Why Make the Switch to Renewable Wind?

by Tom Walker

We’re making progress on sign-ups for the Green Energy Consumers Alliance wind program.  To date 20 FPL households have joined and another 20 or so have indicated their interest in being contacted with more details and help with the sign-up process. But we still have a ways to go before we meet our goal of at least 50 FPL households getting all their electricity from locally generated, renewable wind. 
As a bit of further background, we wanted to share some of our thinking about the reasons why FPL Green selected the renewable wind program as our first major Green Lives initiative.  At the root of our thinking is an understanding of the makeup of a typical US household’s carbon footprint.
Total carbon footprint of a typical US household (48 tCO2e/yr) (Source: Jones and Kammen (2011))

Total carbon footprint of a typical US household (48 tCO2e/yr) (Source: Jones and Kammen (2011), Fig. 1, p. 4090)

The typical US household is responsible each year for a total of about 48 tons of carbon emissions to the atmosphere.  These are the emissions we need to eliminate if we are to stop global warming.  The chart above shows that the two largest individual contributors to these emissions are motor vehicle fuels and household electricity consumption. Together these two categories account for approximately 35% of all household emissions. 
By signing up for the Green Energy Consumers wind program—which takes about five minutes of your time and results in only a modest increase to your monthly electricity bill—you can immediately make a substantial reduction (about 15%) in your family’s carbon footprint.  And with the introduction of our second major initiative, Drive Green, you have the opportunity for even greater carbon footprint reductions.  Replacement of gasoline or diesel engine cars with electric vehicles (EVs), powered by sources like renewable wind and solar, would cut each household’s carbon footprint by a further 20%.  Combined with the wind power initiative, the switch to EVs would reduce your family’s emissions by about 35%.  If we all did this, the impact would be dramatic.

For more information on the renewable wind program and the process for switching, visit the FPL/Green Energy website: www.greenenergyconsumers.org/fplgreen.