Learn about the easiest way to help the environment with our "green power" program.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the EnviroWatts program?
EnviroWatts is Parke County REMC’s name for green power energy generated from renewable, environmentally preferred sources.
Where does the EnviroWatts “green power” come from?
“Green power” can come from many different sources, including solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal springs. The power for EnviroWatts is renewable energy currently generated from two sources: landfill waste and wind energy. Landfill wastes create methane gas, and the methane gas is captured to operate generators; therefore, they are a form of “biomass.” The landfills from which the methane is captured are located in Bremen, Hobart Chesterton, Danville, and Liberty, Indiana. EnviroWatts also purchases power from a wind energy project about one hour north of Peoria, Illinois.
How do I sign up for this program?
Fill out this form to sign up or call us at 569-3133 or 800-537-3913. It only takes a few minutes.
How will I know that this “green power” is actually being run into my home?
You will not notice anything different about the energy you receive, since the power generated by renewable resources will be part of the energy mix that is delivered to your residence or business.
Does participating in the EnviroWatts program cost me anything?
The additional cost is only 1 cent per kilowatthour for the first 1,000 kilowatthours. So, the maximum additional amount each month is $10. If you only use 300 killowatthours, the charge is only $3 that month. There is no additional cost if you use more than 1,000 kilowatthours. So, if you use 1,150 kilowatthours, the additional charge is, again, $10 that month. You will find throughout the country that “green power” is priced above the standard retail rates.
Since Parke County REMC is charging an additional 1.0 cent per kWh, does "green power" cost more than other power?
The power generated from the landfill does not cost more than the power we purchase from other sources, such as from coal-fired power plants. However, the power from the wind project near Peoria, IL is slightly higher than our traditional generation sources.
If the power does not cost more to purchase, why are you charging the additional 1 cent per kilowatt-hour?
While the power from the landfills was the first step in developing a portfolio of renewable energy power sources, it is only a small portion. So, even though the cost of the power from the landfills is not greater than the cost of other purchased power, the cost of most other renewable energy, including the wind, IS higher than traditional power supply sources. As we continue to add wind and other renewable sources to the EnviroWatts portfolio of power supplies, they will likely cost more than the power from landfills and the power from traditional fossil fuels. Therefore, the price would have to be increased. We wanted customers to be aware, up front, that it will probably cost more for “green power.” We were concerned that if we charged only the actual cost of the landfill-generated power, customers would feel they were misled once we added other “green power” sources and had to increase the price. This way of pricing is also our method of determining the real level of interest in “green power” among our members. Obviously, if we priced “green power” at the same price as other more traditional sources, it would attract many members, but it would not give us a good idea of those members who support expansion of our renewable energy portfolio at a likely higher cost. If there is sufficient interest in the EnviroWatts, we will place greater emphasis upon expanding our portfolio of alternative sources.
What is done with the additional money collected from the EnviroWatts program?
The additional money is deposited in the EnviroWatts Fund and used for environmental purposes or projects in our service area. However, in the future, as we add other higher-priced renewable sources to our portfolio, we expect the total amount paid into EnviroWatts will be needed to pay for the additional high-priced supply. So, we envision the EnviroWatts Fund to be temporary – for a few years. In the meantime, the money is not “pocketed” by Parke County REMC. It is instead used for purposes that folks that sign up for “green power” could support – improving our environment.
Who will choose the individuals that will serve on the EnviroWatts Board of Trustees?
Parke County REMC Board of Directors initially selected the individuals to serve on the EnviroWatts Board of Trustees. The people that serve on the EnviroWatts Board of Trustees must be members of the cooperative. Since the initial selection, members who wish to serve on the EnviroWatts must find board volunteers to serve whenever there is an opening.
What sort of environmental projects will be funded with EnviroWatts money?
There are a set of bylaws that has been adopted by the Parke County REMC Board of Directors that will govern the EnviroWatts Fund. While the bylaws limit use of the funds to only projects in our area, and therefore, prevent use of the money for national organizations whose goals and methods conflict with many of our members, the precise projects are determined by the EnviroWatts Board of Trustees. The EnviroWatts Board acts in much the same way as our Operation Round Up Board of Trustees. However, Operation Round Up monies are for charitable organizations, while the EnviroWatts money is to be used for environmental purposes and projects. Parke County REMC will publish in our member newsletter, the Power Lines, the projects funded through EnviroWatts. We also include this information on our web site.