The clean energy and electric utility restructuring debates are moving at a dizzying pace, with state and federal governments holding hearings, passing laws, and starting up retail marketing pilot programs. For environmentalists, consultants, and lobbyists, keeping up with all of this activity is a full-time job. What can you do as a concerned citizen? Here are a few suggestions:
- First, read up on the issue. There is so much activity now that keeping track of it all can be overwhelming. The UCS Climate 2030 Blueprint provides a starting point, explaining how America can repower with clean energy while saving consumers money.
- Second, get in touch with your elected representatives. Congress is considering a number of bills now that could change the electric industry drastically. Visit the UCS Web Action Center for continuing opportunities to take action. Also, much of the activity in restructuring has been happening at the state level. Depending on where you live, there is a good chance that your local legislator is thinking about electric industry restructuring. Since these legislators don't often receive the huge volume of mail that your US representatives and senators do, you stand a good chance of making your voice heard.
- Third, find out if any activist groups are working on the issue in your state. UCS has helped set up grassroots Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (SEED) groups in a number of states and has information about other groups that may also be involved in the restructuring issue. To learn more about how to get involved in your community, click here to sign up for UCS energy alerts and updates today.
- Fourth, many utilities are offering "green pricing" programs that allow their customers to buy renewable energy for a slight price premium. Though some of these programs are not as good as they could be, they offer us a chance to put our money where our mouths are. If your utility has a program, think about signing up; if it doesn't, ask why. If you live in a state that is letting customers choose their power supplier, like California, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, consider buying green power from a marketer who sells renewable energy. To learn more, click here to sign up for UCS energy alerts and updates today.