricity marketer is a way to make sure that your power still comes from clean, renewable sources. This option is new to Ohioans, and still unavailable to most of us. Ohio restructured its electric utility industry beginning January 1st, 2001 to provide for retail competition among electric utilities. Unfortunately, the number of electricity marketers entering Ohio has been small, and none thus far have offered a green product for Ohio consumers.
Download the pdf of GEO's new brochure "Green Power in Ohio" for an overview of green power in Ohio today. See a September 30, 2002 overview of green power offerings in Midwest states, including Ohio, by GEO Executive Director Bill Spratley titled: "Greening of the Midwest."
Approval of Duke Energy Ohio green pricing pilot program. May 9, 2007 - The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio today approved Duke Energy Ohio's green pricing option, GoGreen, for a pilot period through 2008. The option will provide Duke customers the option of paying a premium to enable Duke to purchase renewable energy certificates (REC's) associated with generation from renewable energy sources. [CLICK HERE]
Approval of green power program will give American Electric Power customers a new choice
On May 2, 2007, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved an agreement between the Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel (OCC), American Electric Power (AEP), the PUCO staff and other parties that will give customers the chance to promote the use of electricity from renewable resources. The OCC was pleased with the PUCO's approval of the new Green Pricing Option, which will allow AEP customers the ability to pay a small premium and purchase a minimum of 200 kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy credits each month. OCC News Release [CLICK HERE]. PUCO Order News Release [CLICK HERE]
Ohio's Municipal Utilities Lead the Way on Green Power . . .
The roughly 5% of Ohio customers served by municpally-owned electric systems are beneficiaries of Ohio's first extensive "Green Pricing" program announced on May 7, 2003. The association of municipal utilities, AMP-Ohio selected Green Mountain Energy Company for its "Green Pricing" program available to 86 communities and over 380,000 customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginina and Michigan. See AMP-Ohio/Green Mountain Energy Co. "Green Pricing" announcement here. For the impact of this program see the May 8, 2003 Columbus Dispatch "Green Power" article.
On May 26, 2003 the AMP Ohio Update weekly newsletter reported:
Belleville Hydro and Landfill Gas Power Receive Green-e Certification
by Mike Migliore - Manager of Power Supply Planning
Generation from the Ohio Municipal Electric Generation Agency Joint Venture 5 Belleville Hydro plant and landfill-gas-fired generation facilities in Oberlin, Ottawa County and Mahoning County
have received green energy certification from the Center for Resource Solutions Green-e program. The Green-e program, in existence since 1997, is a nationally recognized, voluntary certification program to help consumers identify superior renewable energy products. To earn Green-e certification, energy must originate solar, wind, low-impact hydroelectric facilities, biogas, or geothermal sources. Through this certification, AMP-Ohio hopes to increase the revenues its member communities receive from green attribute (tag) sales to third parties. Since 2001, green attribute sales have totaled more than $400,000.
AMP-Ohio also announced a base-load power plant study in a May 22, 2003 press release.
When marketers do add green power options for Ohio consumers, efforts have been made to ensure that the products can be certified and verified to be truly green and as promised. In 2001, Ohio became the thirteenth state to develop a green power standard for renewable electricity offerings sold in Ohio. Electricity products that meet this green power standard, known as Green-e, can be identified by the Green-e logo.
The Green-e Certification Program is a voluntary program that offers certification to green power electricity offerings that meet the Program?s environmental and consumer protection requirements. The Ohio Green-e Standard, developed by Ohio stakeholders including Green Energy Ohio, is based on a minimum national green power standard that was developed in 1997.
Click here for Ohio's Green-e standard.
A new way to sell green power is developing in the U.S. through which all Ohioans could support the development of new renewable energy. Learn more about Tradable Renewable Energy Certificates.
Highlights from the 2002 National Green-e Verification Report
2002 Green-e National Verification Results at Glance (http://www.crs2.net/ge/VerificationReport02.pdf)
Verified sales of Green-e renewable energy & Tradable Renewable Certificate (TRC) supply topped 1, 926,000 MegaWatt Hours (MWh), a two-fold increase over 2001. In aggregate, participating providers exceeded their commitments to their customers in renewable energy product content by 13%.
Over one in three customers of green power chose a Green-e certified product.
Over 147,000 households and businesses purchased Green-e certified renewable electricity products representing 58% market share (MWh) of US green power retail sales.
Though only representing 6% of the accounts, non-residential customers purchased 23% of total program renewable supply.
Sixty-three percent of verified renewable supply was from qualifying "new" renewable resources (this includes TRCs as well as electricity products is 54% - a more than two-fold increase over 2001, when the percentage was 26%.
Green-e certified and verified 32 separate renewable electricity-based products offered by 62 marketers and utilities.
Green-e certified products resulted in a pollution benefit of 1,181,000 tons of avoided carbon dioxide (CO2). In addition, the equivalent amount of non-renewable electricity generated in 2002 released 3,268 tons of sulfure dioxide (SO2) and 2,239 tons of nitrogen oxides (NO2). These pollution results are two to three times higher than 2001 pollution benefits.
Electric Supplier Switching in Ohio
Governmental aggregations were the leading reason for small customer switching in Ohio by the third quarter of 2001. A review of the data shows that 14.12% of all Cleveland Electric Illuminating residential customers and 18.14% of all Ohio Edison residential customers have switched suppliers. The overwhelming majority of the 150+ governmental aggregations are in these two service territories. By contrast, only 5.5% of Toledo Edison customers have switched, though rates in the service territory are comparable to those charged by the other two FirstEnergy affiliates.
Negligible switching has occurred in the remainder of the state, where rates are low and the number of governmental aggregations is small. Data for Monongahela Power (a subsidiary of Allegheny Power), Dayton Power & Light, and Ohio Power (AEP) show that no residential customers have switched. Switching rates for the remaining companies -- Columbus Southern Power (AEP) and Cincinnati Gas & Electric -- are less than 1%. For complete switching data by customer and kilowatt hour, check out the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio website.
Beginning in 2000, Ohio consumers saw the fuel mix and environmental characteristics of their electricity on disclosure statements issued quarterly by utilities.
Green Energy Ohio will be watching the green power market develop in Ohio, and will update our site with any new information available. In the meantime, you can learn more about deregulation and issues around green power here.
Deregulation in Ohio: Download our pdf brochure: "Electricity Deregulation for Beginners"
Green Campuses in Pennsylvania - See April 2002 Earth Day articles on 25 colleges & universities buying green power - the most of any state in the U.S.
Pennsylvania's State Government Buys Green Power - See December 5, 2001 News Release.
US EPA Announces Green Power Purchase from Pennsylvania Wind Farm for Cincinnati Labs, see August 17, 2001 News Release.
US EPA, Fortune 500 Companies, Other Groups Advance Green Power - See July 30, 2001 News Release.
Municipal Utilities and Green Power: Several municipal utilities are promoting clean power in different ways with help from Green Energy Ohio: