Green Mountain Energy
About The Company
Green Mountain Energy (GME) is a renewable electricity provider selling electricity plans sourced with solar and wind power. The company was founded in 1997 among the Green Mountains of Vermont and is now based in Austin, Texas. It continues to expand and now serves customers in both areas. As of late 2010, GME is owned by a larger company called NRG Energy, Inc. NRG also operates primarily in Texas, but keeps its headquarters in Princeton, NJ.
Homeowners can choose to purchase gas or electricity from a new provider with no impact on anything but their energy costs. Your local utility still maintains your power lines and ensures continuing service: in case of a problem or emergency you still call the same company you always have. Even the billing cycle is unchanged. All you have to do is pick the right plan and spend ten minutes to fill out a form online—it’s that simple!
The company takes credit for constructing 40 new renewable power facilities across the United States. The majority of these are solar plants in Texas, but they also include a wind farm in Bowling Green, Ohio, and a solar facility in Hopland, California.
Green Mountain Energy takes credit for supporting a number of projects beyond wind and solar power plants. These include biomass, hydroelectric, and geothermal power. The company claims that since its 1997 inception it has reduced overall carbon dioxide emissions by 11.3 billion pounds.
GME has recently gained responsibility for supplying power to the Empire State Building.
View the company website for more information.
Green Mountain Energy offers a few residential energy plans, available in select areas. All of these plans offer 100% renewable energy, sourced by solar power systems and wind turbines. The two major types are fixed- and variable-rate:
- Customers sign up for the fixed-rate plans for a period of six or twelve months. They pay the same price per kilowatt-hour each month, and must surrender a cancellation fee if they change plans early.
- The variable-price plans change in price from month to month. There is no fee for changing these plans. They differ from each other by virtue of drawing on different power sources.
The company offers sign-up incentives—typically $100 gift cards—for several of these products. Certain variable-rate plans accommodate customers who generate their own renewable electricity onsite (e.g., with solar panel kits). GME will supplement their electricity or even buy back and redistribute an excess supply.
These plans are not available everywhere. Enter your zip code in the box above to see if you can purchase residential electricity from Green Mountain Energy in your area. You can also compare renewable electricity prices from other providers.
- Fixed rate: This is the simplest plan available; the cost of electricity stays the same, regardless of changes in the market.
- Wholesale Pass Through: With this plan, the customer buys 85% of their energy wholesale ahead of time, while leaving some of the price to fluctuate.
- Blended: This product divides billing into on-peak and off-peak usage. (Peak usage hours are Monday through Friday, 6am to 10pm.) This plan would be most beneficial for a company able to operate during unusual hours.
- Custom Risk Management: Commercial electricity users with this plan can choose the proportion of electricity charged at fixed or variable rates.
GME also offers carbon offset certificates to individuals and businesses who wish to indirectly subsidize green electricity. These certificates are mostly of use to commercial entities that need to verifiably fill a quota of renewable electricity, but do not have access to appropriate infrastructure in their area.