Rockland residents can now help reduce carbon emissions and the country’s reliance on fossil fuels by powering their homes and businesses with clean electricity from a local sustainable energy provider.
Green Mountain Energy—a leading provider of solar, wind and hydropower electricity and other renewable energy products—recently moved into White Plains.
Meet Green Mountain Energy
“Integrity and sustainability are our core traits,” said Doug Semmes, Green Mountain Energy’s New York director of sales. “How we innovate, how we partner, what our level of commitment is, showing tenacity and accountability—they all tie in so well with achieving our mission of changing the way power is made. We need to show a lot of commitment to encourage the change we’re trying to make, and not just encourage it, but be the change we want to see in the world.”
Semmes said that since the company is expanding into Rockland as well as Westchester, White Plains was the perfect crossroads to allow Green Mountain Energy to provide coverage to both counties.
“White Plains is clearly a hub,” said Semmes. “We’ve had such a great reception with people choosing pollution free electricity.”
Since Green Mountain Energy—which has offices in Texas, Portland and Manhattan—was founded in 1997, its customers have helped to remove enough carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to equal: 1.3 million cars off the road for a year; more than 624 million households not using their lights for a week; or recycling 36 billion cans or 5.9 pounds of newspaper; and helped spur the creation of 50 new wind and solar farms.
How Does It Work?
The way it works is that when you purchase an electricity product from Green Mountain Energy you are ensuring that the power you pay for on your Con Edison or your Orange and Rockland Utilities bill will pour energy, from wind and water power sources in upstate New York, into the electricity grid to make-up for the amount of power you use.
Semmes said that the cost for Green Mountain Energy’s pollution-free energy is comparable to other energy costs. According to the company’s website, Rockland residents who purchase the “Pollution Free Smart 6” package at 9.9 cents per kilowatt hour for a six months at a fixed rate, for a whole year will avoid 890 pounds of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to: the amount of carbon dioxide that 53 trees could absorb; 980 miles driven or 350 recycled newspapers.
“If someone has Con Edison as their supplier they will see a slight premium,” said Semmes. “Most homes that difference is going to be very small and averaged out across several months.”
Customers who pay an extra $5 on their electricity bill each month can join the “Green Mountain Energy Sun Club” which goes toward funding small solar installations for New York non-profit organizations.
Local non-profits can apply to win a solar panel installation at gmsunclub.com. Homeowners can also enter to win a $15,000 solar installation or three free years of solar electricity by clicking here.
Green Mountain Energy also installs solar panels, has electricity plans for and offers carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates—for those who want to calculate and offset activities that impact the environment, like driving, flying for businesses or individual use.
Committment to Sustainability
In addition to providing access for local businesses and residents to use renewable energy, Green Mountain Energy also makes sure its own operations and employees work for a more sustainable future.
The company just released its annual sustainability report (watch the YouTube video for more on this), which analyzes everything from the impact its customers have and its own impact—calculating things like corporate air and vehicle emissions, employee community emissions, mobile source emissions and more.
Green Mountain Energy does not leave a carbon footprint and is a carbon neutral enterprise.
“It adds transparency to our business practices,” said Semmes. “We aren't just suggesting that they make the green choice, but we also walk that talk within our business practices. We’re a company that has a mission over the way power is made, we’re also a company that’s very conscious in our own practices.”
Green Mountain Energy’s employees voluntarily participate in company carpools, serve as “Green Ambassadors”, hold Earth Day celebrations, compost office waste, hold “lunch and learns” on topic like cooking more sustainably; and buy their own carbon offsets.
“We [employees] do it, because we believe in it,” said Semmes.
Green Mountain Energy is also hiring in the Lower Hudson Valley, New York City and in other locations.
In addition to cleaning up the largest source of industrial air pollution in the country (electricity); preventing carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur dioxide from reaching the air, water and soil; eliminating fossil-fuel extraction; and offering a local renewable energy source that protects the environment—the company’s website said that clean electricity also creates green jobs (white and blue collar jobs grew 9.1 percent between 1998 and 2007); and brings development to rural areas.
“We’re growing very rapidly and achieving our goals in this market,” said Semmes. “More people are choosing pollution-free electricity, which makes a huge difference. We’re very excited about our results.”