Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Carbon Fast for Lent: Day 12 and 13

Well, I didn't post yesterday so, today I'll catch up. Getting right to the point:

Day 12: Tell politicians to take action on climate change today. Check out Tearfund's campaign work at

Now, Tearfund is a UK organization. I don't really know what US organizations there are. Greenpeace? Sierra Club? What are the most influential organizations working on climate change? Tell us who to look into in Comments.

Day 13: Put the heat on your electricity or gas suppliers and ask them if they have a green plan. Make the switch and feel cosy.

Turns out PSE&G, the local utility, does have a green plan for consumers. I have no way of evaluating if its any good, and I can't switch to it directly because I am currently a renter. but I can ask my landlord about it. How does PSE&G's plan compare with others? Is anyone using their own local plan? Let us know in Comments.

O God, you so loved the world that you gave your only-begotten Son to reconcile earth with heaven: Grant that we, loving you above all things, may love our friends in you, and our enemies for your sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.



jen x said...

We're renters, too. I just signed us up for a similar Green Power program. You *can* do Green Power as a renter (assuming you pay a utility bill). It doesn't actually change anything that's coming into the house, it just changes your billing. Basically you're paying a surcharge so your power company can increase the amount of renewable energy in its electricity pool. For example, if you use 700 kWh/month, your surcharge allows the power co. to buy 700 kWh of renewable energy each month for the pool from which you draw.

There's more detail on my blog post here -- I had to spend several days figuring out how this worked before I switched us. Your plan looks similar to ours. The only difference is you have a choice of renewable energy providers which you select on the web site to which you linked. Community Energy and Green Power Energy's rates looked the most competitive (1.3 cents/kWh). My power co.'s plan used to be super expensive, but they're down to 1 cent/kWh so I gave in. We don't pay heat or hot water (just other electricity and A/C) so the additional cost isn't bad at all & very affordable.

Good luck -- I'll be interested to hear what you decide!

RFSJ said...


Thanks for the report. Do you get any report on how much your are saving or anything like that?

I should have clarified that my landlord pays the utility bill directly, so I I have to work with her on this. I'd be willing to consider paying the surcharge myself as well in order to help out.



jen x said...

I just signed up this week -- really motivated by the Carbon Fast -- so I'm not sure if they generate a report.

I couldn't find any specific impact statement on our electric company's site, but looked on the NJ Energy page you linked in your post: the example they use is for what they consider an average household that uses 700 kWh/month: "In fact, each household that participates in the [New Jersey] Clean Power Choice Program can avoid over 10,000 lbs. of C02 emissions per year, which is equivalent to planting 1.35 acres of trees!"

The Wisconsin site says an average household here uses 600 kWh/month. In comparison, we're in a 1 BR apartment and we don't pay for heat or hot water; we use an average of 250 kWh/month.

Hope this helps!