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Who's going all-in and switching to a 100% wind-powered utility service?

Discussion in 'Texas' started by George Jetson, Dec 9, 2016.

  1. George Jetson

    George Jetson Member

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    My wife and I will both have electric cars when my Tesla gets here in a few weeks. When that happens, there's no more excuse for us to switch over to wind-powered electricity (not that there's anything stopping us now). As you no doubt know our state is one of the largest producers of wind powered electricity on the continent. There are several providers from which to choose in Houston. As anyone done the groundwork or have actual customer experience with any of them to share? Breeze Energy has a big ad campaign on right now and then there's Green Mountain, Reliant has a 100% wind plan, all the majors also have wind plans.

    Fun fact moment: on Nov. 27, Texas wind farms sent so much electricity into wholesale markets that it sold for essentially nothing. In other words, free power. Of course, this was just a spike of megawatts that didn't affect residential rates at all, but still it shows that wind farms in Texas are a practical alternative to hydrocarbons. All they need now are some of Elon's industrial battery banks to modulate production against demand.
     
  2. number12

    number12 Active Member

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    Anyway to hook it up to a home indoor bike in case wind slows down and you need a healthy punishment for kids?
     
  3. dduffey

    dduffey Member

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    I live in Austin with Pedernales Electric (PEC). I don't think I have a choice in providers but I have solar that covers 70-80℅ of our annual usage and 2-3 months of the year they over produce.

    PEC does have an optional renewables energy rider where they "source 100% of your energy from renewables" and it comes mostly from wind with growing amounts of solar.

    It is an extra kwh charge, but extremely low (effectively less than $1/month) so it was a no brainier easy way to show support for renewables.
     
  4. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker S 90D 17.32.6ca28227

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    While we can't choose our energy provide here in Colorado, we can subscribe to Windsource. With that service, all of our electricity usage is offset by wind energy. We're on the waiting list for a spot in the nearby solar farm and will probably get a solar roof eventually. Until then, Windsource is a relatively cheap way of supporting renewable energy.
     
  5. Boourns

    Boourns Member

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    I am in a city-owned utility, so I don't have a choice, but I did use 100% wind when I lived elsewhere in DFW. It's pretty easy to find one with competitive rates, on www.powertochoose.org/
     
    • Helpful x 1
  6. bro1999

    bro1999 Member

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    I'm currently getting power sourced from 100% renewable energy...I believe most of it is wind sourced. And it's actually cheaper than the main utility's regular rate!

    I need to check for new offers though....my current deal runs out at the end of the year I believe. 8.4 cents/kWh for 100% renewable energy.
     
  7. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    I find it quite difficult to distinguish plans that actually add additional clean energy to the grid in return for the extra charge, vs plans that just take advantage of the unsubscribed (that is, RECs not purchased) clean energy already on the grid. I tend to look at what fraction of a utility annual energy sales are from clean energy PPAs or direct ownership of clean energy producing farms.

    This white paper from Google does a good job explaining the shades of green on page 5.
     
  8. George Jetson

    George Jetson Member

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    Thanks for the comments everyone.

    Yes, lots of great info there from the PUCoT on power to choose. The EFL for energy providers requires them to disclose their policies and sourcing and I have done that research. My question was more about the quality of customer service folks may have experienced from some of the small "green" energy providers. There's a lot of "greenwashing" in the energy business, so it pays to do the research.

    Breeze has a nice propaganda graphic to drive home their point. Competitors - Breeze Energy

    I'd like to go with a provider like Breeze Energy that actively supports the propagation of renewables, rather than Reliant who are just basically swapping renewable credits for electricity delivered to the home from fossil fuel burning. However, these smaller companies don't have many subscribers, so the complaint numbers on the PUCoT website are hard to put into perspective. If I were going to go with a major, I'm thinking the TXU 100% Texas wind plan with free nights is an ideal plan for EV owners. More to follow.
     
  9. bro1999

    bro1999 Member

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    See if Clearview Energy is an option in your area. I see they have some "Chargepoint" green plan that offers 100% renewable energy plus a $75 rebate off a Chargepoint Home charging unit. Plus you get free weekend charging (up to 250 kWh per quarter) if you have the CP Home unit installed. Would be good for someone that doesn't have a EVSE installed at their home yet, I guess. 8.89 cents/kWh.

    Clearview Energy - Your Choice for Green Energy

    Plain jane 100% renewable plan offers a fixed, 8.29 cents/kWh rate. These are quotes for the central MD area.
     
  10. ColBatGuano

    ColBatGuano Member

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    My wife and I went with Breeze. We are very pleased with the rates. The customer support has been very nice to deal with. One note of caution is make sure you pay your bill early in the period. If you end up late by minutes they put you on a cancelled service list. It might take a couple phone calls to get off the list. Just paying your bill does not seem to reset the automated system.
     
  11. George Jetson

    George Jetson Member

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    Did you consider Ambit too? They are the only other 100% Texas wind provider, but not local boys like Breeze. I also did the math based on my usage and patterns; those "free" nights and weekends promos turned out to be a shell game for me.

    I have it pretty much narrowed down to Breeze. Let me know if they have a referral promotion and how to get credit back to you.
     
  12. George Jetson

    George Jetson Member

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    Just signed up with Breeze for 9-months. They have a promo code for new customers which provides a $50 donation to F.A.R.M. a non-profit organization of Texas farmers which helps to integrate returning soldiers into civilian life via farming therapy. :)
     
  13. ColBatGuano

    ColBatGuano Member

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    I can't find anything on the Breeze site about referrals, sorry. I don't think Ambit was one of the providers I reviewed. Of the free nights and weekends rates I found, all proved to be money losers in my situation. I'm still hoping to install a full solar off grid system, but for now Breeze is a pretty good deal on clean electrons.
     
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  14. SpiceWare

    SpiceWare Member

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    Already did back in 2009, that's when I switched to 100% wind with Green Mountain.
     
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  15. L.Robinson

    L.Robinson Member

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    As far back as I can go it appears I started using Green Mountain 100% wind in June of 2003 when the price was fixed at $0.01/KWH over the benchmark price for our area (TXU). They had just come to the Dallas area and had a table in front of RBM at Coit/Campbell. In those first few years they had tables at many events signing up customers. The prices today are more competitive but still not the lowest.
     
  16. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    Do you have any room for some solar panels? I power my house, my well, my septic system and my car on solar. The panels paid for themselves in about 6 years. I have not paid an electric bill in a dozen years. It's a better investment than letting the power company keep the profits after they sell you wind.
     
  17. George Jetson

    George Jetson Member

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    Unfortunately that's not an option for us right now since we have a townhouse.
     
  18. George Jetson

    George Jetson Member

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    They are still very active at events. I just saw their booth at the Untappd festival this year. Their parent company is NRG; the same as Reliant.
     
  19. George Jetson

    George Jetson Member

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    After I researched Ambit, it turned out to be a multi-level marketing firm. Kind of like the Herbalife of energy.
     
  20. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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