Green Up FAQ
Is Green Up certified?
Yes. Green Up is certified by the Green-e Energy Program. The Green-e Energy label certifies that Green Up meets strict environmental and consumer protection standards established by the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions.
For more information contact:
Do I have to participate in Green Up?
Center for Resource Solutions
1012 Torney Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94129
Toll free 1-888-63-GREEN
No. Your participation in the Green Up Program is voluntary and you may cancel your Green Up purchase at any time by contacting City Light.
Who is my Green Up provider?
Seattle City Light
Who should I contact for more information on Green Up?
Green Up customer service line: 206-684-8822
I want to sign up! How will I be billed?
The cost of Green Up will be added to your regular Seattle City Light electricity bill.
How much will my bill go up?
Residential customers are billed $3, $6 or $12 per month, corresponding to 25%, 50% and 100% Green Up options. Non-residential customers are billed a flat monthly amount they choose based on 1.5 cents/kWh.
How much will my total electricity service cost?
The average residential customer bill for two months of service is $100. Your bill may be less or more depending on your electricity use. Green Up adds $6, $12 or $24 to your bimonthly residential bill. For commercial customers the amount added to your bill will depend on the percentage of your annual usage that you decide to "green up".
Will my rates change over time?
The Seattle City Council provides oversight of regular customer electricity rates and adjusts them from time to time in keeping with City financial policies and to ensure that electric utility costs are adequately covered, but this process is independent of Green Up rates. We have no plans to change Green Up rates in the near future.
Is there a minimum time requirement for participating in Green Up?
No. However, from time to time Seattle City Light offers special rewards for signing up and we may ask for a minimum voluntary time commitment.
If I want to quit Green Up is there a termination fee?
No. Green Up is voluntary and you may join or leave the program by contacting City Light at any time.
What other fees might I be charged?
What green power resources will be used in Green Up?
The Renewable Energy Credits used in Green Up are from the following sources:
- 73% geothermal energy from the Raft River project in Idaho
- 14% biogas energy from Big Sky Dairy Digester in Idaho and DeRuyter Dairy Digester in Washington
- 10% wind from Pa Tu wind farm in Oregon
- 3% small hydro energy from Birch Creek and Bell Mountain irrigation channels in Idaho
- Product Content Label
What are Renewable Energy Credits?
"Renewable Energy Credits", also called "Certificates" (RECs), or "green tags" are created when a qualifying renewable energy facility generates electricity, and represent the broad environmental and economic benefits of green power. RECs are sold separately from commodity power and provide customers a means to green their power supply at a low premium rate. RECs allow customers to purchase green power whether or not they have access to renewable electricity generation and without having to switch electricity suppliers.
When you sign up for Green Up you are purchasing RECs equivalent to a percentage of your electricity usage.
How does buying Renewable Energy Credits help increase the amount of renewable energy?
In most electricity markets, new clean, renewable energy costs more to produce than fossil fuel energy. This difference is primarily due to subsidies that fossil fuel industries receive. However, to remain competitive, renewable energy producers must sell their energy to the grid at conventional market prices. All electricity is the same once it hits the grid, so traditionally consumers have not seen any reason to pay more when fossil fuel energy turns on the lights the same way that wind energy does.
One solution to help open the market to renewable technologies is the sale of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). A green energy provider (such as the Stateline Wind Farm) is credited with one REC for every 1,000 kilowatt-hours or 1 megawatt-hour of electricity it produces. (For reference, an average residential customer consumes approximately 800 kWh in a month.) An independent agency (such as the Center for Resource Solutions through their www.green-e.org program) verifies and certifies the renewable energy product. The green energy is then fed into the electrical grid and the accompanying REC can then be sold to customers separately from the power generated.
By purchasing a REC (through Green Up) to cover your energy consumption, you are paying the difference between market rate and the production rate, allowing more clean power producers to enter the competitive marketplace. You are purchasing all legal rights to the benefits renewable energy creates - namely the pollution avoided (carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, mercury, and particulate matter) and the economic benefit to rural communities that are often the homes to these technologies. While these may not be benefits to which we can physically claim ownership, the social impact is huge. By purchasing RECs you are helping generate a market for clean, renewable technologies here in the Pacific Northwest.
Learn more about renewable energy credits and the EPA Green Power Partnership.
Additional Information about RECs
When a renewable energy facility operates, it creates electricity that is delivered into a vast network of transmission wires, often referred to as "the grid." The grid is segmented into regional power pools; in many cases these pools are not interconnected. To help facilitate the sale of renewable electricity nationally, a system was established that separates renewable electricity generation into two parts: the electricity or electrical energy produced by a renewable generator and the renewable "attributes" of that generation. The renewable attributes or "green" attributes are sold separately as renewable energy certificates (RECs). Only one certificate may be issued for each unit of renewable electricity produced. The electricity that was split from the REC is no longer considered "renewable" and cannot be counted as renewable or zero-emissions by whoever buys it.
This product is comprised of RECs. With the purchase of RECs, you are buying the renewable attributes (i.e. environmental benefits) of a specific amount and type of renewable energy generation. You will continue to receive a separate electricity bill from your utility. Your purchase of renewable certificates helps offset conventional electricity generation in the region where the renewable generator is located. Your purchase also helps build a market for renewable electricity and may have other local and global environmental benefits such as reduced global climate change and regional air pollution.
The renewable certificates in this product are verified and certified by Green-e Energy. Each supplier of renewable certificates is required to disclose the quantity, type and geographic source of each certificate.
Please see the Product Content Label "http://www.seattle.gov/light/Green/greenPower/greenuppr.asp#itema" for this information. Green-e Energy also verifies that the renewable certificates are not sold more than once or claimed by more than one party. For information on Green-e Energy please visit its Web site, Green-e Energy, or call them toll-free, 1-888-63-GREEN