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Green power price lowered for SBU customers

The cost of “going green” will soon drop by one-half for electric utility customers served by Sturgeon Bay Utilities (SBU).

Sturgeon Bay’s power supplier, Wisconsin Public Power Inc., recently filed a plan with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to double the amount of green power provided for each $3 block of green energy customers buy through WPPI’s Renewable Energy Program. The program allows customers of participating municipal utilties, including SBU, to voluntarily purchase monthly blocks of power from sustainable sources such as wind, biomass and water. Under the new pricing structure, effective January 2008, the blocks will double from 150 kilowatt-hours (kWh) to 300 kWh. The change cuts in half the program’s original 2˘ per-kWh price.

“Costs for our Renewable Energy Program have gone down, and we’re passing that savings along to customers,” explains Jim Stawicki, General Manager.

When the Renewable Energy Program was established in 2001, WPPI’s members locked in the needed green power resources at stable, long-term prices. In subsequent years, as the cost for energy from traditional sources has gone up, the incremental cost for WPPI’s renewables has decreased. WPPI also added a lower-cost landfill gas generation project to its renewable resource mix this year.

The savings allowed WPPI’s member utilities to lower the Renewable Energy Program’s per-kWh price, putting the nonprofit municipal power supplier on the leading edge for competitive green power pricing. At 1˘ per kWh, WPPI’s green power price will be among the lowest in the state.

“We are ramping up the Renewable Energy Program to meet growing demand from customers who are becoming more conscious of their individual carbon footprints,” says Stawicki. “We want participation and support for renewable energy to continue to grow, and we believe our new pricing will contribute to the program’s ongoing success.”

Customers of SBU who are already purchasing green power from WPPI’s Renewable Energy Program do not need to take any action in order to take advantage of the new pricing. Participating customers will automatically be upgraded to the larger-sized blocks in January.

Five fast facts about the WPPI Renewable Energy Program:

  1. Forty WPPI members, including SBU, offer the program.
  2. More than 3,300 customers participate.
  3. Since the program’s inception in 2001, customers have purchased well over 52 million kWh of clean, sustainable power.
  4. Participants have achieved environmental impacts equivalent to almost 31,000 tons of coal not burned and more than 58,000 tons of carbon dioxide not released into the atmosphere.
  5. Resources powering the program include wind turbines in Worthington, Minn., a hydroelectric power plant on Wisconsin’s Black River, and a landfill biogas project in Outagamie County, Wis.

Sturgeon Bay Utilities is a member of Wisconsin Public Power Inc., a regional power company serving 49 customer-owned electric utilities. Through WPPI, these public power utilities share resources and own generation facilities to provide reliable, affordable electricity to more than 190,000 homes and businesses in Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Iowa.

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