August 04, 2021

“Choose Renewable” Helps Communities Access Clean Energy


Together, 51 locally owned utilities make up WPPI Energy, a joint action agency. These utilities have worked together for decades to build a diverse, competitive and responsible power supply. They share advanced technologies and forward-thinking services, and they speak with a unified voice for effective energy policy advocacy. One of the most popular programs they offer is Choose Renewable.

The Choose Renewable program allows customers of member utilities to sign up to increase their monthly bill by a few dollars, ensuring their space is powered by renewable energy such as solar, wind and biogas. An entire home can run on clean energy with the purchase of two to three blocks. In 2020, the program provided 135,149 blocks or 40,544 MWh of renewable energy to subscribers in 45 communities.

The funds invested in Choose Renewable go towards grants to develop additional renewable resources and to grow the use and acceptance of renewable energy across local communities, while also providing nonprofit organizations the opportunity to invest in renewable energy projects of their own.

The program’s popularity is due to its considerable advantages: it allows residential customers to power their homes with renewable energy at a much smaller cost than installing rooftop solar, it is available to all customers, and it lets businesses and municipalities achieve their sustainability goals with ease.

“We started the Choose Renewable program in response to customer demand for renewable energy options,” stated Markie Bscherer, energy services manager at WPPI Energy and head of the Choose Renewable program. “The best part of the program is that anybody can join. It’s a small fee, and even if you rent an apartment, you can power it with clean energy.”

Over the past six years, the Choose Renewable program has helped 31 nonprofits install renewable energy projects. Together, these projects are expected to generate the carbon-free energy equivalent to that used by 240 average homes each year. And the program continues to grow.

“The grants funded through Choose Renewable have helped so many nonprofits install renewable energy projects. It’s great when these projects come to fruition and we can show program participants, ‘Look! You helped make this happen,’” said Eric Kostecki, senior energy services manager for WPPI Energy.

Starting in August, program participants can get even more renewable energy for the same monthly cost. Each 300 kWh block of renewable energy is now $2 per month, down from the $3 per month it has been in the past. An average home uses 750 kWh per month.

According to Bscherer, participants of the Choose Renewable program have many reasons for participating. “We conducted a recent survey, and 81% of respondents stated one of their main reasons for being a part of the program was to use fewer fossil fuels. There are so many people in our local communities wanting to support renewable energy, and this program helps them do that at an affordable cost,” stated Bscherer. “This price drop is going to make the program accessible to even more people, and that’s a win for our local communities, renewable energy, and the climate.”

Do you know someone in your community who is passionate about renewable energy and looking for a way to reduce their carbon footprint? Encourage them to sign up today! It only takes a few minutes and $2 per month to make a difference!