Curbing Your Consumption:
By John Ford
The power coming through the wire from Ontario's generation capacity
comes from a number of sources, most of them powered by non-renewable
resources. There are a number of ways that you can "clean
up" the power you use to minimise your impact on the environment.
The ambitious might want to take advantage of the Renewable Energy
Standard Offer Program. Build a wind turbine, or micro-hydro project,
and sell the power to the grid at 11¢/kWh, or install
photovoltaic panels at 42¢/kWh. Here in Alta Vista, PV panels
might be a discreet and practical choice, but the cost is still
prohibitive and a long-term investment of 20 years or more.
So after minimising your consumption, how can you be assured that
you're doing all you can? Buy green power from an all renewable
generation company. How does that work? There are no changes to be
made to your home or electrical system. You sign up with a
third party electricity retailer,
and the energy charge on your bill goes toward 100% renewable
generation. One of those retailers is Bullfrog Power. At 9.1¢ per
kWh, the cost for the average household in Ontario at that price is
about 34% higher. But if you lower your consumption by 27% to 23.9 kWh
per day at the same time, the bill won't go up. For someone using only
10 kWh per day, the cost is 30% more or about $12.50 per month. A
small price to pay to know you're not creating greenhouse gases or
smog with your consumption.
You can also invest in a co-op project such as
which generates green power. You must buy power from a re-seller who
buys from Windshare to actually use their generated electricity.
Of course the greenest and most responsible thing you can do to lower
your emissions is to cut your use of energy down to the absolute
John Ford is a technology consultant, owner of a small energy
conservation business, and the Energy Advocate for the Green Party of