Buying Wind Power
Individuals, communities, businesses, and government entities may decide that buying wind power to supply their energy needs is the right fit. There are several ways to purchase wind power.
Green Power Marketing
Green power marketing refers to green power being offered by multiple suppliers in a competitive marketplace. In states that have established retail competition, customers may be able to purchase green power from a competitive supplier. Learn more about green power marketing.
Renewable Energy Certificates
Many people and organizations have the option to pay for electricity that is produced on their behalf using cleaner, renewable sources of generation. Renewable energy certificates (RECs)—which are also known as green certificates or green tags—represent the property rights to the environmental, social, and other non-power qualities of renewable electricity generation. These associated attributes can be sold separately from the actual electricity production from a renewable-based generation source. REC customers do not have to switch from their current electricity suppliers; they can purchase RECs separate from their electricity service. The Environmental Protection Agency offers a complete overview of RECs.
Green pricing is an optional utility service in some areas. Participating customers pay a different rate on their electric bills to cover the extra cost of the renewable energy or potentially receive a reduction if the renewable power is less expensive than the conventional power. Green pricing is usually offered in areas that do not allow retail competition. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory provides information about state-specific utility green pricing programs.
Installing Your Own Wind Energy
Instead of purchasing power from other sources, electricity customers from homeowners to large multinational companies and universities have purchased their own wind turbines, either installed behind their electric meters or as part of large, utility-scale wind farms. Distributed wind turbines at homes, small businesses, and industrial plants generate electricity through a policy called net metering. Net metering policies vary widely and are not available in all areas. The Small Wind Economic Model spreadsheet can be used to determine whether wind energy is right for you.