PPL now offers a wind/hydro option

Here’s an amazing thing: At a time when Pennsylvanians are dreading electricity rate increases in 2010, I just eagerly and voluntarily told PPL to charge me more on my monthly bill. And I know I’m not the only one.

PPL customers can now get electricity from wind mills
PPL customers can now get electricity from wind mills

Welcome to the new economy. Having to pay more for the same old stuff causes revolts. Having the opportunity to pay more for what’s innovative and sustainable engenders loyalty.

What I’m talking about is PPL’s new Green Power Option. You should do it. Go to communityenergyinc.com/ppl and choose how much of your household electricity you’d like to come from the renewable sources of wind and hydro. The options start at an extra $2.50 on your bill. Amanda and I are signed up to get about half of our electricity through green power. That will be about four tons less of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere this year.

I jumped at the opportunity to enroll in this program. I appreciated having a similar option through PECO when I lived in the Philadelphia area, and I have no clue why it has taken PPL so long to offer a green option here. The idea is simple: If it costs more to generate electricity sustainably, give people the option to pay the extra expense.

The green electricity PPL is offering is generated by Community Energy. It so happens that the company is the one that partnered with Temple, Villanova, and my college, Eastern, when as a student body we decided to get 100% of campus electricity from sustainable sources in 2002. I covered the story for our student newspaper as it unfolded.

Electricity generated by PPL comes primarily from four types of sources:

  • Nuclear
  • Coal
  • Hydro
  • Oil and natural gas

Participating in the Green Power Option gives PPL a financial incentive to continue its emerging set of renewable energy projects. PPL says that about 10% of the electricity it markets comes from such projects. While PPL claims the Frey Farm Landfill as one of its projects, the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority’s website says that what electricity it does not use to power the facility itself, it sells to Met Ed, not to PPL. That’s a shame, because the LCSWM waste-to-energy system is sleek and innovative.

For now, I’m just happy that it’s finally within my reach to power my home with energy from green sources.