Texans aren’t using as much green energy As they think
Where’s your electricity coming from?
When you sit down to pay your bill, do you know what’s been powering your home all month? If your retail energy provider advertises that they use 100% green energy, it makes sense for you to assume that your home has been completely powered by renewables. And considering that Texas produces the most wind electricity in the U.S., you’re probably assuming that you’re responsibly living a wind-powered life.The reality is far bleaker than that. The reality is that many retail energy providers claim to use 100% green energy, when in fact they’re only using the state-required 12.1% green energy. How is that even possible?
Renewable energy credits can be used against you.
On the surface, Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) seem like a great thing. The Public Utility Commission of Texas established the REC trading program for two really important reasons: First, to promote the creation of 2,000 megawatts of new green energy capacity in Texas by 2009 (10,000 megawatts by 2025), and second, to provide renewable energy options to Texas consumers.So how did it get to the point where the only options provided to consumers were deceptive ones?Here’s what happened.The state of Texas mandates that 12.1% of electricity being consumed must be offset through the purchase of RECs. For that 12.1%, there are extremely strict regulations. For example, the Compliance RECs have to be less than 3 years old, wind or solar, produced in state or state adjacent, and must be trackable.But when retail energy providers purchase Voluntary RECs (anything beyond the 12.1%), most of these regulations fall away. The provider can choose what type of RECs to purchase, so often, they’ll choose cheaper ones. In addition to purchasing RECs for dirt cheap that they can deceptively mark up and sell to consumers, that means that sometimes, the RECs your energy provider buys are created from sources like methane from landfills.That’s far from the responsible wind-powered life you had in mind.
So how can you know where your electricity is coming from?
That brings us back to the important question: How can you find out what’s powering your home?Unfortunately, most providers won’t give you this information—because they’re lying about it. To hold electric providers accountable, shouldn’t you be able to see what type of electricity is powering your home at all times?We thought so. That’s why we made it an integral part of the Griddy platform. With Griddy, you can always see the current and forecasted price of electricity. And as a general rule, you’ll know that when it’s cheapest, it’s greenest. So you can choose to do your energy-sapping tasks when the price is low, and save both money and the planet.Even if you don’t use real-time price updates to save, what’s important is that you’ll know, at any given time, whether the electricity you’re using is clean or dirty energy. And really, it’s what we think all of the electric providers should be doing—providing transparent, real-time information, and access to the prices that they pay.It’s simple. It’s common sense. It’s On.