FAQs

What is a kilowatt-hour (kWh)?

The kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a billing unit for energy delivered to consumers by electric utilities. Northeast Clean Power uses your monthly kWh electricity use to determine the amount of renewable energy you purchase on a monthly basis. In technical terms, a kilowatt-hour is a unit of energy equal to 1,000 watt hours.

Example: If you use 700 kWh in the month of March, and participate in 100% Northeast Clean Power, you will support renewable energy equal to 700 kWh for the month of March.

How much electricity does the average home in Connecticut consume?

The average home in Connecticut consumes approximately 700 kWh of electricity per month, or 8,400 kWh per year.

What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy is energy from sources that replenish themselves without depleting the Earth's resources. Renewable resources are abundant and cause little, if any, environmental damage. Examples of renewable energy sources include:

  • Wind
  • Solar
  • Landfill and agricultural waste (biomass)
  • Landfill gas
  • Heat of the earth (geothermal)
  • Water (low-impact hydroelectric facilities)
  • Wave or tidal (ocean power)

To learn more about renewable energy, visit the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

What kind of renewable energy is supported by Northeast Clean Power?

Northeast Clean Power will emphasize supporting wind, biomass and landfill gas technologies, but may also support the technologies of solar, fuel cells, wave or tidal, hydropower, and geothermal. Please visit our Projects Supported page to learn more.

If I choose Northeast Clean Power, will I actually receive electricity from renewable energy generation sources?

Because of the way that power grids work, electricity from a specific facility or source generally does not flow directly to a specific customer's home. However, when you enroll in Northeast Clean Power at 50% or 100%, we guarantee that renewable energy in the exact amount of your participation is generated and delivered to electric regions that help provide power to the Northeast and surrounding region. This renewable energy cannot be used by utilities to meet any Renewable Energy Portfolio mandates above and beyond any compliance obligations. Your participation in Northeast Clean Power therefore creates additional demand for renewable energy beyond that required by the government. Encouraging further development of green power projects. To learn more about how the electric grid works, visit the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s website.

Will the power to my home be dependent upon the wind blowing?

No. Your power will continue to be uninterrupted even when the wind isn’t blowing, because you are connected to the regional electricity system. The power that travels through the network of lines and wires that bring electricity to your home or business comes from a variety of generating sources.

How does Northeast Clean Power purchase renewable energy?

When you sign up for Northeast Clean Power, we guarantee that renewable energy is purchased to match your kilowatt-hour electricity use in the amount appropriate to your participation level in the form of renewable energy certificates (RECs). RECs are one way the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend procuring renewable energy.

After you enroll in the Northeast Clean Power program, 3Degrees will arrange for the delivery of RECs from renewable energy facilities located in New England, the Northeast, and the surrounding region, as defined in Connecticut Public Utility Regulatory Authority Docket No. 10-05-07.  Over the course of any calendar year for which you are enrolled, RECs generated during that calendar year or the six months prior to that calendar year will be delivered and retired on your behalf to fully equal the total number of RECs that you purchased. 

What is a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC)?

Renewable energy certificates (RECs) are proof that 1,000 kilowatt-hours or 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable energy was generated and delivered to the regional power pool. RECs represent the environmental, or green, attributes of the power produced from renewable energy projects. RECs are sold separately from the electricity commodity.

For every unit of renewable energy generated and delivered to the regional power pool, an equivalent amount of RECs are created representing a tracking mechanism to insure that no two customers pay for the same unit of renewable energy generation. When you sign up for Northeast Clean Power, 3Degrees contracts for RECs to match the equivalent of your ongoing electrical needs. Thus, the more RECs that are sold, the more demand is created for renewable power. As renewable facilities sell out their RECs, demand shifts to bring more renewable energy sources on-line.

New renewable energy sources are being constructed across the United States to meet the demand created for renewable energy. Your purchase of RECs benefits the environment by encouraging greater renewable energy generation and displacing non-renewable generation from the electricity system. To learn more about RECs, please visit the EPA's website.

Where will the renewable energy I am supporting through Northeast Clean Power be located?

Currently, Northeast Clean Power sources a minimum of five percent of its renewable energy from projects located in New England that utilize wind, solar, sustainable biomass, landfill gas and other renewable resources. Other renewable energy for the Northeast Clean Power program will be sourced from green power projects located in electric regions that help provide power to the Northeast and the surrounding region.  See “What does New England Renewable Energy mean?” and “What does Northeast Regional Renewable Energy mean?” for a complete list of states.

What does New England Renewable Energy mean?

New England Renewable Energy is defined as a Class I New England REC meeting the definition of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-1(a)(26) that is located in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

The minimum percentage of RECs delivered to participants from New England Renewable Energy resources will be 2.5% in 2014, 1.5% in 2015, and 1% in 2016.

What does Northeast Regional Renewable Energy mean?

Northeast Regional Renewable Energy is defined as a Class I Regional REC meeting the definition of Conn. Gen.Stat. §16-1(a)(26) that is located in the following states or the District of Columbia: Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

What are greenhouse gases?

Greenhouse gases are gases that trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. The primary greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.

To learn more about greenhouse gases, please visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Change Site.

What are greenhouse gas emissions?

Greenhouse gas emissions are both man made and naturally occurring. The greenhouse gases listed below are the main greenhouse gases that enter the atmosphere because of human activities. During the past 20 years, about three-quarters of human-made carbon dioxide emissions were from burning fossil fuels*. In 2009, greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation accounted for the largest portion (33 percent) of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

*Source: Energy Information Administration Brochure

†Source: Environmental Protection Agency, Executive Summary of the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2009

How does my participation in Northeast Clean Power help reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

The more renewable energy we support, the less we will have to burn coal and other nonrenewable fuels that emit greenhouse gas emissions to generate electricity. To calculate how many pounds of carbon dioxide you can save every year, visit Calculate My Impact.

How can I reduce my monthly electric bill and still participate in the program?

An easy way to reduce costs is to reduce the amount of energy you use. For example, if you installed compact fluorescent light bulbs in all of your most frequently used light fixtures, you would reduce the amount of electricity you use, reducing your bill. That would also lower your cost for Northeast Clean Power. In fact, if you conserve enough energy at the same time you purchase Northeast Clean Power, your overall electric bill might not increase at all. You will benefit and so will the environment! Find ways that you can reduce your impact on the EPA and Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund websites.

How do I know I am getting what I pay for?

Northeast Clean Power is an approved product under the CTCleanEnergyOptions program. CTCleanEnergyOptions is managed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA). As a participant, you will receive an annual report detailing the growth of Northeast Clean Power and the difference you make each year.

Do wind turbines harm birds?

Today’s new wind turbines do not pose a high risk to birds or any other wildlife. Newer technologies have slower blades that help prevent bird mortality. Sites are generally selected to avoid known migration patterns and reduce contact with endangered birds. Also, new turbines are built in such a way to make it difficult for birds to use them for nesting.

Why should my business purchase Northeast Clean Power?

Choosing renewable energy offers a number of benefits to your business. Choosing Northeast Clean Power will help your business:

  1. Prevent carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions
  2. Be a leader in your community and industry
  3. Generate customer loyalty and employee pride
  4. Create positive publicity and earn recognition benefits
  5. Differentiate your company from the competition
  6. Connect with and market to environmentally conscience customers

How are environmental equivalencies calculated?

The environmental equivalencies you see throughout the Northeast Clean Power website and environmental benefits calculator are calculated using methodologies developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You can learn more about this methodology by visiting the Calculations and References page on their website.

What if I don't want to participate in Northeast Clean Power anymore?

No problem. You can cancel at any time at no charge. Just call 877.722.9190

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