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GreenUp

 

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Contact Us

You can contact us by phone, email or post. Our contact information:

Mass. Interfaith Power & Light
14 Collins Road
Waban, MA 02468

Phone: 617-244-0755

MIPandL@MIPandL.org

 

GreenUP FAQs

Green Up

Below are frequently asked questions about National Grid's GreenUp Program. (If you have questions that are specifically about what this has to do with Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light and your congregation – and with faithful stewardship – please click here.)

What is Green Power?

"Green Power" refers to electricity supplied in whole or in part from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power, geothermal, hydropower, and various forms of biomass. New alternatives such as fuel cells and power produced from ocean waves are being developed as well.

Why should I care about how our electricity is produced?

Electricity generation worldwide produces more pollution than any other single activity. If we choose to generate our electricity from cleaner resources, it will make a direct impact on the air we breathe, and the health of our planet.

Just how dirty is electricity?

Coal and gas power plants emit:

67% of the nation's sulfur dioxide, which causes acid rain
36% of the nation's carbon dioxide, which causes climate change
33% of mercury, which causes toxic contamination
28% of nitrogen oxides, which creates smog
Particulate matter, which causes haze and damages lungs

The electricity supply in Massachusetts is very dirty. Currently, 28% of our electricity is produced by coal-burning power plants; 27% from gas-burning power plants; 20% from oil-burning power plants; 14% from nuclear power plants; and only 6% from large hydro and 4% from biomass.

What about nuclear power plants?

Nuclear power plants still have risks associated with them. They create radioactive waste, which causes radiation poisoning, and present the risk of nuclear disaster.

What is "energy independence"?

In order to meet our growing demand for energy, the United States has to import more and more power from other countries. If we choose to generate our electricity from local resources, we will gain energy independence.

Fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas will eventually run out. The more we use, the faster our energy supplies will disappear. Energy conservation – using less energy – is one important part of the solution. Choosing to generate our electricity from renewable resources will help to ensure that we have enough resources to meet our demands without being dependent upon other countries. The hope is that this will contribute to peace in the world.

How does GreenUp work?

When you enroll in GreenUp, you continue to receive the same high quality dependable electricity from your electric company (National Grid). The difference is that 100% of your electric needs are matched with purchases of renewable resources for use in the New England power pool. You are helping to create a cleaner, renewable, locally produced pool of energy resources in New England. Your investment helps move away from conventional sources of electricity like coal, oil, gas, and nuclear power, toward electricity generated from sun, wind, earth and water.

Do programs like GreenUp really work?

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), more than 300 utilities in 32 states now offer "green pricing" programs. To date, more than 425 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity has been installed or is planned as a result of green pricing programs. Utility green pricing programs are one segment of a larger green power marketing industry that serves hundreds of thousands of customers nationwide and has resulted in nearly 1,500 MW of actual or planned renewable energy development.

How much will my participation in GreenUp cost?

A "typical" household will pay a premium of about $6 - $12 per month to "GreenUp" their electric use.

Whom do I pay and where does the money go?

The additional charge for selecting GreenUp will appear on your monthly bill from National Grid (formerly Mass Electric). They will then reimburse the clean energy provider for the GreenUp portion so that they can invest your payments in renewable resources on your behalf. As more and more people choose cleaner sources of electricity, investment in these resources will increase and the power in New England's pool will become cleaner. National Grid does not make any profit on the premium you pay.

Who is eligible?

All residential or small commercial (G1 rate) customers of National Grid (formerly Mass Electric) are eligible to participate (and we hope many do!).

What if I want to participate and I have a different electric company?

Unfortunately, you will have to wait for your own electric company to offer its own program. We hope that the success of this program will inspire other electric companies to create similar programs. In the meantime, you can show your support by investing in Tradable Renewable Certificate (TRC) products – also known as greentags – separately from your electric bill. Sun Power Electric offers a TRC/greentag called ClimateSAVE (the successor to ReGen). Another local greentag product is New England Wind, which is 100% wind energy.

Will the electricity coming into my house change?

The good news is that you will still have the reliable and steady electricity that you depend on. The electricity from the green power sources you invest in will go into the New England utility "grid" and mix with all the other power. The electricity you use in your home or business or house of worship is part of that mix.

Am I changing my electric company?

No. With the GreenUp Program, you will continue to have the same supply and distribution company, and you will remain on your current Standard Offer or Basic service.

What if I lose power?

You do the same thing you have always done: look for your flashlight and/or candles, find your phone, and contact your electric company! National Grid (formerly Mass Electric) will still be responsible for the delivery of electricity to your home. In the case of a power outage, you will need to contact them directly.

What if I want to cancel?

You may cancel your investment in renewable electricity at any time. No penalty or termination fee will be charged. You will remain on your current Standard Offer or Basic service.

How can I help further?

GreenUp is a grassroots effort to change the way electricity is produced in New England. The involvement of each and every participant makes a big difference in how fast and steadily renewable energy resources will grow. You can help by telling friends, neighbors and colleagues about GreenUp. Get your congregation to enroll, and get them to join Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light!

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Mass. Interfaith Power & Light is a non-profit organization that provides a religious response to climate change. Our mission is to: Assist faith communities, their members and the public to decrease their carbon dioxide emissions & energy costs; educate people on why climate change is a matter of morality and justice; and advocate for policies that will lead to a sustainable future.