After a few impassioned discussions with my wife, Julia, about how we can make a difference in the seemingly bottomless pit of waste and filth that the US is contributing to global climate change, I realized that I should look into the renewable-energy offset program offered by our electricity provider, Xcel Energy.
With the price of renewable energy production (solar & wind) at or beating that of traditional fossil fuels pricing, now is the time to take action and demand our utilities convert over to CLEAN ENERGY sources for their power generators.
Our energy footprint is extremely low... we rent a 1-story, 700-sf duplex in Golden, CO. It's pretty easy to make sure all the lights are off, and there is no room for random appliances and electronics in our limited living space, so our plug loads are low, as well.
HOME BUYER TIP: When house hunting for that 4,500-SF home to impress the Jones', think about the long-term costs of heating/cooling/ventilating, maintaining, furnishing, cleaning, repairing...
A smaller home saves you on monthly mortgage payments, monthly utility costs, mechanical equipment maintenance costs.... less HASSLE.
Not to be too bragadocious, but we've extremely lean on our Kilowatt-Hours.
Xcel provides all sorts of handy-dandy charts to give you a clear visual understanding of what your monthly energy usage is and how it stacks up with your neighbors. Of course the neighborly competition is quite arbitrary as home size, equipment, and fuel sources vary, but it's a good indicator and motivator of how your consuming.
YOY consumption in my casa.
To enroll in a renewable-energy purchase program:
MY PROGRAMS -> RENEWABLE PRODUCTS -> WINDSOURCE
In my area the only renewable option is Wind Energy. It would be nice to have a Solar offset option, however, this is likely not available such that homeowners are enticed to go the route of rooftop solar.
A quick look at the FEES for Wind energy offset:
Windsource price: $2.16/block
Block = 100 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy
Therefore, Windsource offset price = $0.0216/kWh
This is way CHEAPER than I expected! Our monthly usage averages below 100kWh, so we would be subject to paying just $2.16 additionally per month.
OK OK, I know things add up so $2.16/month => $25.92/year.
This is a TINY price to pay to help facilitate the adoption of renewable energy as a mainstream source of utility providers. Likely, if you are living in an apartment or small rental home, this is a comparable price for you to offset your electricity consumption to a renewable source.
Deep down it does seem pathetic that I have to pay MORE to ensure my electricity source is minimizing pollution. In the grand scheme of Julia and I supporting renewable energy, we are making a long-term commitment towards the development of sustainable, renewable energy sources.