New Option for 100% Green Electricity from Mass Energy
This environmentally friendly column is brought to you by West Roxbury Saves Energy, a community-based organization committed to spreading the word that individuals can make positive choices that save money as well as the planet.
Many of us are always looking for better ways to green our energy usage, not just by cutting back on how much we consume but also by determining where the electricity comes from. A goal for all of us should be to opt for as green and sustainable a source of electricity as possible. West Roxbury Saves Energy is very pleased to let you know that you can now sign up with a local nonprofit organization, Mass Energy Consumers Alliance and know that 100 percent of your electricity will come from renewable energy.
This new green electricity option became available from Mass Energy — teaming with the company Easy Energy — in January of this year to residents of West Roxbury. You might know that, while West Roxbury residents receive our service from NSTAR, we have the ability to choose from among a number of "suppliers" of our electricity. (If we do not designate a supplier, this service defaults to NSTAR.) The supplier of electricity determines its source, and designating a supplier allows us to have some control over the source(s) of our electricity, how green it is, and what it costs. Designating a different supplier from NSTAR does not mean you will receive a separate utility bill; the supplier's costs appear on the same monthly bill you already get.
Easy Energy and Mass Energy offer two exciting program choices to its customers: New England Wind and New England GreenStart. All sources for New England Wind are new and local (primarily in Massachusetts and Rhode Island), and by enrolling in this program your participation helps to develop new wind power in our region. New England GreenStart sources all of its electricity from New England with 25 percent new sources; they include local wind, solar, digester gas, and low-impact hydro. You can read more on the Mass Energy Web site about exactly what these sources are, where they are located, and how they work.
So what is the impact on the bottom line of choosing one of Mass Energy's programs for your electricity supply? Right now, the New England Wind program costs 4.1 cents above NSTAR's Basic Service, and GreenStart costs 2.7 cents above. These charges ring up as substantially less than NSTAR's own green-power offering, NSTAR Green. Also take note that if you sign up with Mass Energy, most of what you pay above the cost of Basic Service counts as a tax-deductible charitable contribution for federal income tax purposes. Finally, supporting Mass Energy in its endeavors so that this organization can continue to be a strong advocate for us as consumers, as well as for the environment, adds an incentive to sign up. As Mass Energy puts it, their goal is "to build a better world—not just a better bottom line." But you might consider that the best bottom line for all of us is to do whatever we can to save our environment for our children and grandchildren, and greening your electricity is one very important step toward doing so.
To learn more about Mass Energy's green electricity option, join us Monday evening, February 25, at the West Roxbury Branch Library, at 7 p.m. Larry Chretien, executive director of Mass Energy, will give the presentation and take questions. The program is free and open to all.