SYRACUSE, N.Y., Sept. 17, 2003 — Niagara Mohawk customers are receiving information in their bills this month on how they can enroll in GreenUp, the company’s renewable energy program, and join more than 7,700 fellow customers who have chosen to have electricity produced by less-polluting, renewable resources, Niagara Mohawk officials said Wednesday.
To celebrate the success of the first year of Niagara Mohawk’s green energy offering, the Niagara Mohawk Foundation and the program’s four participating renewable energy providers, Community Energy, Inc., Green Mountain Energy Co., Sterling Planet Inc., and EnviroGen, also announced grants to Syracuse Habitat for Humanity, the Syracuse Real Food Co-op, the Albany-based Environmental Advocates and Sierra Club New York Chapter, and the Buffalo-based Lexington Real Food Co-op to participate in GreenUp.
“We are pleased with the first year of GreenUp as an example of how the shift to renewable power and the environmental benefits that it provides can be driven by consumer demand,” said William F. Edwards, president of Niagara Mohawk, a National Grid company. “By offering renewable energy options and sponsoring these grants, Niagara Mohawk is leading by example in promoting access to less-polluting sources of energy.”
The innovative program requires the four renewable energy providers to secure New York-based renewable energy resources – such as wind, bioenergy or hydropower – and offer it to Niagara Mohawk customers. After a customer selects a renewable energy provider, that provider will notify Niagara Mohawk of the customer’s decision. Niagara Mohawk’s supply portfolio will receive the energy on behalf of the customer and the company remains responsible for all service to the customer.
For a typical residential customer the additional cost for cleaner energy would be $3.75 for half their monthly usage or $5.00 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 www.NiagaraMohawk.com.
Mel Jones, president, chief executive officer and co-founder of Sterling Planet, said customers appreciate the ability to choose a renewable energy source, while remaining Niagara Mohawk service customers.
“All Niagara Mohawk customers are empowered to choose energy from diverse renewable resources, as well as a range of signup levels from 50 percent to 100 percent,” said Jones. “Participating in GreenUp is an easy, affordable way to support the environment while continuing to enjoy the reliability of Niagara Mohawk service. Going green also enhances the New York economy, providing additional revenue to local renewable energy generators and creating jobs in upstate New York.”
Brent Alderfer, president of Community Energy, Inc., 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, such as pollution-free and emission-free wind energy, will help diversify New York’s energy mix and contribute to a cleaner New York. New York State has enough wind resources to supply 20 percent of the state’s electricity,” Alderfer said. “For just a few dollars, customers can help the environment and help grow secure, domestic sources of electricity.”
Robert J. Kreppel, the president and founder of EnviroGen, a renewable energy provider added to the list of providers this year, said his company is pleased to join the list of options available to Niagara Mohawk customers.
“The GreenUp program further expands a customer’s opportunity to choose by making renewable energy an option,” Kreppel said. “This is a ‘vote’ for the environment and a step toward reducing our reliance on foreign sources of energy.”
To note the first anniversary of GreenUp, grants are being made to local organizations to underwrite their participation in the program.
The Niagara Mohawk Foundation and Green Mountain Energy Company will provide a joint $2,500 grant for Syracuse Habitat for Humanity, Inc. homes and projects to participate in the program during the next two years. Syracuse Habitat For Humanity, Inc. typically remodels or builds 10 to 15 homes a year.
“Niagara Mohawk customers who have signed up for Green Mountain Energy® electricity are making this renewable energy donation to dozens of Syracuse Habitat For Humanity homes possible,” said Tom Rawls, chief environmental officer and general manager of Green Mountain Energy Company’s Eastern Region. “Our customers feel pride for what they are doing to support clean electricity and give back to the local community. Their monthly purchase of 100 percent pollution-free electricity avoids CO2 emissions, as well as contributes to the renewable energy that is being purchased to provide renewable energy service to Habitat homes.”
The Niagara Mohawk Foundation and Sterling Plant will provide a joint $2,500 grant for the Syracuse Real Food Co-op to participate in the renewable energy program.
The Real Food Co-op, a not-for-profit organization, offers organically grown and environmentally friendly food and other products.
The Niagara Mohawk Foundation and Community Energy will provide a joint $2,500 grant to the Environmental Advocates and the New York Chapter of the Sierra Club to participate in the program at the groups’ shared Albany headquarters. The Sierra Club is one of the nation’s leading environmental organizations. Environmental Advocates of New York works to ensure the development and implementation of sound environmental policy in New York and to educate and involve a diverse group of interests in environmental, health and energy issues.
The Niagara Mohawk Foundation and EnviroGen will provide a joint $2,500 grant to the Buffalo-based Lexington Food Co-op to participate in the program. The Lexington Food Co-op is a membership based, not-for-profit organization that provides high quality food products, including organically grown foods, locally grown produce and other food produced and packaged with minimum impact on the environment.
About Niagara Mohawk
Niagara Mohawk, a National Grid company, (www.niagaramohawk.com) provides electric service to approximately 1.5 million customers and natural gas to approximately 550,000 customers in upstate
New York. The company is based in Syracuse. Its parent company also has electricity distribution operations in New England.
About Community Energy, Inc.
Community Energy, Inc. (www.CommunityEnergy.biz) is a marketer of wind-generated electricity. Under its NewWind Energy(tm) brand, CEI enables customers to make a real difference with 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. NewWind Energy is available across the New York State.
About Green Mountain Energy Company
Founded in 1997 to “change the way power is made,” Green Mountain Energy Company (www.greenmountain.com) sells cleaner electricity generated from sources such as wind, solar, water, geothermal, biomass and natural gas to residential, business, institutional and governmental customers. Close to 600,000 customers have chosen Green Mountain Energy® electricity, which is dramatically less-polluting than typical system power in those states. The company is based in Austin, Texas.
About Sterling Planet, Inc.
Sterling Planet, Inc. (www.SterlingPlanet.com) offers diverse renewable energy blends to homes and businesses through utility partnerships, with sales in 45 states. Sterling Planet’s mission is to harness the power of consumer demand to convert at least 10 percent of U.S. electricity production to renewable, sustainable energy by 2012. The company works to develop and own solar, bioenergy and other renewable energy facilities nationwide.
EnviroGen (www.EnviroGen.net) is a western New York-based company created to bring renewable energy choices to customers in New York. The company is committed to not only providing renewable energy at competitive prices, but also in building a fleet of renewable generation assets within New York State. The company’s exclusive focus at this time is the marketing and development of renewable generation assets within New York State.