Company is first to offer renewable energy to all homes and businesses in mainland USA

An Atlanta-based company has become the first to offer a 100% green energy choice to every home and business in the 48 mainland states and the District of Columbia in the form of vouchers costing from $5.95 per month.

“For the price of a lunch, people just about anywhere in the United States can do something today to improve air quality and help develop the nation’s renewable energy market,” says Therrell ‘Sonny’ Murphy, Jr., Sterling Planet’s founder, president and CEO. For as little as $5.95, the company purchase green energy vouchers on behalf of the customer, which will upgrade about 40% of the energy they consume monthly from coal and other fossil fuels, plus nuclear power to renewable sources.

Sterling Planet’s spokesperson, Bette Trevillion explained to edie how the company’s pricing scheme works. “For many, an upgrade to 100% renewable energy costs about $15 monthly, with customers spending 20% more each month. Exactly how much customers pay depends on how much energy a US customer typically consumes each month and the average electricity rate in the state where the consumer lives. For example, upgrading 100% of a $75 monthly purchase of electricity will cost an additional 20%, or $15 monthly. For a 75% upgrade, customers would pay 15% more, or $11.25 more in the above example. Going 50% green would cost 10% or $7.50 more.”

Sterling Planet does not supply its own energy, but trades in so-called ‘green tickets’. Customers stay with their electric utility, keeping the same relationship, while adding a separate account with Sterling Planet, which can be altered at any time. ‘Green tickets’ are bought from the Automated Power Exchange (APX) in California, the nation’s only such scheme in operation currently, with suppliers of renewables selling power through the APX receiving a green ticket for each megawatt hour of power they generate.

According to Trevillion, the current source of the renewable energy used blend is about 70% hydropower from installations of less than 30 megawatts and 30% geothermal. “Going forward, this will change to include other green energy sources, including solar, wind and biomass, but we will only purchase green tickets from 100% green energy facilities,” she said. “All the energy currently comes from California sources, but this will change, too, as we grow and expand our business. We will partner with electric utilities of all sizes and types – large investor-owned public utilities, municipal electric companies and rural electric cooperatives – to offer green energy to their customers on a more localised basis.”

Sterling Planet, which is recognised by the Department of Energy as a green certificate marketer, expects 100,000-plus customers during the next 12-15 months, Trevillion says.

“Doing something positive about the environment is now quick, convenient, easily affordable and widely available,” says Ron Mitchell, the company’s operations vice president. “Sterling Planet delivers an environmentally friendly choice today to millions who have never had this choice before.”

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