Clean Energy 101
THE CLEAN ENERGY PURCHASE PROGRAM
Switching to Clean Energy has never been more important.
Global warming and air pollution threaten our children’s future, while supplies of the fossil fuels that power our electric generators come from increasingly unstable parts of the world. Though most of the coal for our power plants comes from the U.S., it is often mined now by a practice called Mountain Top Removal, an environmentally destructive practice that is harming small communities in places such as West Virginia. Almost two thirds of the electricity in the Chesapeake region comes from coal, oil and natural gas generators. Nationally, their share is even higher. These fossil fuels produce a range of air pollutants and greenhouse gases that cause global warming. By switching to clean, renewable energy, you are decreasing the demand for these polluting fuels that come from unstable parts of the world. The more clean energy we buy, the cleaner our environment will be, the less smog and acid rain, the less global warming and the more energy independent the United States will be.
Imagine an end to smog and acid rain, with no more Code Red days in summer, an end to the threat of global warming, and true energy independence.
You and the Clean Energy Partnership can take the first step towards making this happen.
BUY CLEAN ENERGY
The Clean Energy Partnership offers options that will fit your home and business need, whether you pay your own electric bill or not, whether you’re in Maryland, Washington, D.C., or Virginia. Once you are a member of the Clean Energy Partnership, buying clean power will be simple, easy and affordable.
CEP Members get a discounted price on clean energy purchases!
What is Clean Energy?
Clean energy is any source of energy that is renewable and produces little to no pollution. The most talked about forms of clean energy are solar and wind power.
- Solar power is derived from photovoltaic panels that capture the power of the sun to produce electricity or to heat water.
- Wind power comes from high-tech turbines mounted on towers, which spin when the wind blows, creating electricity.
- Biomass is a name for crops grown specifically for energy production. When these crops are burned, they often produce far less air pollution and global warming gases than fossil fuels. Some examples of biomass are switch grass, corn, and soybeans.
- Low Impact Hydro power comes from hydro electric facilities that are built in such a way that they do minimal damage to rivers or the surrounding ecosystems.
- Landfill Gas is a term for electricity generated by burning the methane gas that comes off of landfills. Methane is the most potent global warming gas in existence and burning it to make electricity prevents it from migrating to our atmosphere and accelerating global warming.
BUY CLEAN ENERGY
What are "green tags" and how do they relate to clean energy?
When a clean energy generator such as a wind farm produces electricity, it puts that electricity on the regional grid. In our region, that grid is called the "PJM" grid. It’s made up of Maryland, DC, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, parts of W. Virginia and soon will also include Virginia and other areas. The PJM grid collects the electricity from all the generators – the coal plants, the wind farms, the nuclear reactors, etc. The electricity is then sent over the wires to your home and business. It is impossible to tell exactly where the electrons that feed your power needs come from.
Green tags represent the environmental attributes of clean energy sources. When a wind farm is working, we are getting measurable environmental and health benefits in terms of the air pollutants and global warming gases that are not going into our air. These benefits are represented on the market by green tags. Selling green tags is the key way that clean energy sources finance their own development. A wind farm, for example, earns revenue by selling the electricity it produces and by selling the green tags that represent its environmental benefits. When you buy green tags, you are helping to directly reduce global warming and air pollution. The more green tags that homes and businesses purchase, the more clean energy sources that come on line, and the less polluting sources our society uses.
For homes and businesses that purchase clean energy directly on their electric bill, they are still buying green tags. The difference is that the energy supplier or utility is bundling the green tags together with the traditional electric bill and calling it "clean electricity." Buying green tags from the Clean Energy Partnership produces the same results as buying a bundled product from an energy supplier.
Will my power be effected by buying green tags or clean electricity?
No, your power will come to your home and business exactly as before. The difference is that if you buy green tags, you will get a separate bill for the tags you purchase. It won’t be on your electric bill. If you buy a bundled clean electricity product, it will appear on your electric bill.
How can I buy clean energy through the Clean Energy Partnership?
No matter where you live in the Chesapeake Region, you can buy clean energy through us. It’s easy!
Just fill out an order to purchase one of our green tag products, send in payment, and you are all set.