“If my utility is still providing my physical electricity regardless of which electricity supplier I choose, how do I get 100% renewable electricity?”
This is a simple question Oasis Energy gets asked quite often. The answer isn’t simple, but we’ve done our best to explain it below. (Keep in mind the process is a little more complicated than we’re explaining below. We’ve simplified it, so the average consumer can conceptually understand the process.)
There are two parts to your electricity service:
1. Physical path – this is the source and flow of the actual electrons.
Unless you physically hook up a windmill or solar panels to your house, you are getting your power from “the grid”. Electricity follows the path of least resistance, so your electricity is most likely coming from your local/regional generation sources. When the electricity hits the main lines, the electrons produced from nuclear, coal, wind, solar, etc all get mixed together into “the grid”. So, from a physical stand point, unless your source of power is isolated from the grid, the actual power flowing into your house is not in your control or in the control of your supplier.
2. Contract path – this is the flow of the money and financial contracts. This is the portion that is absolutely in your control.
By choosing 100% renewable energy, you are “voting with your dollars”, and financially supporting the increase of the total amount of renewable sources in the grid mix. When customers purchase a 100% renewable electricity plan, they’re still getting their electricity from the same electricity grid to serve their immediate power needs. But Oasis takes it a step further,by purchasing renewable energy certificates (known as RECs) to match/offset our customers’ usage. This ensures they are purchasing a 100% renewable energy product and investing in a cleaner grid for everyone.
Think of the electric grid as a huge water cooler that is refilled from multiple faucets. The first faucet represents renewable energy like wind, solar, hydro and biomass. The second faucet represents different non-renewable electricity generation sources such as coal, oil, gas, and nuclear. Currently the vast majority of sources filling the grid are from polluting fossil fuels and nuclear energy (which produces hazardous waste).
As more customers request electricity from renewable sources, more RECs are purchased, hence, more “clean water” pours into the “water cooler” and less “dirty water” is added. Eventually, the color of the water cooler begins to clear up as more and more people begin demanding green energy.
When you purchase renewable energy, it does not mean your physical electricity is coming directly from renewable generation sources. Once the electrons from each source enter the grid, they blend together and can not be separated or filtered by source. However, it does mean that the electricity being poured back into the grid on your behalf comes from 100% renewable energy sources and not from polluting fossil fuels. You are choosing how your power is generated, not how it is delivered. Your delivery remains the same. Your local utility company still owns and maintains the poles and wires and restores service during outages.
How it works: Oasis Energy purchases generic electricity from the grid to handle your immediate power needs. We then purchase enough renewable energy certificates (RECs) to equal or exceed our customer’s usage. This guarantees our customers’ electricity usage is offset with a direct investment in 100% renewable energy. This is how almost every renewable energy product is sold.
Watch out for the “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.
Who you do business with matters. Some of the leading companies in the “green electricity” business are subsidiaries of the big coal, big oil and big nuclear power companies. Oasis Energy is not the subsidiary of any company that owns coal, oil, gas or nuclear generation facilities. Oasis Energy does not own any coal, oil, gas, or nuclear generation facilities.
Before signing up for a green energy plan we encourage you to take a few minutes to research who owns the company you are signing up with. You might be unintentionally supporting a company that is a heavy generator of dirty fossil fuels.
How much does green electricity cost?
Check out Oasis Energy’s Electricity Plans. Including our 100% Renewable Electricity plans. Search for pricing and availability by zip code.