What is renewable energy and why is it important?
Renewable energy is electrical energy generated from power resources that can be regenerated or replenished naturally, such as wind, solar, various forms of biomass, geothermal, and hydropower. Renewable energy is important for the following reasons:
- Less impact on the environment than fossil-fueled power
- Source is limitless and clean
- Better air quality with no added air pollutants
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
What is the RenewChoice program?
RenewChoice is a new program developed that allows customers to choose and support renewable energy by purchasing renewable energy blocks for the local electrical system. The program is voluntary and provides an easy and convenient way for the electric utility to supply renewable energy beyond the basic resource service mix.
Why are we offering this RenewChoice program now?
Customer research has indicated an increased interest in recent years for renewable energy generation resources, both nationally and here in Utah. The RenewChoice program for customers is designed to provide an easy method for our customers to assist in supporting these types of projects, above and beyond normal investment in generation resources.
How does RenewChoice work?
When you enroll in RenewChoice, your electric utility will purchase renewable energy from renewable power facilities to match your RenewChoice energy amounts. The program guarantees that electricity from renewable resources (1) is delivered to the power system, (2) reduces the need for electricity generated from fossil fuels, and (3) reduces air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
What are the benefits to signing up for RenewChoice?
In addition to helping to build and support renewable energy, reducing dependence on fossil fuels, and supporting the construction of renewable energy projects, you will receive a window cling or lawn sign to show your support. You may also elect to have your name added to our participation list on the RenewChoice website indicating your support for the environment and clean air.
By supporting RenewChoice am I really making a difference?
Yes. Enrolling in RenewChoice makes a big impact on the environment.
For example, a customer subscribing to 1,000 kilowatt-hours of RenewChoice energy per month can avoid 8 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year by supporting RenewChoice at a level equal to their energy use. That’s the same greenhouse gas reduction as not driving a car for one year.
Calculate the environmental impacts and costs of RenewChoice based on the option and level you want to support with our online customer calculator.
How does RenewChoice energy benefit the environment?
Substituting renewable generation for traditional fossil-fuel generation helps to reduce overall emissions from electricity generation.
How will buying RenewChoice energy help my business?
Participation in the RenewChoice program sends a message about how much you, as an electric consumer, care about the environment. It also says you are willing to commit your resources to positive action. Businesses that participate in RenewChoice can improve customer relations, enhance their corporate image and can positively impact the community in which they operate.
Why should I contribute when my neighbor might not?
RenewChoice gives you the opportunity to take an active role in improving the environment. Everyone who participates makes a difference.
If I move, does the RenewChoice enrollment transfer to my new location?
Yes. If you sign up for RenewChoice and move within the electric service area, you will have the option to continue with RenewChoice.
Who is eligible to participate?
All customers who receive their monthly electric bill from the following city utilities are eligible to particpate: Levan, Manti, Nephi, Provo, Salem, and Spanish Fork.
How do I sign up for RenewChoice program?
Existing residential, commercial, or industrial customers may sign up for RenewChoice by using our online enrollment form, or by calling or visiting your local electric utility service center:
- Levan (435-623-1959 | 20 N. Main St.)
- Manti (435-835-2401 | 50 S. Main St.)
- Nephi (435-623-0822 | 21 E. 100 N.)
- Provo (801-852-6000 | 351 W. Center St.)
- Salem (801-423-2770 | 30 W. 100 S.)
- Spanish Fork (801-804-4506 | 40 S. Main St.)
See the Contact Us page for more information.
When can I get started in the RenewChoice?
Retail customers can enroll in the RenewChoice anytime.
If I have signed up for budget billing, how will the RenewChoice charge affect my bill?
Participating in RenewChoice will not interfere with budget billing. Budget billing is based on energy charges applicable under the customer’s applicable base energy rate. The RenewChoice energy charge will be applied as a surcharge above the customer’s budget bill.
Is my purchase of renewable energy through the RenewChoice program tax-deductible?
No. Even though you may be voluntarily purchasing renewable energy through the RenewChoice program, it is not a charitable contribution and therefore is not tax-deductible.
What happens if I sign up for the program and later change my mind?
No problem. Retail customers can unsubscribe at any time and charges will be discontinued at the end of their next billing period, which is between 30 and 60 days.
How much does RenewChoice cost?
RenewChoice costs an additional $2.00 per 100 kilowatt-hour block purchased and doesn’t fluctuate from month to month with your usage. The RenewChoice costs are in addition to your current utility bill.
To calculate what your expected costs would be, please visit our online customer calculator.
Why does renewable energy cost more?
Although renewable energy resources like the sun and wind are free fuel sources, the total cost for renewable energy is currently more expensive than the cost of energy produced from our existing power generation resources, such as coal-fired power plants and hydroelectric facilities. Additionally, renewable energy resources are intermittent (not always available). The wind does not always blow and the sun does not always shine. In contrast, coal-fired power plants typically operate continuously and are more readily available to customers, which have a tendency to lower the cost per kWh produced by these types of generation resources
Where does my money go?
Funds received from participating customers are used to purchase renewable energy from regional renewable energy facilities equal to the RenewChoice purchase, as well as program administration and customer education. We are required to allocate the costs associated with the RenewChoice program to customers who choose to participate, and we do not make a profit by offering this option to customers.
How do I know I am getting what I pay for?
The RenewChoice program is governed by the Utah Municipal Power Agency’s board of directors—elected officials from your city. They have oversight into the management of the program and will be reviewing routine operation and financial reports for this program. The Utah Municipal Power Agency (UMPA) staff will track the purchases and schedule the energy from our scheduling operation center and will provide these monthly operations reports.
Why does RenewChoice cost more than basic service?
The RenewChoice program offers customers the opportunity to support the increased use of renewable energy above the amount that the electric utility already generates or purchases on behalf of all its customers.
RenewChoice provides an option for those who want to do even more to encourage additional renewable development—all for as little as $2.00 extra per month.
Why offer renewable energy options?
We are public power and want to give our customers choice where possible. We know some customers want more renewable power. The desire of this program is to give customers an opportunity to support renewable energy development above what renewable power is already generating.
Does my city power utility profit from my RenewChoice participation?
No. We do not profit nor make transfers to the general fund from the RenewChoice program.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT RENEWABLE ENERGY
If I choose a renewable energy option, will I actually receive electricity from renewable energy generation sources?
Because of the way the power system works, electricity from a specific facility or source does not flow directly to a specific customer. However, we guarantee that renewable energy in the exact amount you sign up to buy through RenewChoice is purchased on your behalf from renewable facilities in the western United States. This creates measurable environmental benefits and hastens renewable energy development. These purchases of renewable energy are in addition to the renewable energy already operating on behalf of all customers.
What is a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) or green tag?
Renewable energy certificates (RECs), also known as “green tags,” are proof that 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable energy was generated and delivered to the regional power pool, and they represent the environmental 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 renewable energy certificates (RECs) are created representing a tracking mechanism to ensure that no two customers pay for the same unit of renewable energy generation. When you sign up for RenewChoice, UMPA contracts for the energy and RECs to match the equivalent of your ongoing electrical needs or the number of RenewChoice blocks you elect to purchase. The more RECs that are sold, the more demand is created for renewable energy. 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 renewable energy benefits the environment by displacing non-renewable generation from the electricity system.
Where can I get more information on renewable energy options and renewable energy generation?
- Green Power Network
- Utah Geological Survey
- Utah Energy Office
- American Wind Energy Association
- Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE)
- Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky Program
FACTS ABOUT UMPA
What is UMPA?
UMPA stands for Utah Municipal Power Agency. UMPA is a joint-action agency created under the State of Utah to provide power supply and resources to its member cities. UMPA will be responsible for buying and accounting for the renewable energy offered through the RenewChoice program.
Who are the members of UMPA?
UMPA’s current member municipalities are: Levan, Manti, Nephi, Provo, Salem, and Spanish Fork. These cities provide electrical services to their customers and will be responsible for the billing and administration of the RenewChoice program.
How is UMPA governed?
UMPA is governed by a six-member board of directors representing each of the member cities. The representatives are elected officials; either the mayor or a council member. In addition, a technical committee, consisting of appointees from each of the member cities, who provide technical advice and recommendations to assist the board of directors.
How do I learn more about UMPA?
Please visit their website at umpa.cc.