The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

12 January 2005

Greener than thou

In 1999, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power came up with a program called Green Power, whose purpose was "to help us move from polluting power plants to energy generated in a cleaner way by using sources such as the sun, wind, and water."

Not that there's anything wrong with that. But participation has stagnated: at one time the DWP reported 100,000 Green Power users, who pay $3 a month to import renewable energy into the city grid, but apparently 60,000 of them were low-income DWP customers who were arbitrarily assigned to Green Power and weren't paying the monthly fee.

Currently, 27,000 of the DWP's 1.4 million electric-power customers are Green.

Meanwhile, out here in flyover country, 9,000 of OG&E's 730,000 customers have signed up for power from the Woodward wind farm, and while this is not quite as high a green percentage as the DWP can boast — 1.2 versus 1.9 percent — after only fifteen months of operation the company is already soliciting proposals for 80 megawatts of wind power to supplement the 50 it already controls. Obviously OG&E thinks it can sell renewable energy, even if the city of Los Angeles and its high-powered PR flacks can't.

(Armstrong Williams Disclosure: I am a voluntary participant in the OG&E Wind Power program; I receive no money from OG&E to promote it.)

Posted at 7:23 AM to Family Joules

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