By now, most people have had the experience of driving down the highway and seeing, off in the distance, the tall white wind turbines that are beginning to dot the American landscape. In recent years, they’ve become the icon of renewable, sustainable energy—the promise of less pollution, fighting climate change, and pursuing energy sources that are safe for humans and the environment. Now Baltimoreans can enthusiastically jump on the green energy bandwagon with Clean Currents, a company making it possible for Baltimore residents to choose to power their homes exclusively through wind power. Now, this doesn’t mean that they come to your backyard (or porch, or stoop) and install a windmill that sends electricity into your house. Rather, it means that they buy energy from wind farms as close as Pennsylvania and send that through BGE’s power lines to your home. There’s no change in reliability of electricity, and you may be surprised to learn that BGE still maintains power lines and the flow of power to homes and businesses powered by Clean Currents. When you make the switch, your power remains uninterrupted, perfectly normal, but your household is just that much greener.
Clean Currents’ mission is “to energize communities for a clean energy future by enabling individuals and businesses to make responsible choices that protect their bottom line while reducing their environmental impact.” Sounds good to us. Besides serving thousands of individuals and businesses in Maryland, DC, and Pennsylvania, they’ve also donated over $20,000 to community greening projects. That’s certainly not the work of your average energy company.
Since 2005, Clean Currents has not only been providing green energy, they’ve been helping to build demand for it. As Megan Barrett, of Clean Currents told us, “We work to be the consumer’s front door to sustainability by providing affordable green energy solutions including wind power and solar thermal (solar hot water). We are the first electricity supplier to be a certified B Corp and a Benefit LLC, meaning we take sustainability so seriously, that we put these commitments into our legal corporate DNA. We exclusively sell green power and certify all of our products that are eligible to be certified.”
If you’re not just interested in “going green” but also “going local” with your energy intake, you can choose between Clean Currents’ two power options. Their “Neighborhood Wind” supports a wind farm in Cambria County, PA. Alternately, their national program offsets your power use with Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)from wind farms in Iowa, Nebraska and Texas. It may seem confusing that RECs from so far away can still reduce your carbon footprint, but running your home on wind power has the same impact as removing about two cars from the road annually. Not only that, you’re helping support the growing industry of wind power, and the expansion of more sustainable options for a greater number of people.
If you’re thinking of making the switch, but are dubious about how “quick and easy” it could possibly be, we can assure you, it really is a cinch. The Clean Currents website guides prospective customers through filling out a short form (you’ll need your BGE Electric Choice ID number), which is all you need to do to sign up. You’ll receive the same bill from BGE, but there will be a section that notes that the “generation” and “transmission” portion comes from Clean Currents. Just pay the bill through BGE as you always have, and that’s it. You’re that much greener, and there’s zero hassle.
We asked Megan Barrett, of Clean Currents about common misconceptions about switching to wind power. For example, many people think you can only switch to wind power if you own your home, but, says Megan, “Anyone can switch as long as you pay your own utility bill. Also, people think it’s hard. The hardest part of switching is finding your Electric Choice ID on your BGE bill. Once you have that, it’s about 3 minutes to fill out our enrollment form. Even less for all the fast typers out there!” Good for us, since we’d count ourselves among the fast-typer crowd. “Third,” says Megan, “people think it’s expensive. Our rates are comparable to BGE’s, especially since BGE’s rates are going up this summer. By signing up for wind power in April, you can lock in a rate that’s lower than BGE’s rates will be this summer.” Right. Air conditioning. We’d forgotten about that one since September. And finally, says Megan, “People think it doesn’t matter. Actually, the development of new wind farms has been largely driven by increased consumer demand!” In other words, if we want sustainable, green energy we have to ask for it. And by doing that, we’re actually helping to make a greener future a reality.
For more information about Clean Currents, and how you can switch to wind power, visit www.cleancurrents.com