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Too good to be true? Zero Carbon electricity for $0.75/month extra.

cold_feet | Posted in General Questions on

https://www.dominionenergy.com/virginia/renewable-energy-programs/rec-select

Dominion Energy offers something called REC Select where homeowners can purchase RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates) to match 100% of their monthly electricity use.  Choosing this option adds $0.75/MWh to your bill.  Even if homeowners use 2,000 kWh in a given month, that’s only an extra $1.50.

Am I missing something or is this really a way for their residential customers to go zero carbon at home for around $1/month?

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Replies

  1. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #1

    Surprisingly, that math does appear to be correct based on the information on that site. Note that if you goal is "zero carbon" though, these credits DO NOT do that. Note that they state they are using biomass and landfill gas as some of the "renewable" energy sources. While those two sources are essentially a form of recycling -- using waste products to produce energy, especially in the case of landfill gas which is otherwise usually flared off (burned for disposal, basically), they are still involving carbon.

    I've never been a fan of the thinking of energy being carbon anyway. Think of Dominion's program as a way to source some of your energy from non-traditionally fueled sources instead. There is still a positive there, it just might not be entirely in step with your particular goals.

    Bill

    1. Expert Member
      NICK KEENAN | | #2

      I'd give them credit for that. The reason that we're in pickle isn't because we use hydrocarbons, it's because we take ones that were removed from the biosphere 300 million years ago and reintroduce them. The carbon in biomass is in the biosphere, moving it around isn't really hurting anything. And I'm skeptical that we're going to be able to sequester meaningful amounts of carbon on a geologic time scale by not burning biomass.

      I suspect that one of the ways we're going to get out of this mess -- if we do -- is going to be to find ways to create hydrocarbons using carbon already in the atmosphere. We won't stop using hydrocarbons, just stop mining fossil ones.

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