Small surcharge can make big difference

OHIO - Now there is a simple but important way that customers in Southwestern Ohio can assist the effort to develop renewable energy. The Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel and Duke Energy worked collaboratively to provide customers with a program to support an alternative option to traditionally produced electricity.

With the rise in energy prices and the growing concern for a cleaner environment, consumers are becoming more aware of renewable energy technologies. The use of energy from plentiful sources such as the sun and wind has many benefits - it reduces our dependence on fossil fuels, helps the environment and ultimately saves consumers money.

As the residential utility consumer advocate, our office encourages customers to participate in this effort, called the GoGreen program, to enhance the market for producing green power from wind, solar and other renewable sources.

Those who sign up for the program pay a small premium and commit to supporting a minimum of 200 kilowatt hours of green power each month. At an added cost of 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour, this will equate to a $5 premium to a monthly bill.

Since the typical residential customer uses 850 kilowatt hours of electricity per month, customers may choose to support a greater amount of electricity from renewable energy as well. The important point is that this new option is now available and customers now have an opportunity to make a difference.

Duke will purchase renewable energy credits within the region, in and around Ohio. Renewable energy credits are bought and sold by many utilities and other power producers to reflect renewable power is being generated throughout the region. The existing credit system supports the development of additional renewable generation. A more developed market will likely lower the price of renewable energy in the future.

By participating in this program, customers will also show policymakers and the renewable industry that Ohio recognizes part of our energy future lies in the need for the greater use of renewable sources.



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