Oswego named a Green Power Partner Community
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized Oswego as a Green Power Partner community, in recognition of its dedication to using 100 percent renewable energy for its Electrical Aggregation program.
In Oswego, the Village has contracted with clean energy provider MC Squared to purchase most of the energy and all the renewable energy credits for residents and businesses that participate in the Village’s Electrical Aggregation program. For residents in the program, the amount they pay on their ComEd bills for their electricity supply supports new energy from a mix of wind and solar projects – all at the same price as conventional coal- and gas-powered electricity.
“We’re happy to be supporting clean energy production,” Oswego Finance Director Mark Horton said. “It’s a smart thing for the environment, and the best part is that with just a little comparison shopping we were able to continue to bring green energy to Oswego without any additional cost to residents.”
To be named a Green Power Partner, communities must meet a minimum percentage of green power, between 3 and 20 percent, based on the amount of power a community uses annually.
Currently, 74 percent of all energy used in Oswego is from renewable resources like wind and solar. That’s more than 10 million kWh each year -- equivalent to the amount of power needed to drive 29 million miles in an electric car.
To qualify as a Green Power Partner, communities must use energy from eligible renewable sources, including solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, or certain biomass or low-impact hydroelectric sources. The energy must be purchased voluntarily and sourced from renewable facilities less than 15 years old located in the United States.
How do Renewable Energy Credits work?
When energy is generated – whether clean energy like wind or solar, or conventional energy like coal – it is all routed over transmission lines into the same grid, where it becomes mixed up and is delivered to homes and businesses. However, when a company produces green energy, they can issue Renewable Energy Credits for each kilowatt hour of energy produced. When the Village contracts for electricity suppliers on behalf of residents, it contracts for energy with Renewable Energy Credits. This ensures that money residents pay for electricity funds renewable energy suppliers, like wind and solar farms, rather than coal mines or gas drilling.
For residents, each time you flip on a light switch or the furnace, the power you are using is a mix of clean and conventional energy. This means conserving power in your home is always the most environmentally friendly choice. However, if you’re in the Village’s Electrical Aggregation program, 100 percent of the money you pay each month for your electricity supply on your ComEd bill pays renewable energy suppliers and supports a greener world.
What else is Oswego doing to promote clean energy?
In addition to providing clean energy options to its residents through electrical aggregation, Village staff consider energy conservation when designing new facilities or improving Village services. For example, the new Oswego Police Headquarters was designed to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certified and includes a solar tower and radiant flooring system that heats the building. Also, new water meters installed throughout town this fall will transmit water meter readings automatically, reducing the need for a technician to drive door-to-door to read meters.
What can residents do?
Unless a resident has opted out, they are automatically signed up to participate in the Village’s electrical aggregation program that contracts for renewable energy at the same price as conventional energy.
If you have opted out, you can opt back in by calling MC Squared at 877-MC2-POWR, or 877-622-7697, and giving a few pieces of information from your ComEd Bill. Opting into Oswego’s electrical aggregation program takes about 15 minutes.
Note that nobody from MC Squared or the Village will ever call you or come door-to-door asking for information about your electricity bill.
For more information on the Village’s Electrical Aggregation program, contact the Village of Oswego at 630-554-3618.
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