Energy companies in Wyoming are offering programs for customers to switch to renewable energy. Customers can pay between $5 and $15 per month to make their homes completely carbon neutral. Partial plans are also offered.
The companies use these additional fees to buy renewable energy certificates (RECs). RECs do not reflect the amount of fossil fuels the company actually uses but buys the claim of green energy from a wind or solar energy producer. This makes the energy carbon neutral by supporting renewable energy development.
David Eskelsen, a spokesperson for Rocky Mountain Power, said the company is not only investing in renewable energy by buying RECs.
"The declining cost and increasing efficiency has caused us to expand, in the last ten to 12 years, our wind power capacity," said Eskelsen.
Rocky Mountain Power's Blue Sky option costs around $2 for every 100-kilowatt-hour block. Eskelsen said every Blue Sky block is the equivalent of planting 12 trees or not driving a car for over 1,000 miles. Most homes use around 800-kilowatt hours a month.
Eskelsen said the company doesn't just use Blue Sky funds to buy renewable energy certificates.
"We also use the funds to support community based solar projects which are subject an application and grant approval," Eskelsen said.
The Blue Sky program has been around since 2000, but only around 3 percent of Rocky Mountain Power costumers participated in the Blue Sky program in 2017.