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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Thursday, July 08, 2010

    Iowa Focus: Green Power Switch

    There are several companies in Iowa involved in helping energy customers switch to green energy, including landfill methane gas use (which reduces methane emissions from landfills while generating energy), wind power and solar power. The cost is generally less than 3 cents per kilowatt-hour more than you currently pay for energy. By participating you contribute to reducing carbon emissions, cleaning up Iowa's environment, and stimulating Iowa's economy. Three important ways of helping your local community, local environment and local economy, all for less tahn 3 cents per kilowatt-hour of energy you use. When my wife and I made a similar switch in New York, we barely noticed the difference in our energy bill. We also switched to compact fluorescent bulbs at the same time and the energy savings reduced our bill by one-third even with the small increase from buying green energy. Together, we reduced our carbon footprint by about 30% while overall saving money. I highly recommend the switch.

    Here are some of the programs in Iowa: (find more here)

    MidAmerican Energy Renewable Advantage: available to MidAmerican Energy customers through a checkoff box in your bill.

    MidAmerican Energy is continually adding renewable energy to the company's electric generation capabilities, and thanks to voluntary contributions from customers, the company constructed a .5 megawatt wind turbine on the Iowa State Fairgrounds in 2007.

    While benefiting all Iowa customers, the State Fair wind turbine provides fair goers the opportunity to learn more about renewable energy generation. In addition, the turbine has the potential to generate enough electricity to power more than 400 average U.S. homes for one year.

    Future Renewable Advantage projects may involve wind, solar, biomass, animal waste/methane or other renewable energy technologies, and will be determined by customer interest and participation.

    Renewable energy generation:

    * Improves air and water quality;
    * Helps prevent power plant and greenhouse gas emissions; and
    * Reduces our dependency on fossil fuels.

    Are you ready to make a difference? Call 888-427-5632. Iowa customers also may indicate a contribution to Renewable Advantage through check-off boxes included on bill stubs January through October.

    Harvest the Wind: wind energy; cost: 2.5¢/kWh

    A program for Cedar Falls Untilities customers. Easy to sign up! From their website:

    Harvest the Wind participants support 100-kilowatt-hour units of wind energy with a voluntary payment of $2.50 per month per unit. The voluntary payment is automatically added to participants’ electric bills, and may be stopped at any time.

    Less than 10% of CFU’s wind energy resources are currently supported by Harvest the Wind participation, so plenty of wind power is available. As a reference point, residential electric customers in Cedar Falls use approximately 800 KWH of electricity per month, on average.

    To sign up fill out this form (PDF) and mail to:

    CFU Customer Services
    P.O. Box 769
    Cedar Falls, IA 50613

    RiverWinds: wind energy; cost: 2.0¢/kWh-2.5¢/kWh

    RiverWinds is a program created by Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) to bring low-cost, environmentally friendly wind power to municipal utilities and their customers in the Northern Plains.

    Wind energy is the world’s fastest growing renewable energy source, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Choosing wind power is a smart choice because it is one of the cheapest and cleanest renewable energy sources available.

    MRES launched its RiverWinds program in 2002 to address the interest shown by MRES members customers in buying more of their energy from renewable resources. The program also was designed to meet requirements by some states that utilities offer a green energy program for their customers. Strong commitments to the efficient use of energy and to the protection of the environment and our natural resources have long been important factors in how MRES conducts business. The RiverWinds program is a natural extension of those commitments.

    If your energy supplier is one of the following, you can sign up for RiverWinds:

    Missouri River Energy Services: Alton, Atlantic, Denison, Fontanelle, Hartley, Hawarden, Kimballton, Lake Park, Manilla, Orange City, Paullina, Primghar, Remsen, Rock Rapids, Sanborn, Shelby, Sioux Center, Woodbine

    For more info, here is a brochure (PDF)

    To find out how you can participate, email here: mailman@mrenergy.com

    Evergreen Renewable Energy Program:

    Offered through the Dairyland Power Cooperative: Allamakee-Clayton/Postville, Hawkeye Tri-County/Cresco, Heartland Power/Thompson & St. Ansgar

    As a wholesale electricity supplier, Dairyland Power Cooperative is committed to providing a balanced energy supply that is reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible. As such, Dairyland has actively sought opportunities to expand our Evergreen renewable energy program, launched in 1998.

    Energy consumers have embraced renewable energy programs throughout the country. Members of the Dairyland Power Cooperative system are equally enthusiastic about our Evergreen renewable energy program.

    This program was created for Dairyland’s electric cooperative members. Dairyland’s members distribute the renewable energy to their consumers who are participants of the Evergreen program. Consumers can voluntarily support renewable energy through this program, with only a slight increase in their monthly electric bill.

    What forms of renewable energy make up Evergreen? Dairyland’s diverse “green” portfolio includes wind, landfill gas-to-energy and animal waste-to-energy. Dairyland also supplies renewable energy to member cooperatives from our 24 MW Flambeau Hydro Station near Ladysmith, Wis. Click on the links below to learn more.

    Dairyland's Renewable Energy Resources (PDF)

    Frequently Asked Questions about the Evergreen renewable energy program (PDF)


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