Several northwest electric co-ops and consumer owned utilities, including Lakeview Light, have joined together to develop and produce Green Power. Green Power is, essentially, pollution-free power that's generated by clean, renewable, environmentally friendly sources – like wind, solar, biomass, fuel cells and geothermal.
Our group, called the Last Mile Electrical Cooperative, is focusing on wind power. Wind is an especially good choice because it's one of the cheapest and cleanest types of energy available. There's no extraction of fuel, pollution or harm to the environment. And wind power provides an economic boost to rural communities. For farmers with windy land (as in Eastern Washington) it can provide a new, steady source of income, much like another crop.
Northwesterners are choosing Green Power for several reasons:
• Health - Some of the electricity consumed in the Northwest comes from burning fossil fuels like coal and gas. These harm human health, degrade ecosystems and add to global warming.
• Environmental preservation - Green Power doesn't harm fish and wildlife, and can actually help air and water quality in our region. Because there is no environmental damage, it can keep our environment clean for future generations.
• Stability - Green Power doesn't rely on non-renewable fuels, and costs don't fluctuate wildly (as they did in last year's energy crisis). Wind and sunlight are free - and there is an endless supply.
• Economic impact - In the Northwest, we have enough green resources to satisfy at least 40% of our electricity needs. And, investing in Green Power helps our economy. According to a study published last fall, Green Power currently contributes $1.4 billion a year to our region's economy. It's expected to grow at a rate of $4 billion a year over the next 20 years and add 12,000 new jobs.
Although it's still a bit more expensive than power from conventional sources, the price is coming down. And the more people who sign on to purchase Green Power, the more the price will fall.
Lakeview Light customers can now purchase Green Power for an additional $4 per month for 250kwh. Your purchase of Green Power is over and above your power bill and does not reduce your consumption or your bill. By becoming a "Lakeview Green Light," you're making a difference in the Northwest's electric generating mix and the environment. You're bringing new jobs to the area. And you're helping build a healthier future for all of us and our ecosystems.