Green Switch® Q+A
Still have questions about Green Switch? Find the answers on this comprehensive list of frequently asked questions.
What is Green Switch?
Green Switch is a simple way for you to invest in regional renewable energy and protect the local environment for generations to come. We understand that there is an increasing interest in and demand for solar energy across the region. That is why as of January 1, 2022, we transitioned the Green Switch product from a mix of 70% solar, 20% wind, 10% biomass to 100% solar – all sourced from the Tennessee Valley! For as little as an additional $2 a month, you can do your part of this exciting program!
With my purchase, do I get green power at my business or meter?
No. The electrons do not flow directly from the renewable energy generator to your residence or business. Instead, the purchase of Green Switch ensures that electricity from renewable resources is generated and added to the power grid, where it mixes with electricity generated by more conventional sources. Because electrons look and act the same, it’s impossible to know if the electricity you are using comes from green electricity sources or other sources.
Why doesn’t TVA already provide renewable energy for me?
In 2010, about 40 percent of the TVA power supply came from clean or carbon-free energy sources—primarily nuclear, but also including hydropower and renewable energy sources. In it’s vision for the future, TVA is focused on having a cleaner, more diverse generation portfolio that will continue to deliver affordable, reliable power. Green Switch generation is in addition to what is included in TVA’s generation mix and allows those customers who really value using energy from renewable sources to support the production of additional supply.
Why does Green Switch cost more than conventional energy?
Although renewable sources like sunlight and wind are free, the technology used to capture the energy they produce is generally more expensive than traditional power generation methods. Hopefully, an increase in the demand for renewable energy will lead to the expansion of power production capacity and eventually lower costs.
How does green power benefit the environment?
Zero-emissions electricity resources like wind and solar help keep the air in the Tennessee Valley cleaner, while supporting clean-technology economic development in the region.
Although no source of energy is impact-free, renewable resources create less waste and pollution. In fact, an investment of an additional $8 per month on your power bill buys enough Green Switch to equal the environmental benefits of not driving a car for over six months.
Is Green Switch independently certified?
Green Switch has always been a Green-e® Energy Certified program. When you see the Green-e® Energy logo, it means:
- The renewable energy option contains only new renewable resources.
- The renewable sources of energy supplying the renewable energy option are independently verified by Green-e® Energy, operated by the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions.
- The purchaser of a Green-e® Energy Certified renewable energy certificate is the sole “owner” of the environmental attributes of a specific megawatt-hour of energy added to the grid—nothing is double counted, in other words.
- The company offering the certified renewable energy option agrees to abide by the Green-e® Energy Code of Conduct and Customer Disclosure Requirements governing its ethical treatment of customers.
For more information on Green-e Energy certification requirements, call (888) 63-GREEN, or visit the website.
Is Green Switch renewable energy eligible for LEED points?
Yes. Currently all Green Switch renewable energy is eligible for green power points under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. LEED standards are subject to change. Read more about the Green Building Council.
Which power companies are participating in Green Switch?
Does TVA or my local power company profit from the program?
No. All program revenues are used to cover the costs of renewable energy certified by Green-e® Energy, and administration and marketing for Green Switch.