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Green power takes to Academy stage

Has your power gone green yet? If not, the city and the Clean Air Council hope you switch soon.

Has your power gone green yet?

If not, the city and the Clean Air Council hope you switch soon.

In June, Philadelphia became the largest city in the nation to joined a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program aimed at getting more people and businesses and institutions to buy green power -- electricity generated by solar panels, wind turbines and the like.

The Clean Air Council has been firmly behind the initiative. Indeed, it was was one of the first organizations to commit to purchasing a share of the output from the six megawatt, Keystone Solar Project being built in Lancaster County. Later, the Philadelphia Phillies signed up as well.

Last night, the council held an informational session at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

Thurman Brendlinger, program director of the council -- and a resident of Swarthmore, which is a national leader in the percentage of green power purchased in the town -- gave this report:

"The advantage of using green energy fits our mission of clean air for all," said Joseph O. Minott, executive director of the council. "The more we purchase energy generated by wind, solar and other renewable sources, the less pollution from traditional fossil fuel burning power plants."

An official from the City of Philadelphia discussed how the City committed to meet or exceed minimum requirements for EPA program. The Academy of Natural Sciences highlighted its purchase of green power making it part of the Leadership Club of the U.S. EPA Green Power Partnership.

Six green power providers-the Energy Coop, ChoosePAWind, Green Mountain Energy Company, Sterling Planet, Community Energy and Washington Gas Energy Services- presented their products at the event. More information on these companies and other renewable energy options can be examined online at 

"People ask me about switching energy companies all the time and don't do it," said Minott. "It's easy and affordable to switch to green power. Please do it now!"

I can attest. When electricity was first deregulated in Pennsylvania, I felt too daunted by all the choices. But after writing a column about it, I acted. It was a cinch.