Green Power Update

A note from Angus Orford at Maritime Electric:

The current number of customers that have signed up for ‘Green Power’ is 445. The total number of 50 kWh blocks being purchased per month is 1141. The average number of blocks a customer is purchasing is 1141/445 = 2.56 or 128 kWh.
Not an overwhelming number of green power subscribers, but at least it’s a start.


Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on July 11, 2002 - 15:46 Permalink

I place part of the blame for the slow/low adoption of the project on the confusing way it was presented. I was hard to tell if you were paying a premium for green power to the Electric Co., or whether you were making a donation to a public green power org. Also, how many Kw/hours should I buy — do people even know what this unit means? Regardless, now that I am finally getting into a new house, I’ll be signing up — so make that 446 customers.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on July 11, 2002 - 15:48 Permalink

Steven: I agree with you that the presentation of the program was/is complex. It’s made further confusing when you consider that you’re not, in fact, buying actual “green electrons” unless you happen to live between North Cape and Alberton. It’s better to think of the power premium as a demonstration of your committment to the idea of green power.

Alan's picture
Alan on July 11, 2002 - 18:43 Permalink

Is this bonus to a profit-ensured-by- regulation corporation [MEC] the best way to get a bang for your buck for that committment?

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on July 11, 2002 - 20:03 Permalink

Can you think of a better way?

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on July 11, 2002 - 20:04 Permalink

And besides, it’s not a bonus for Maritime Electric — the proceeds of the Green Power Program go to the Wind Farm.

Alan's picture
Alan on July 11, 2002 - 20:22 Permalink

MEC makes a buck…

Build your own power farm — nano wind generation…

Alan's picture
Alan on July 11, 2002 - 20:51 Permalink

Check out this site for a power utility that connect green promise to green reality and not just a marketing brochure.

Justin's picture
Justin on July 12, 2002 - 03:19 Permalink

No, you’re right, it’s not a bonus to MEC. They don’t need one anyway. Our gov’t. passed a ruling that MEC MUST make profit for their shareholders: the only sure thing in the stock market in the world, so, they don’t need a bonus. I’ll be happy to sign up, especially if it means getting weaned off ‘nuclear energy’… I can’t say for sure, but I think my lights have been glowing in the dark :(

Andrew's picture
Andrew on July 12, 2002 - 04:19 Permalink

Power costs are already to high. I don’t want to pay more for the same thing. If our government likes wind power they can spend some of our tax dollars and put the whole island on wind power.

Alan's picture
Alan on July 12, 2002 - 10:02 Permalink

Fortunately, the wholesale electricity market is opening up so the Island producers and retailers will (if not are) buying all over North America from any number of sources which will put the idea that we are dependant on one plant or one way of receiving out the window. One of the odder ideas in the open market is that we should be subsidized by the citizens of Brampton and Calgary to bring natural gas here to generate electricity. Just bring the electricity here. [Douglas Coupland’s new “Souvenier of Canada” at one point makes complaint about the Confederation Bridge as a brain busting mis-allocation of subsidization from an urban Canadian’s point of view. Get used to that point of view as cities continue to decay and wealth transfers from them continue without a basis in economic reality.]

Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on July 12, 2002 - 14:34 Permalink

I agree with Andrew — paying extra for something with distant and vague (although significant) benefit is not something that the free market is good at promoting. This is exactly the kind of situation in which it makes sense for the government (as an agent of the people) to make a descision for all. This has happened with the Waste Watch program. It’s great — if it was just up to me to voluntarily recycle at my own expence, I shamefully admit that I probably wouldn’t bother. However, if you asked me if we should make recycling madatory for all Islanders (including myself), I’d say ‘yes’ enthusiastically — and then I would be forced to participate.

Alan's picture
Alan on July 12, 2002 - 19:42 Permalink

…and Montana appears to fund you to power their part of the grid through subsidization of personal wind generation…

Jevon's picture
Jevon on July 12, 2002 - 22:27 Permalink

Just the other night on Radio Netherlands (Dutch Horizons) they were discussing a program which sounds similars to Montana’s, but it is a national program which only exists because residents sued to force the energy companies to pay them for their input into the power grid.

Maybe we can sue this into place? :)

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on July 12, 2002 - 22:43 Permalink

The big legal stumbling block, as I understand it, here on PEI is that Maritime Electric will buy power from wind or other private generation efforts, but they just feed it back into their grid and sell it at market prices. As they have a monopoly on the transmission lines, this makes it difficult for a local neighbourhood to cooperatively develop a wind power project because Maritime Electric is ultimately in control of the transmission and billing. That said, I think it’s wrong to demonize Maritime Electric, or to assume that they are necessarily not responsive to their customers: they have their challenges and priorities like any BigCo, but I’m not willing to automatically assume that things can’t Get Better with them as a player. After all, they do know a lot about power generation and transmission — more than anyone else on PEI.

Alan's picture
Alan on July 13, 2002 - 11:59 Permalink

I would think that the good folks at Summerside Electric Utility, the guy at Brackley who feeds into the grid and the wind power station up West know as much. Having had some actual experience with them, I can heartily agree that the guys at MEC are really good guys but are limited by off-shore ownership interest, by the need to make an honest buck in everything they do and follow their sensible but conservative business model. Changes and the best model for change would not come from them not because they do not wish it but because it carries business risks that are unacceptable at the moment.