American University Offsets a Year of Electricity

Something in the Air

By Wendy Rieger
|  Thursday, May 13, 2010  |  Updated 3:32 PM EDT
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American University Offsets a Year of Electricity

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American University officials aren't just blowing hot air. Instead, AU has become the largest East Coast school to buy wind energy credits, which electric companies use to purchase energy from wind farms.

The more credits purchased, the more wind energy will be added to the grid, decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels.

Wind power is one of the fastest-growing methods of generating new electricity, according to the American Wind Energy Association. And on a typical day, wind energy produces enough electricty to power almost 10 million homes, reports the U.S. Department of Energy.

American University has purchased enough credits to match their annual electricity usage of 53 million kilowatt hours. In the D.C. area, Catholic University of America and George Washington University are the only other unversities to buy green power credits.

When businesses and large sites, like American U, buy wind credits, they're helping the wind farms expand, like the new Cape Wind project going up on the waters off Nantucket

The Department of Energy is pushing to have 20 percent of our power come from wind by 2030 -- that would be the equivalent of taking more than 10 million cars off the road. It'll also conserve 20 billion gallons of water a year, because the water wouldn't be needed to make steam in old-fashioned power plants.

If you want to get involved, contact Clean Currents, a Rockville, Md. company that allows you to purchase these wind energy credits -- and it can save you money in the process. There's no equipment, no installation, nothing. 

All you do is sign up for the program, and your electric company in Maryland, D.C., Pennsylvania or Delaware will give you a better rate and use your money to add wind energy to the grid.

It's a breeze.

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