Frequently Asked Questions
What is “green” or “carbon-free” energy?
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.
How much does it cost me to participate in Duke Energy's GoGreen Kentucky program?
As a Duke Energy customer, you can purchase “blocks” of green power. Each block is equal to 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and costs $1 a month. Duke Energy's GoGreen Kentucky has a two-block minimum purchase of $2 a month.
How will I be charged and does my Duke Energy GoGreen Kentucky purchase price include taxes?
Your Duke Energy GoGreen Kentucky purchase will be added to your monthly billing amount. The Duke Energy GoGreen Kentucky price of $1 per 100-kWh block does not include taxes. Taxes will be calculated separately on your bill.
How many blocks of Duke Energy's GoGreen Kentucky can I buy?
After the minimum two-block purchase of 200 kWh, you can purchase as many additional 100-kWh blocks of green power as you like.
What do I get for the additional cost?
Signing up for Duke Energy's GoGreen Kentucky shows that you are concerned enough about improving the environment to participate in a voluntary program. Duke Energy's GoGreen Kentucky gives you the opportunity to take an active role in preserving the environment for your children and your grandchildren.
How can my participation make a difference for the environment?
Your personal commitment makes a difference! Every block of Duke Energy's GoGreen Kentucky purchased promotes the use of environmentally friendly green power, thereby reducing the dependence on fossil fuels to generate energy. The environmental benefit of each $2 monthly purchase is about the same as not driving a car 500 miles.
What if I’m already enrolled in Budget Billing?
Signing up for Duke Energy's GoGreen Kentucky will not interfere with Budget Billing. Your Duke Energy GoGreen Kentucky purchase will simply be added to your monthly billing amount.
How do I ensure the money goes toward the program?
Customers will receive semi-annual reports specifying the program sales, location of the power source, 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 Kentucky Public Service Commission.
Can I add or subtract blocks of energy after I have enrolled in the program?
To remain a Duke Energy GoGreen Kentucky participant, you must purchase at least the two-block (200 kWh) minimum purchase of $2 a month. You can add or subtract additional blocks of Duke Energy's GoGreen Kentucky at any time by calling 800-423-5401.
Is there a cancellation fee if I decide to leave the program?
Participation in Duke Energy's GoGreen Kentucky is voluntary. There are no cancellation fees. You can withdraw from the program at any time with 30 days notice.
Is my Duke Energy GoGreen Kentucky monthly amount tax deductible?
Duke Energy's GoGreen Kentucky is not tax deductible, because it is not a donation or contribution. The monthly Duke Energy GoGreen Kentucky charge goes directly toward program administration and the purchase of renewable energy certificates.
Why isn’t the cost of Duke Energy's GoGreen Kentucky built into rates?
We recognize that green energy is not for all customers. However, many customers have expressed interest in purchasing energy generated from environmentally friendly sources. Since renewable energy is typically more expensive than fossil fuel generation, Duke Energy has chosen to introduce Duke Energy's GoGreen Kentucky 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.
Why does renewable energy cost more?
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.
If renewable electricity doesn’t come directly to my home, what am I buying?
Regardless of your actual monthly electricity usage, your purchase of Duke Energy's GoGreen Kentucky 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 Energy's GoGreen Kentucky does not mean that green power is being delivered straight from the source to your home, it does mean that more of the electricity being put onto the electric system comes from alternative energy sources rather than traditional generation.
What are renewable energy sources, and how do they benefit the environment?
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.
How will my money be used? What types of renewable resources am I supporting through Duke Energy's GoGreen Kentucky participation?
The money from this program will be used to purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs) and the program's marketing and administration expense. Duke Energy will make purchases from environmentally friendly sources located within our service area as they become available.
What is a renewable energy certificate (REC) and how does it benefit the environment?
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 green power produced from renewable and environmental sources costs more than traditional power. The additional value of the REC allows the renewable generation project developer to obtain the necessary higher level of revenue. This extra value helps the economics of renewable projects, and allows more projects to be developed.
Why do we offer Duke Energy's GoGreen Kentucky?
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.
Does Duke Energy profit from Duke Energy's GoGreen Kentucky?
No, Duke Energy does not profit from Duke Energy's GoGreen Kentucky. Monies paid to participate in the program go directly toward the purchase of renewable energy certificates and program administration.
What is Duke Energy doing to support the environment?
Duke Energy is taking several measures to do our part in creating a sustainable energy future while working to reduce our carbon footprint. Efforts include our aspiration to cut our carbon emissions in half by 2030, building more efficient power plants, developing robust energy efficiency programs and supporting state and federal energy policies that encourage market-based controls of greenhouse gas emissions and the development of new, cleaner technologies. Together, these initiatives will allow Duke Energy to continue to meet our customers’ energy needs in an environmentally sound manner.
As a part of our effort to reduce emissions we are:
- Implementing efficient coal plant technologies at our Cliffside generating station
- Retiring 1,000 megawatts of old, inefficient coal-fired generation in the Carolinas by 2018
- Conducting a carbon sequestration study at the Edwardsport, Ind. plant as a result of a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy
- Introducing Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) technology at the Edwardsport facility to reduce emissions by up to 45 percent per megawatt-hour
- Expanding the roles of energy efficiency, renewables and natural gas in our supply portfolio