Enerdelphia is a Philadelphia area resource, offering a directory of local organizations that focus on renewable energy or energy efficiency. It's a useful starting point to:
- Reduce fossil fuel use (and save money).
- Get rebates, tax credits, and loans for home energy investments.
- Find classes and workshops on renewables and energy efficiency.
- Meet local people interested in energy issues.
- Find work in renewables or efficiency.
Some practical highlights from the directory:
- A big list of payback times for home energy projects at Philly-based GreenAndSave.
- A table of energy efficiency contractors and the services they offer, from the Energy Coordinating Agency.
- A thorough summary of funding sources for projects in renewables and efficiency, from PennFuture.
- The well-maintained list of Philadelphia environmental events from GPEN, with an "energy" category.
The directory has useful resources for learning about the local renewable energy landscape.
Energy is the central issue we face. Anyone paying attention knows the scary consequences of global warming, dependence on diminishing fossil fuels, and dependence on unstable countries to supply them.
We can choose to use less energy, invest in efficiency improvements, and switch to renewable energy sources like wind, geothermal, solar, and biofuels.
Much renewable energy adoption is driven by the Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS). The 2007 AEPS Report gives a good readable description of targets and achievements. Along with much encouraging news we learn that waste coal is considered an alternative source in the same category as efficiency improvements, and has been so eagerly pursued that it mostly negates AEPS incentives for efficiency!
The AEPS site has a good FAQ on renewable energy credits, important to understand because they are the currency of renewables development and measurement in Pennsylvania.
You can support new and existing wind farms by paying an additional 2.54 cents/KWh (about 17%) on your electric bill through the PECO Wind program. This money doesn't enrich PECO and does drive wind farm development—it's used to purchase renewable energy credits from wind farms. According to Community Energy Inc. (who administers the program for PECO), "Customer demand from the PECO Wind program and commercial purchases like the Philadelphia Airport purchase have directly driven new wind project development in the Mid-Atlantic states. Every new wind project includes the credit revenue stream in its financial plan."