March 2009 - The Board of Traverse City Light & Power (TCL&P) has decided to terminate the utility’s voluntary green pricing program and pursue plans to increase the amount of renewable energy generation in the utility’s overall mix, with the costs shared by all customers. The TCL&P green rate program, launched in 1996, was one of the nation’s first green pricing programs through which customers could pay a premium above standard electricity rates to help support the development of renewable resources. The program helped TCL&P build a 600-kW wind turbine about two miles outside of town. After 13 years, the TCL&P board canceled the special rate program, which had 10 commercial business and 73 residential subscribers, and generated about $6,500 a year.
The utility plans to expand its use of renewable resources to generate 30 percent of its power by 2020 and exceed a 2008 state law requiring Michigan utilities to source 10 percent of their electricity from renewables by 2015.
News Release - Light & Power cancels green rate program
March 1997 - Traverse City Light & Power operates a green pricing program for its residential and small commercial customers. Residential customers make a 3-year commitment; commercial customers make a 10-year commitment, to pay a 1.58-¢/kWh premium to purchase 100% of their power from a 600-kW wind turbine constructed during the spring of 1996. The premium represents a 17% to 25% increase in the average monthly bill. There are 145 residential and 22 commercial customers participating, representing 3.1% of the customer base. An additional 80 customers are on a wait list. As of February 1997, participating customers have received their bills under the program for 6 months and are satisfied. Except for one withdrawl due to hardship, no complaints have been reported. The utility is preparing a 4-by-4 window sticker that identifies the participant as a "green rate customer" for distribution.
TCL&P Contact: Steve Smiley, Bay Energy Services (616) 386-9232