Niagara Mohawk kicks off renewable energy choice

SYRACUSE, N.Y., Sept. 4, 2002 – Niagara Mohawk customers can now choose to have their electricity produced by less-polluting, renewable sources – wind, biomass and hydropower.

All Niagara Mohawk residential and commercial customers are receiving more information on the program and an enrollment form in their September bill, which began arriving in the mail this week.

Customers can choose from three providers of renewable energy, Community Energy Inc., Green Mountain Energy Co., or Sterling Planet Inc. The renewable energy program is among the benefits of the Niagara Mohawk-National Grid merger.

“The shift to renewable energy, and the environmental benefits that it can provide, will be driven by consumer demand,” said William F. Edwards, president of Niagara Mohawk, a National Grid company. “By sponsoring this program, Niagara Mohawk is by example in promoting access to less-polluting sources of energy.”

The new program has energy providers secure renewable power and offer it to Niagara Mohawk customers. After a customer selects a renewable energy provider, the provider will notify Niagara Mohawk of the customer’s decision. Niagara Mohawk will obtain the energy on behalf of the customer and perform the billing.

For a typical residential customer the additional cost for cleaner energy would be $3.75 for half their monthly usage or $6.50 to $7.50 for their entire usage, depending on the provider they select. Niagara Mohawk estimates a typical residential customer uses 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month.

The surcharge will be included as a line item on the customer’s Niagara Mohawk bill and will be forwarded to the provider the customer selects. The available options are outlined in the chart below and at

Brent Alderfer, president of Community Energy Inc., said access to a customer base as large as Niagara Mohawk’s can help drive the development of additional renewable energy resources.

“Customers can choose a new source of energy, like wind energy, to meet their electric demand and at the same time stay with the reliability of Niagara Mohawk service,” Alderfer said. “With a secure energy future on everyone’s mind, choosing New York emission-free energy for a few dollars a month is an easy choice.”

A. Clifton Payne, president of Green Mountain Energy Company’s Eastern Region, said the links between the provider, Niagara Mohawk, and the customer is a strength of the program.

“This is a win-win situation for customers,” Payne said. “They remain with Niagara Mohawk, receiving the reliability they’ve come to trust. Meanwhile, they’re able to purchase pollution-free electricity that is produced entirely in New York. Each customer will help clean the air we breathe by reducing their share of carbon dioxide from electricity generation.”

Therrell “Sonny” Murphy Jr., chief executive officer and founder of Sterling Planet, said supporting the development of a more diverse supply for New York’s electricity market is also a benefit.

“The potential for development of additional sources of electricity will help diversify New York’s energy mix,” Murphy said. “Niagara Mohawk has put together a progressive commitment to renewable energy that empowers customers to conveniently choose green energy.”

The proposal for the renewable energy program was signed by American Wind Energy Association, Environmental Defense, Natural Resources Defense Council, the staff of the New York State Department of Public Service, and Niagara Mohawk.

Niagara Mohawk, a National Grid company, provides electric service to 1.5 million customers and natural gas to 540,000 customers in upstate New York. The company is based in Syracuse. Its parent company also has distribution operations in New England. National Grid Group plc. is an international U.K.-based company that builds, owns and manages electricity and telecommunication networks.

Community Energy Inc. ( is the marketer of wind-generated electricity. Under its New Wind Energy brand, CEI markets pollution-free, fuel-free energy from new wind-generation technology in the customer’s home region. CEI brought the first commercial wind plant on line in the competitive eastern electricity market in 1999 and has since expanded the market for pollution-free electricity with the largest wind farms east of the Mississippi. CEI customers include the five largest purchases of wind- generated electricity in the nation.

Green Mountain Energy Company ( is the nation’s largest and fastest growing retail provider of cleaner energy. Green Mountain ElectricitySM is the brand of cleaner electricity in the states where the company does business. The company provides less-polluting electricity generated from sources including wind, solar, water, geothermal, biomass, and natural gas. More than half a million customers in seven states: California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas have chosen Green Mountain Energy electricity. The Austin, Texas-based company was founded in 1997 with a mission to “change the way power is made.”

Sterling Planet Inc. ( launched operations in January 2001 as the first nationwide 100 percent renewable energy choice. With renewable energy subscribers in 45 states, the company is dedicated to diverse renewable energy development nationwide. The company works to expand the U.S. market for all five main sources of renewable, emission-free, “green” energy – solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and low-impact hydro. Sterling Planet offers the Green Americaà¢â€ž- Program–a complete, turnkey program for helping utilities develop new renewable energy projects and give all their customers a renewable energy choice.

Source: Niagara Mohawk

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