You Can Cut Household Carbon by 20% with Electricity from Wind

Boston-based nonprofit Mass Energy is CAB’s recommendation as the best source of wind-generated electricity to replace NSTAR (now Eversource) Basic electricity.  Daria Mark, (shown in the picture at left) is a Brookline resident and mother of two.  She puts it this way:  "For years, I found it difficult to take action on climate change, until I got involved with Mothers Out Front and saw that I can make an impact in our electricity supply with my choice of Mass Energy for clean electricity supplier.  I can influence the power grid in my own state to rely on renewables instead of fossil fuels.  That's real power."

Question:  Why is CAB recommending Mass Energy?

Answer:  There are several reasons the team of CAB and Mothers Out Front is partnering with Mass Energy:
1) Mass Energy's renewable electricity comes from local and regional sources of sun, wind, hydro, and biomass.
2) It's fast and easy to sign up online with your credit card and electric bill customer number.  Go to www.massenergy.org/brookline to read more and sign up.
3) Mass Energy Consumers Alliance is a local non-profit established in 1982.  Mass Energy's green portion of your electric bill is 100% federally tax deductible.

Question: Why should you switch to electricity from wind?

Answer: About 20% of the CO2 for an average household in Brookline comes from the fossil fuels burned to make electricity. Electricity from wind eliminates these, which is a reduction of about 5,000 lbs./year for the average home. This is by far the single simplest, most effective way to reduce a significant percentage of your home CO2 output. Basic electricity includes a high percentage (~60%) of electricity coming from power plants that burn fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas).

Question: Can you give me some more background on electricity from wind? 

Answer:  Electricity is bought and sold as a commodity in units called “Renewable Energy Credits” (“RECs”). One REC is equal to 1000 kWh of electricity, which is the amount of electricity that an average home uses in two months. RECs are sold by electricity producers and bought by electricity distributors (such as NSTAR or Viridian or others). When a distributor buys one REC from a renewable electricity producer, that producer is obliged to put one REC of electricity into the massive electrical grid in the United States, from which customers receive their household electricity.

Multiple companies can provide electricity from wind, but NSTAR (Eversource) will continue to deliver electricity to your home, maintain the wires and send your bill for basic electricity.  If you sign up with Mass Energy, you will receive an additional charge on the credit card you designate. 

CAB investigated many potential sources of wind-electricity that are audited by the independent firm Green-e Energy (Berkeley, CA), which audits most of the renewable energy providers around the country. Green-e Energy’s audits insure that if you sign up for wind-electricity, in fact, that your provider is truly purchasing the proper amount of electricity from reputable wind farms for your household.

Question:  Are there more reasons to make this change?

Answers:

  • It's Easy.  You stay with your current utility and you pay via an automatic monthly deduction from a credit card.
  • It's Effective.  You get green electricity and your membership helps Mass Energy bring more renewable energy into the grid, displacing fossil fuels.  Last year, members prevented over 42 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
  • It's Local.  It uses Massachusetts and New England-based community resources.
  • It's 100% Federally Tax-Deductible.  If you itemize, it's considered a charitable contribution.
  • It's Non-Profit.
  • It's Not Very Expensive.  For an average of about $23/month for the average family using 600 kwh/month added to your electric bill, you can take meaningful action and green your electricity.