RG&E Offers Customers Opportunity to "Catch the Wind" and Improve the Environment
Rochester, NY, April 20, 2004 – RG&E today kicked off its Catch the Wind program, which provides an opportunity for the company’s electricity customers to help the environment and diversify New York’s energy supply by purchasing NewWind Energy®, a product of Community Energy, Inc. RG&E electricity customers can now choose to have some or all of their electricity supplied by 100% clean, renewable wind energy generated in New York.
Community Energy, Inc., the largest marketer of wind energy in the country and RG&E’s partner in the Catch the Wind program, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) joined RG&E for the kickoff.
"This program provides our customers with the opportunity to directly support green energy and encourages the development of clean, renewable, wind-generated electricity," said David Saunders, RG&E’s director-marketing and sales. "It also has the potential benefit of adding to New York’s electricity supply portfolio."
"Leaders like RG&E stepping up to offer wind-generated electricity to New York customers at an affordable price opens the door to a new energy future," said Robert Greenlaw, Community Energy Inc.'s vice president-sales and marketing. "The RG&E program enables customers to make a real difference for the environment today."
"NYSERDA is pleased to support the development and sale of clean and renewable wind energy. Catch the Wind creates unprecedented opportunities to deliver wind power to RG&E customers," said Robert Callender, vice president programs.
"Governor Pataki has made the development of renewable energy resources a priority for our state's energy infrastructure. Through programs like Catch the Wind, we have an opportunity to increase customer choice, lower air emissions, reduce price volatility, increase generating capacity, and boost economic development" said William M. Flynn, Chairman, New York State Department of Public Service.
Environmental leadership awards were presented to both the Rochester City School District (RCSD) and Harbec Plastics, Inc. Both are new Catch the Wind customers.
RCSD made an important and substantial three-year commitment to wind energy as part of its overall "Green Schools" program. The amount of wind energy the school district will use is equivalent to that used by over 1,200 homes. With its commitment, RCSD has already achieved the State’s environmental objective of having 25% of the electricity consumed derived from renewable sources by 2010.
"Our Green Schools program and our commitment to renewable energy sources makes sense not only environmentally but financially," said Dr. Manuel J. Rivera, superintendent of Rochester City Schools. "We are proud to be recognized as an environmentally conscious school district by RG&E and Community Energy, Inc., and to work in partnership with them through the Catch the Wind program."
Harbec Plastics, Inc. has a well-known green focus, with an on-site wind turbine and natural gas powered microtubines. The company purchased NewWind Energy® to supplement its own wind- and microturbine-generated electricity.
Customers can purchase "blocks" of NewWind Energy®. Each block is equal to 100 kilowatt-hours and costs from $2.00 to $2.50 per block, per month, depending on the number of blocks purchased. The minimum purchase is two blocks per month. A typical residential customer uses 600 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month, or six blocks. Charges for wind energy are included in the customer’s regular electricity bill. These charges are in addition to a customer’s regular electricity charges.
Purchasing two blocks of wind energy every month for one year reduces carbon dioxide emissions the equivalent of planting 146 trees or not driving 2,338 miles.
Customers will be receiving more information about how to participate in the program during May with their RG&E bill or they can call 1-877-RGE-WIND.
About RG&E: RG&E is a subsidiary of Energy East Corporation [NYSE:EAS], a super-regional energy services and delivery company in the Northeast. RG&E serves 350,000 electricity customers and 280,000 natural gas customers. By providing outstanding customer service, promoting competition and focusing on growth, RG&E continues to be a valuable asset to the communities it serves.
About Community Energy: Community Energy, Inc. was founded by national leaders in wind-energy marketing to expand the market for clean electric supply. Driven by the strong natural appeal of wind-powered technology, Community Energy, Inc. delivers the premium combination of economic, environmental and public relations advantages that come with fuel-free electric supply. Under long-term arrangements with wind developers and electricity suppliers, Community Energy, Inc. builds customer demand to support identified wind energy projects in the customer's region.
About NYSERDA: NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation established by law in 1975, administers the New York Energy $martSM program, which is designed to support certain public benefit programs during the transition to a more competitive electricity market. Some 2,700 projects in 40 programs are funded by a charge on the electricity transmitted and distributed by the State's investor-owned utilities. The New York Energy $martSM program provides energy efficiency services, including those directed at the low-income sector, research and development, and environmental protection activities. NYSERDA derives its basic research revenues from an assessment on the intrastate sales of New York State's investor-owned electric and gas utilities, and voluntary annual contributions by the New York Power Authority and the Long Island Power Authority.
About the Rochester City School District: The Rochester City School District serves more than 59,000 students from preschool through adult. The district’s commitment to wind-generated power marks the implementation of a comprehensive energy and environmental management strategy by the District that includes facility upgrades through performance contracting, energy demand management and commodity contracts, and education and awareness energy conservation programs. RG&E has joined forces with Wendel Energy Services LLC, Day Automation Systems, Inc., IBC Engineering PC, M/E Engineering PC, The Center for Environmental Information and the Rochester Chapter of ASHRAE to support a "Green Schools" education and awareness program administered through the Alliance to Save Energy.
About Harbec Plastics, Inc.: Harbec Plastics Inc was formed in 1977 by toolmaker Bob Bechtold and has grown to become a premier full service supplier of plastic injection molded parts to many Fortune 500 customers, employing over 100. Harbec leverages technology to minimize turnaround and while maintaining ISO level standards of quality. Harbec has grown into a precision custom molder, moldmaker, and model shop specializing in high-end, exotic materials, thick-walled precision parts, and insert molding. In addition to being a Catch the Wind customer, Harbec recently established an employee benefit that offers its employees a subsidy if they sign up for the Catch the Wind Program at their residence.