Frequently Asked Questions
- What is “green” or “carbon-free” energy?
- How much does it cost me to participate in the Duke Energy GoGreen Indiana program?
- Does my Duke Energy GoGreen Indiana purchase price include taxes?
- How many blocks of Duke Energy's GoGreen Indiana can I buy?
- What do I get for the additional cost?
- How can my participation make a difference for the environment?
- What if I’m already enrolled in Budget Billing or Your FixedBill?
- How do I ensure the money goes towards the program?
- Can I add or subtract blocks of energy after I have enrolled in the program?
- Is there a cancellation fee if I decide to leave the program?
- Is my Duke Energy GoGreen Indiana monthly amount tax deductible?
- Why isn’t the cost of Duke Enegy's GoGreen Indiana built into rates?
- Why does renewable energy cost more?
- If renewable electricity doesn’t come directly to my business, what am I buying?
- What are renewable energy sources and how do they benefit the environment?
- How will my money be used? What types of renewable resources am I supporting through Duke Energy's GoGreen Indiana participation?
- What is a renewable energy certificate (REC) and how does it benefit the environment?
- Why do we offer Duke Energy GoGreen Indiana?
- Does Duke Energy profit from Duke Energy's GoGreen Indiana?
- What is Duke Energy doing to support the environment?
Q. What is “green” or “carbon-free” energy?
A. The term "green energy" or "carbon free electricity" refers to energy produced without emitting pollutants into the atmosphere. Environmentally friendly sources of green energy can include wind, hydroelectric, solar, coal mine methane, landfill gas and biomass generation.
Q. How much does it cost me to participate in the Duke Energy GoGreen Indiana program?
A. As a Duke Energy customer, you can purchase “blocks” of green power. Each block is equal to 100 kilowatt-hours (kwh) and costs $2 a month. Duke Energy's GoGreen Indiana has a two-block minimum purchase of $4 a month. You may find your current monthly usage on the right, middle side of your bill under the section titled, “Usage.”
Q. Does my Duke Energy's GoGreen Indiana purchase price include taxes?
A. No. The Duke Energy's GoGreen Indiana price of $2 per 100 kwh does not include taxes. Taxes will be calculated separately on your bill.
Q. What do I get for the additional cost?
A. Signing up for Duke Energy's GoGreen Indiana shows that you are concerned enough about improving the environment to participate in a voluntary program and support the growth of renewable energy. Duke Energy's GoGreen Indiana gives you the opportunity to take an active role in helping preserve the environment for your children and grandchildren.
Q. How can my participation make a difference for the environment?
A. Your personal commitment makes a difference! Every block of Duke Energy's GoGreen Indiana purchased promotes the use of environmentally-friendly green power, thereby reducing the dependence on fossil fuels to generate energy. The environmental benefit of each $4 monthly purchase is about the same as not driving a car 500 miles.
Q. What if I’m already enrolled in Budget Billing or Your FixedBill?
A. Signing up for GoGreen Power will not interfere with Budget Billing or your FixedBill. Your Duke Energy's GoGreen Indiana purchase will simply be added to your monthly billing amount.
Q. How do I ensure the money goes toward the program?
A. Customers will receive semi-annual reports specifying the sales of the program, location of the source of power and amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) offset by the program. These reports may be sent to your e-mail address in order to reduce the use of paper. In addition, Duke Energy will supply annual program updates to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and the Office of Utility Consumer Counselor.
Q. Can I add or subtract blocks of energy after I have enrolled in the program?
A. To remain a Duke Energy GoGreen Indiana participant, you must purchase at least the two block (200 kwh) minimum purchase of $4 a month. You can add or subtract additional blocks of Duke Energy's GoGreen Indiana at any time by calling 1-800-423-5401.
Q. Is there a cancellation fee if I decide to leave the program?
A. Participation in Duke Energy's GoGreen Indiana is voluntary. There are no cancellation fees. You can withdraw from the program at any time with 30 days notice.
Q. Is my Duke Energy GoGreen Indiana monthly amount tax deductible?
A. Duke Energy's GoGreen Indiana is not tax deductible, because it is not a donation or contribution. The monthly Duke Energy GoGreen Indiana charge goes directly toward program administration and the purchase of renewable energy.
Q. Why isn’t the cost of Duke Energy's GoGreen Indiana built into rates?
A. We recognize that green energy is not for all customers. However, many customers have expressed interest in financially supporting energy generated from environmentally friendly sources. Since renewable energy is typically more expensive than fossil fuel generation, we have chosen to introduce Duke Energy's GoGreen Indiana as a voluntary program. Customers interested in supporting the development of clean, alternative energy sources can choose the level of commitment that’s right for them without impacting the rates of traditional customers.
Q. Why does renewable energy cost more?
A. Although renewable energy sources are often free, the technology used to capture the energy produced is more expensive than traditional power generation. Renewable energy generation is still being developed nationwide. Prices vary according to availability and the type of renewable power produced. As the new technologies improve, the costs of producing electricity using renewable resources will become more competitive. An increased demand for green energy will lead to expanded production capabilities, which will ultimately lead to lower costs.
Q. If renewable electricity doesn’t come directly to my business, what am I buying?
A. Regardless of your actual monthly electricity usage, your purchase of Duke Energy's GoGreen Indiana ensures that a specified amount of electricity is produced from renewable or environmentally friendly sources. The energy you support is delivered directly onto the electric system, reducing the need for energy from fossil fuel sources like oil and coal. Although buying Duke Energ's GoGreen Indiana does not mean that green power is being delivered straight from the source to your business, it does mean that renewable energy equal to the kwh level of your Duke Energy GoGreen Indiana purchase being put onto the electric system comes from alternative energy sources rather than traditional generation.
Q. What are renewable energy sources, and how do they benefit the environment?
A. Renewable energy sources are energy sources that can be replaced or grown within a relatively short period of time. Renewable sources capture their energy from existing, natural processes such as sunshine, wind, flowing water, biological processes and geothermal heat flows. These power production processes are emission-free or reduce the emission of greenhouse gases (e.g., methane).
- Wind – Wind energy is produced by a wind turbine with its rotating blades that harness the wind’s kinetic energy. Wind turbines contain generators that harness the mechanical energy from the spinning blades to generate electricity.
- Hydroelectric – A hydroelectric power station utilizes water flow to power a turbine. The turbines are connected to generators that produce energy. Today, hydroelectric power generates 20 percent of the world’s electricity.
- Solar – Solar energy is made by cells that convert sunlight to electricity without any moving parts. The conversion of sunlight into electricity is made possible with the special properties of semi-conducting materials.
- Coal mine methane – Coal mine methane is created when coal is formed and is released when coal is mined. It is found in active and abandoned mines where it is subject to entering the atmosphere through vents (active mines) and improperly sealed vents/entrances (closed mines). The mine methane is tapped from mines and used in generators which reduces the amount that escapes into the atmosphere (methane is 21 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2).
- Landfill gas – More than 50 percent of the waste we generate ends up in landfills where it decomposes and produces landfill gas. Landfill gas is approximately 50 percent methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change and 45 percent carbon dioxide. Methane is a renewable energy source that can be collected and used to fuel electric generators. At large landfills, the gas must be burned anyway in order to reduce the hazards arising from gas buildup. This method of producing renewable energy is regarded as one of the most successful.
- Biomass – Biomass is produced when organic wastes, such as trees, wood waste and agricultural residues decay. Landfills offer a primary source of biomass. It can be converted to fuel through combustion for the generation of electricity.
Q. How will my money be used? What types of renewable resources am I supporting through Duke Energy' GoGreen Energy participation?
A. The money from this program will be used to cover the expense of the acquisition of renewable energy and the program’s marketing and administration expense. Duke Energy will work to purchase energy from environmentally friendly sources located within our service area as they become available. We also may purchase renewable energy from third parties in the form of renewable energy certificates.
Q. What is a renewable energy certificate (REC) and how does it benefit the environment?
A. A REC is a tradable instrument that represents the environmental attributes of electricity generated from renewable energy. These attributes are separated from the electricity commodity, allowing the attributes and the actual electricity to be traded separately. The additional value of the REC allows the project developer to charge more for the power produced from renewable and environmental sources, since green power costs more than traditional power. This extra value helps the economics of renewable projects, and allows more projects to be developed.
Q. Why do we offer Duke Energy GoGreen Indiana?
A. At Duke Energy, we are committed to the environment and to minimizing the environmental impacts of fossil fuel generation. We recognize that we can help offset carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and improve the quality of life in our communities by investing in renewable energy sources and new alternative energy technologies.
Q. Does Duke Energy profit from Duke Energy's GoGreen Indiana?
A. Duke Energy does not profit from Duke Energy's GoGreen Indiana. Monies paid to participate in the program go directly toward the purchase of renewable energy and program administration.
Q. What is Duke Energy doing to support the environment?
A. Offsetting carbon dioxide – a greenhouse gas:
Duke Energy was the first utility to publicly announce its voluntary Greenhouse Gas (GHG) management goal for our Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky operations. Our goal is to reduce our Greenhouse Gas emissions 5 percent below the 2000 levels by 2010 and maintain those levels of emissions between 2010 through 2012. In addition, we have pledged to spend $21 million between 2004 and 2010 to begin the process of reducing our GHG emissions.
Through our voluntary program to offset greenhouse gases, we are making progress in reducing air emissions. In 2005, we implemented 15 carbon dioxide (CO2) projects to reduce our emissions by 236,000 tons of CO2. This is in addition to our CO2 reduction of 343,000 tons in 2004.
Investing in new technologies:
We are working with General Electric and the Bechtel Corporation to explore new technologies, such as coal gasification that will reduce our coal use and reduce air emissions. Integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plants turn coal to gas, removing most of the sulfur dioxide and other emissions before the gas is used to fuel a combustion turbine. The hot exhaust gasses are then used to heat steam, driving a steam turbine generator. This technology uses less water and has fewer emissions than a conventional coal-fired plant with required pollution-control equipment. The technology removes mercury upstream of the combustion process at a lower cost than conventional plants along with other pollutants; it’s only CO2 that still needs to be captured. And in the future, coal gasification may offer fuel flexibility, handling not only coal but also biomass and perhaps municipal waste.