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Renewable Energy

After attending a class on Renewable Energy at my office today I did something crazy and enrolled in PGE's Renewable Future program. Actually it's not really crazy.. Maybe just a little crazy that I took the initiative to do it myself. After spending some time on the phone and doing a little Internet research I decided I would share my opinions with you.

I think every one's main concern with things like this is cost. The cool thing that about their Renewable Future program is that they are locking you into a fixed rate until December 31st, 2011. I went ahead and looked at my power bills over the last several months and noticed that this rate ($0.0908/kWh) is only slightly higher than the $0.0845/kWh that I have been paying. But for some reason PGE actually lowered their rates to something around $0.05/kWh this January. The representative on the phone told me that this was a temporary rate reduction and rates have already been scheduled to go up again in March.

So basically what got me was the fact that if I did enroll in this program not only would I be supporting renewable energy in Oregon but I would be doing it for pretty much the same price as what I've become accustomed to paying. Not only that but I would be locked into this rate for the next four years. They describe it kinda like playing the stock market.. You never know if the basic rate you pay for regular electricity is going to be more or less than the 9 cents you are being locked into but I would bet on it going up over time and not down.

After seeing that it's actually pretty affordable to support this it was a no-brainer for me to sign up. One of the other cool things about it for me was learning exactly where your energy is coming from.. Well sort of anyway. The whole power system is pretty complex but if you think of it in simple terms (i like to think this way) I will be lighting up my apartment from the Klondike II wind farm in Central Oregon. There's just something pretty cool about that.

Like I said earlier, I've heard about renewable energy in the past but just never really looked into it. I guess I didn't really care enough about it or thought it was to expensive to do myself. I don't want to keep "tootin" my own horn here, its really not about that. I guess I'm just excited about the idea of contributing to this and I felt like I should share it with a few of my friends. Go out there and do some research and maybe you will find yourself attracted to the idea. I think it's great that we have this option and it's a hell of a lot cleaner than burning coal, which happens to still be our main source of energy!

Just in case you were wondering, here is a nice little table that shows you the environmental impact of this kind of energy.