We can all see the power lines that bring electricity to our homes, but what happens before the electricity gets into the lines? How is electric power generated in the first place? When you learn how power is generated, distributed, delivered and billed to your home, you’ll see it is almost a miracle that we can use electricity at all.
The electricity that people and businesses use in New England comes from more than 350 power plants using a variety of fuels and natural resources to create electric power. The power is the same for homes, offices, stores and factories, but generators can change their output almost instantaneously depending on when these various types of buildings use power, and how much. The graph below shows how much electricity was produced by various types of power plants so far in 2012:
The vast majority of our power still comes from non-renewable resources.
If you buy power through your utility or any standard offering from a competitive supplier, it’s hard to say which power plants are actually producing the power you use at any given time. Each plant’s production depends on factors like time of day, system demand, weather, and fuel prices.
So your electricity might be coming from a coal-burning plant this morning, a natural gas plant at lunch, and a nuclear plant at night.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could choose the type of resource that powers your home without affecting system reliability or increasing your electricity bill? If that were the case, most of us would probably choose renewable energy like wind or solar power.
Sometime in the future, the day may come where anybody can subscribe to a certain type of resource that powers their home, but there’s a ways to go before we get there. Technically, it would require smart meters that measure electricity usage in real time and an ability to analyze the data those meters produce. There are also a lot of regulatory hurdles to be jumped. The utilities industry is notoriously wary of change, so it isn’t likely that you would see National Grid or NStar paving the way towards that dream.
That said, Easy Energy is helping pave the way towards a renewable future with plenty of choices available to people like you. If you’re interested in renewable electricity, feel free to check out our renewable energy page, or contact us to learn more about our green energy products.