August marks our one-year anniversary of buying all of our household’s electricity from green-supplier, Bullfrog Power. According to their calculations (backed-up with thorough research) we saved 2.0 tonnes of CO2 over the past twelve months. If you’re keeping track, that means as a household of two bipeds we met our collective one tonne challenges at very little inconvenience to ourselves.
Making the switch to Bullfrog was simple. We just signed up on-line and then Bullfrog made all the necessary arrangements with our former supplier: Hydro Ottawa. When you switch to Bullfrog nothing changes in the way you receive electricity. However, for each kWh your household uses, an equivalent amount of electricity derived from renewable-sources is added to Ontario’s power grid, replacing electricity which otherwise would have come from coal and nuclear plants. (Bullfrog Power gets all its electricity from carbon-neutral sources such as wind and certified low-impact water projects.)
Green electricity does cost more in dollars and cents than polluting electricity. We pay 9.1 cents for each kWh we use, compared to Hydro Ottawa customers who pay 5.3 cents per kWh. However, if you look closely at your bill you’ll notice that electricity charges are only about half of all the charges you have to pay each month. The other charges (delivery, regulatory, debt retirement, etc.) remain the same no matter who you buy your electricity from. So when you switch to Bullfrog, your bills don’t double in size, instead they grow by about 50%. However, given how cheap even bullfrog electricity is, the total costs are not that great…
In our case, we used just over 3,000 kWh of electricity last year at a cost (for just the electricity) of $273.00 through Bullfrog. That’s just $114.00 more than we would have paid to Hydro Ottawa for the same amount of juice. To look at it another way, through Bullfrog Power it cost us only $57.00 each to meet our one tonne challenges, making Bullfrog Power an easy and relatively inexpensive way for us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
For another Ottawan’s view on being a Bullfrog Power consumer see the blog, Trying To Be Green in Ottawa.