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Health, Science & Environment

Columbus City Council to vote on contract extension for green energy program

wind turbines in a body of water
Nicholas Doherty
A windfarm near Velva, N.D.

Eco-conscious Columbus residents who get their electricity through the city have a green energy option, from a program called EcoSmart Choice.

Columbus City Council is set to vote Monday night to renew its contract for the program through 2024.

Columbus has participated in the EcoSmart Choice program since 2013. The program allows the Columbus Department of Public Utilities, Division of Power, to continue to offer its electric customers, including city facilities, a green energy option to offset their electric energy.

Councilmember Rob Dorans said an additional half-cent per kilowatt hour goes toward renewable energy credits that the city's provider uses to buy green energy on the grid.

Dorans said most customers who enroll in the voluntary program pay about $5 dollars more a month as a part of their bill—a small cost that he said makes a big difference.

"An average customer on a yearly basis, that offsets about 8,500 pounds of CO2. That's the equivalent of not driving your car 10,000 miles," Dorans said.

Dorans said another benefit is the program allows the city to help offset energy market volatility by locking in rates for an extended period of time.

Columbus utility customers can find out how to enroll on their next power bill.

Health, Science & Environment Renewable EnergyColumbus City Council
Matthew Rand is the Morning Edition host for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides daily talk show.