Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Green Miles Buys Green Power II: Even Dominion Workers Think Dominion's Process Sucks

As I wrote yesterday, I recently decided to make another run at buying green power since my electricity, like most of America, comes primarily from the burning of coal. Not clean coal -- old-fashioned dirty coal.

I looked around Dominion's website, but could only find the same form I'd filled out last year that failed to deliver any results.

I called Dominion's customer service line and talked to a very nice woman who said Dominion does not offer any renewable energy for sale to its customers. However, through the Virginia Renewable Energy Program, Dominion customers can buy green energy from a third party and have that power delivered to Dominion's grid.

She told me to fill out the same form I'd filled out last year and that suppliers would get back to me. Having had no luck with that, I pressed her for another solution. She pointed me to the Virginia Energy Choice website, where I could contact the suppliers directly.

I thanked the woman for her help, and she asked if I had any other questions. I said, "Well, to be honest, I'm wondering why Dominion makes it so hard to get renewable energy."

"I wish I knew that myself!" she laughed. "There's a lot of websites to go to," she added, then paused trying to measure her words carefully. "And a lot of ... this and that. Just trying to get anything done, there are so many processes you have to go through!"

So there you have it. Even Dominion's workers can't defend the complicated process Dominion has set up to keep you from buying renewable energy.

Ultimately, I decided to try going through Pepco's Powerchoice.com site. Would their process make it any easier for me to buy green power? (Would I need a four-part post if it did?)

Monday -- The Green Miles Buys Green Power I: The Adventure Begins
Tuesday -- The Green Miles Buys Green Power II: Even Dominion Workers Think Dominion's Process Sucks
Wednesday -- The Green Miles Buys Green Power III: Convincing Pepco to Take My Money
Thursday -- The Green Miles Buys Green Power IV: The Bottom Line
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