November 19, 2003 at 10:56 PM EST - Updated September 26 at 6:01 PM
Ever heard of NC-Greenpower? it's an organization that, in effect, sells you electrical power from ecologically friendly, or "green," sources. It's endorsed by all the state's electric companies. So, right away you have suspicions, hunh?
well, here's how it works. Any resident of north carolina may voluntarily contribute to the NC-Greenpower program for as little as four dollars a month by signing up through their power company. The entire contribution will be sent to NC-Greenpower, a non-profit organization that has the blessing of the state utilities commission. You're not actually buying power produced from "green" sources, but NC-Greenpower uses your contributions to buy power that is green, and plug it into the state grid. That way the "green" power sources are encouraged by sales. And the contributions, made when you pay your power bill, are tax deductible.
This is a landmark program and is the first of its kind in the nation. Energy from natural resources such as solar and wind is more costly to produce than energy from traditional sources, such as coal, or atomic fission.
These voluntary contributions will provide an incentive to potential renewable energy producers by helping offset their higher costs. You get the tax write-off. And the power companies get some of the load off their backs. Sounds like a win-win-win situation to me.