Green Mountain Energy
There are not many energy companies that have managed to survive for 20 years with the same mission – to make the world more sustainable. Green Mountain Energy might actually be such a unicorn – it grew from a small energy spin-off into supplying millions of American homes with 100% renewable energy and other eco-friendly solutions.
About Green Mountain Energy
Green Mountain Energy was founded in Vermont in 1997 with the idea to leverage the U.S. energy market deregulation to introduce more clean power into the energy mix. Twenty years later, the company has grown into the longest-serving renewable energy retailer in the U.S., serving customers in Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts.
When you sign up for an energy plan, Green Mountain Energy buys renewable energy certificates (RECs) on your behalf to offset the carbon footprint created by fossil-fuel generators. This mechanism subsidizes clean energy, which is cleaner and less harmful to the planet. The company tracks the environmental impact on its website, showcasing the millions of pounds of CO2 emissions that it helped to avoid.
Apart from RECs, Green Mountain also offers complete solar solutions, from a rooftop solar installation to selling back your system’s excess energy through the Renewable Rewards® buyback plan. Business customers may also sign up for Green Mountain service and manage their corporate energy accounts in the online business portal or custom made Green Mountain app.
Green Energy Mountain Plans & Services
When it comes to its products and services, it isn’t an exaggeration to state that Green Mountain Energy offers more choices than any other supplier. Whether you are an environmental enthusiast or not, you will find yourself intrigued by the 100% green plans with free tech gadgets, that would cost you hundreds of dollars if you bought them on their own.
|Pollution Free With Google Nest - Signing up for this 100% wind energy plan will earn you a Google Nest Thermostat E and a Google Nest Temperature Sensor at no additional cost. These slick google devices will help you further optimize your electricity usage at home.|
Pollution Free™ With Smart Lighting Kit - Another 100% clean wind energy plan with freebies for customers from Green Mountain Power, this time complementary hub-connected smart LED bulbs (90% more efficient than incandescent lights) to brighten your home with less power.
|Pollution Free™ With Smart Sprinkler Controller - The Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller retail price is $249. You can get it for free with this 100% wind energy plan offered by Green Mountain Energy company. The sprinkler automatically adjusts for the right amount of water needed for your lawn so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your water savings.|
|Renewable Rewards Buy-Back Plan - You own a solar panel and generate more electricity than you consume? If you live in Texas, you can enroll in the Green Mountain buy-back program and sell any excess electricity back to the grid for energy bill credits that you can roll-over to the next month.|
|Go Local Solar Plan - The energy potential from the sun in Texas is abundant and it would be a shame not to take advantage of it. On this plan, your energy usage is 100% offset by green energy certificates. Green Mountain also sets aside money each month on your behalf for the Green Mountain solar fund, contributing to a variety of projects, programs, and solar-related technologies.|
Interested in signing up for a Green Mountain Energy plan? You can enter your zip code on the company website to see the available offers for your local area.
Paying Your Green Mountain Energy Bill
When you sign up for Green Mountain Energy, it is likely that nothing will change in the way you pay your monthly electricity bill. You will continue paying to your utility company as you always have, except the supply charge of your electricity bill will have the Green Mountain logo company next to it. For specific information about what will change in your billing process, the company publishes the information for each U.S. state and utility company it serves.
If you need to contact your utility company about an issue with your bill, or perhaps a power outage, Green Mountain Energy makes the contact information readily available to you, depending on which U.S. state do you live in.
Green Mountain Energy Service Areas
The electric company serves selected locations in eight energy deregulated U.S. states.
If you don’t live in one of the serviced locations, but you are still interested in finding a competitive green energy plan to power your house or business, you can! There are many electric suppliers in the deregulated energy marketplace. Just enter your zip code on our website to choose a new energy plan.
Is Green Mountain More Expensive?
As noble as supporting the transition towards clean power feels, the pressing question on your mind right now probably is – will it cost me a fortune to switch to 100% green energy? When it comes to renewables, we are often led to believe that the price of keeping our environment pollution-free is high. That is not always the case.
When you look at the cost of Green Mountain Energy plans, you will see that the price for a kilowatt-hour of fully clean electricity in a New York zip code averages around 11 cents. In comparison, the average residential electric rate for the state is 14.83 cents per kilowatt-hour. That’s paying approximately 34% less for a 100% green energy plan.
However, even if the Green Mountain prices in your zip code turn out to be high, it’s important to realize that you have other options when it comes to supporting green energy. You should try to shop around to see, what’s on offer in your zip code. Many U.S. states have something called the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (REPS), mandating the utility providers and energy companies to offer products that are partially or fully backed by renewable energy certificates (RECs).
But what does that mean? It is important for customers to understand how RECs work – and the utility companies and energy providers don’t always do the best job in making it clear. The below explanation may help you remove some of the ambiguity:
What Are RECs?
So what are these RECs that we keep talking about? Though the cost of generating clean energy continues to decline, it is still more expensive to produce than electricity from fossil fuels. However, fossil fuels have a very negative impact on the environment – carbon dioxide emissions contribute to harmful global warming and climate change.
It is because of these fossil fuels drawbacks that the policymakers in many states mandate to procure some percentage of the state electricity from green sources. To achieve this goal, the U.S. laws allow clean energy generators — wind farms or solar power plants to receive a certificate that electricity was generated from clean sources, which it can later sell at the competitive market. For simplicity, 1 REC equals one megawatt-hour (MWh) of green power generated.
Companies, such as Green Mountain buy these certificates from the generators on the customer’s behalf – when you purchase a green energy plan. Despite what some suppliers claim on their websites, the energy flowing to your home won’t change. All sources of power (renewable and non-renewable) get mixed up together in the network so it’s impossible to send only the energy produced from solar or wind to your home. Rather, companies, such as Green Mountain Energy subsidize clean power generation by purchasing RECs – making it more competitive and attractive for customers.
Is Green Mountain Energy Really Green?
So why would a clean power proponent, such as Green Mountain Energy join forces with a Texas-based energy giant that derives 93% of its profits from coal, oil, and natural gas?
The fact that Green Mountain is owned by the NRG company will not change the service it provides to customers. It will continue to match the kilowatt-hours consumed by its customers with the purchase of RECs, which will help to make green energy cheaper in the long run.
NRG will, however, own whatever profit Green Mountain makes. NRG can, of course, choose to invest it in any technology it wants – including new clean power generators, such as wind and hydroelectric plants. One possibility is that Green Mountain will end up making the Texas energy giant more environmentally friendly – NRG has already vowed to curb 50% of emissions by 2050.
In any case, investing in purchasing RECs makes energy generated from renewables cheaper. If you consider becoming a Green Mountain customer, you’ll be pleased to know that the company is Green-e certified and has attained high ratings from the Better Business Bureau, the energy marketplace watchdog. Whether or not its affiliation with NRG makes Green Mountain less green is hard to say. However, as the customer, you can be assured that the RECs purchased on your behalf will help to make green energy cheaper, which may contribute to a greener, cleaner planet in the long run.