CVPS Cow Power customers increase
Herald Staff | June 16,2006
CVPS Cow Power enrollment has surpassed 3,000 customers, making the renewable energy program one of the most popular programs of its kind in the country, according to the company.
"Our goal has been to make CVPS Cow Power one of the top 10 programs in the country by year-end-2010, and we are well on our way toward meeting that goal," CVPS President Robert Young said. "Customers continue to enroll by the dozens each week, voting with their energy choice for Vermont farming, an improved environment and renewable energy production."
Cow Power has 3,052 customers enrolled, just over 2 percent of the utility's 51,000 customers. According to the Department of Energy, nearly 600 utilities in the United States offer some kind of renewable choice program, with a median participation rate of 1 percent. CVPS's participation rate puts Cow Power into the top quarter in the nation after just 20 months.
The program is the nation's only direct farm-to-consumer renewable energy program, creating a market for farmers who want to process cow manure and other farm waste to generate electricity. CVPS customers can choose to receive all, half or a quarter of their electrical energy through Cow Power.
Customers pay a premium of 4 cents per kilowatt hour to participate in the program, which goes to participating farm-producers, to purchase renewable energy credits when enough farm energy isn't available, or to the CVPS Renewable Development Fund. The fund provides grants to farm owners to develop on-farm generation. Farm-producers are also paid 95 percent of the market price for the energy sold to CVPS.