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How much does Renewable Energy cost Me?


windmills how much does renewable energy cost me

Concluding my theme this week of being good for goodness sake is Renewable Energy. I’m quite sure everyone knows what renewable energy is. It is basically energy that can be generated from on-going natural processes such as solar, wind, and tidal energy.

President Obama is promoting clean energy as a way to generate innovation and jobs, and to reduce dependency on foreign oil. I can get behind that. The US government is investing in renewable energy through incentives to advanced energy equipment manufacturers, alternative fuel research for vehicles, smart grid, and more. You can read more about the white house’s position on energy and environment here.

What does this mean to an average guy like me who is trying to retire early? I support renewable energy and would like to use clean electricity in my home if the cost is reasonable. Fortunately, Pacific Power offers a program that enable customers to purchase renewable energy. Here are the details below.

“Once you enroll in the Blue Sky program, Pacific Power purchases renewable energy credits from newly developed renewable energy facilities. The electricity from these facilities is delivered to the regional power grid.

100% renewable energy to match your electric use – includes on average a blend of 79% wind from the Western region and some national sources, 17% biomass and 4% geothermal from the Western region.”

Of course the electricity that I’m using to type this post is not all from windmills since everything is mixed in the grid. Still, I’m feeling good about doing my part to move the country toward a clean energy future and it really doesn’t cost all that much.

Our November electricity bill was $57. The Blue Sky program cost us $6.44 out of the $57. That’s not too expensive, but I should look into balanced billing so my bills will be more even throughout the year. It only about a fifth of my monthly public transportation reimbursement. So Santa, I think I made my case. I deserve a nice pair of noise cancellation head phones so I can deal with the noisy humanities on the train. I’ll have milk and freshly made chocolate chip cookies waiting for you next week.

Am I a sucker to be paying an extra 10%? I prefer to think I’m investing in the good old US of A for a cleaner brighter future.

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, he hated the corporate BS. He left his engineering career behind to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. At Retire by 40, Joe focuses on financial independence, early retirement, investing, saving, and passive income.

For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.

Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.
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{ 21 comments… add one }
  • BeatingTheIndex December 17, 2010, 3:39 am

    Why would you consider yourself a sucker? If this small amount is what it costs you to stand for what you believe is the right thing to do then go for it!

  • 101 Centavos December 17, 2010, 6:52 am

    You’re fine. Is that a 10% in addition to your power bill, or as a share of the total bill?

    I’m skeptical about green energy such as solar and wind being solutions for centrally distributed power generation (and government “investments” in general), as opposed to individual power generation.

    • retirebyforty December 17, 2010, 9:26 am

      The 10% is part of the total bill so my whole November bill was $57. I like individual power generation too, hopefully we’ll have more affordable options in the next 5-10 years.

  • Jackie December 17, 2010, 7:41 am

    I think you’re doing the right thing, and not a sucker πŸ™‚

  • MoneyCone December 17, 2010, 8:40 am

    More power to you! (no pun intended!)

  • everyday tips December 17, 2010, 12:33 pm

    Oh, I think Moneycone’s pun was intended!

    I think that is a very small price to pay, and I am envious that you have access to wind power!

  • retirebyforty December 17, 2010, 1:10 pm

    I think $6.44 is a very reasonable price to pay for my belief. πŸ™‚
    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Invest It Wisely December 17, 2010, 2:25 pm

    I don’t consider you to be a sucker, either, if that’s what you believe in!

  • Aloysa December 17, 2010, 3:39 pm

    Ditto! You are not a sucker! Go for it! I will support you. πŸ™‚

  • Sustainable PF December 18, 2010, 7:08 am

    Well, you know how we feel about this! Updated our weekend reading to squeeze this in.

  • Mark December 19, 2010, 6:51 am

    No, you’re not a sucker. It’s worth paying the extra money if it supports a cause that you believe in like renewable energy.

  • krantcents December 19, 2010, 5:45 pm

    I did not know you have a choice. I wish my electric bill was only $57.00 per month. I pay every 2 months and I paid $165. There may be some differences in the size of our homes. Los Angeles added a fee for sanitation and police! I would love to get off the grid!

  • retirebyforty December 19, 2010, 9:51 pm

    @Kevin, Aloysa, and Mark.
    It’s just tough for me to pay extra for something I can’t touch. πŸ™‚

    I’m surprise LA doesn’t have these renewable energy program. There are quite a few wind farms out in the desert right? Our place is 1,000 sq ft. I would love to live off the grid too, maybe someday there will be a solar panel efficient and affordable enough for that.

  • Squirrelers December 20, 2010, 9:53 am

    Hey, you’re not a sucker! Does that feel better to read this over and over from your readers:)

    Really, I commend you for doing something you believe in – it’s not like you’re hurting others here, you’re helping. Good for you, for that. And good for you for being considerate to Santa.

    • retirebyforty December 20, 2010, 10:08 am

      It feels GREAT to have supportive readers. I love it!

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