Friday, February 15, 2013

Stunning Fact: Renewable Electricity Product Priced 28% Below Pittsburgh Utility Generation Rate!

Would you like to cut your power bill by $225.96 per year?  And while slashing your power bill, would you like to reduce carbon emissions by 15,800 pounds per year?  But do you think that renewable energy is more expensive than generic power provided by the local utility?

In the Pittsburgh region, residential electricity customers of the Duquesne Light utility can switch to Green Mountain's 100% renewable energy power product, save $225.96 per year, and slash their carbon emissions by over 15 ,000 pounds. Amazing!

Duquesne Light's default generation price for residential service is 9.89 cents per kilowatt-hour, while Green Mountain's 100% renewable energy product is priced at 7.2 cents per kilowatt-hour.  Green Mountain customers save 2.69 cents per kilowatt-hour or about 28%, compared to those customers staying with Duquesne Light. Cheaper and cleaner electricity!


  1. John, is this a market-rate, or is GM passing through a subsidy for generation of renewables? And even absent a direct production subsidy, are there estimates of the implied cost of the subsidies awarded to build out that infrastructure, if any were awarded?

    Thank you,
    Mike R.

  2. I think the short answer is that the renewable product in these cases would not account for the federal subsidy, but would account for any state subsidies. So, in short, it would be fair to say that consumers choosing this product are getting a "free lunch" so to speak on the federal subsidy side, but not on the state subsidy which is baked directly into the price.

    The federal subsidy in this case is worth approximately 2.2 cents kWh.

    Of course, a discussion on all of the myriad of subsidies and free rides in the entirety of the electricity and energy sector is well beyond the scope of this response or maybe even this blog. In short, it's all subsidized meaningfully in some fashion.

    Eric T.