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5 Tips for Improving Your Indoor Air Quality at Work

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Air Quality Awareness Week isn’t just about the air outside. If you’re anything like me, you spend most of your day at work inside. The air inside our offices can be more polluted than the air outside. According to the Oregon Environmental Council, poor indoor air quality can result in flu like symptoms including headaches, sore throats, and itchy eyes.

Here are 5 tips for improving your indoor air quality:

1. Open the windows or store front door. Let the air from outside circulate and carry away some of those dust particles. Remember to turn off the A/C first and don’t open on code red and orange days.

2. Bring nature inside with plants! The Mother Nature Network has created a list of 15 houseplants for improving air quality.

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What Makes You Feel Energized?

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As we’re asking people to Energize Responsibly this spring, we wanted to know what gets people up and moving. Here’s what we found:

The American Lung Association just released their new State of the Air Report for 2013, and things are looking up, especially for Baltimore, MD. But, nationwide, there are 131.8 million people living in areas with unhealthy pollution — that’s 42% of the nation!

Despite advances in reducing pollution from coal fired power plants, they are still one of the largest contributors to particle pollution, ozone pollution, mercury, and climate change.

By switching your home to clean, wind power you’re helping us get one step closer to clean air for everyone. Have you taken the pledge to ditch dirty air yet? If not, join us and be part of a clean energy future.

MORE:

Let’s Ditch Dirty Air and Energize Responsibly

Energize Responsibly

American Lung Association State of the Air Report 2013

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Let’s Ditch Dirty Power and Energize Responsibly

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It’s spring — finally! The cold of winter is melting away, buds are bursting into flowers, trees are becoming green again, and we’re all making a bee line for the outdoors. Time to get out the bike, the running shoes, the bat and ball, and PLAY! But, what are we all breathing while we’re soaking up the glorious sun?

Turns out Maryland has a problem with smog and air pollution. In 2012, 11 out of 15 counties studied earned a failing grade for air quality from the American Lung Association. Also, Baltimore County experienced 32 Code Red or Code Orange Ozone days in 2012, enough to receive an F in the ALA’s State of the Air Report.

So how does this impact us?

Ozone pollution has serious health effects, and disproportionately affects the young, elderly, and people who exercise outside.  Ozone pollution causes shortness of breath, coughing, asthma attacks, increased susceptibility to respiratory infections and more. Baltimore leads the state of Maryland in asthma deaths and has one of the nation’s highest rates of hospitalization for children with asthma.

Wind Power means Cleaner Air

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500 Miles and 500 Stories – A Worthwhile Trip

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This Sunday, I had the privilege of watching Cassie Meador’s How to Lose a Mountain — the story of her 500 mile journey to uncover the energy sources that power her home in Takoma, Washington, DC. Cassie’s inspiring story hit home with the audience as we were taken through a journey of gain and loss, despair and hope, and the use and reuse of our natural resources.

This innovative social and environmental initiative touched various communities between DC and West Virginia, where Cassie visited a mountain top removal site. Along the 500 mile journey, Cassie engaged community members, taking stories of individuals along the way to incorporate in her How to Lose a Mountain performance. The incredibly creative interpretation of the story captivated the audience and opened eyes to the delicate relationship between humans and our surroundings.

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Meet Nick Zahn, Clean Currents Customer of the Month

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“I work everyday to be an example for green living,” says Nick, our Baltimore based customer of the month.

As a Geologist for the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Solid Waste program, he spends his days protecting the environment from water and air pollution caused by landfills. Previously, he worked as an energy efficiency analyst with ecobeco, quantifying savings from energy efficient home improvements.

His commitment to sustainability goes beyond his day job. From reducing his energy consumption through BGE’s smart energy saver program to biking to work, he reduces green house gas emissions. And, for all the electricity he does use, it’s offset by Clean Currents wind power.

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Philadelphians Saw the Power of Wind

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Last week, we did something a little crazy. We took a 20 foot, human powered wind turbine on a tour of Philly to show the power of the wind.  We traveled through Rittenhouse Square, Manayunk, and even to a Flyers game to spread the word to Philadelphians that local, Pennsylvania wind power is available for their home.

The turbine was built by the talented artists and craftsmen of Frank’s Kitchens, a local Philly artist co-operative specializing in building human powered kinetic sculptures.  Frank’s Kitchen used all found and recycled materials, including an old car axel. People could come up and take the turbine for a spin with the hand crank wheel. By turning the wheel, people could experience how strong the wind needs to be to make the blades of a turbine spin — and have a little fun at the same time.
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We’re Reel-ly Excited for the 21st Annual Environmental Film Fest in the Nation’s Capital!

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We love March! Usually, it feels like winter is coming to an end and spring is just around the corner. But even with the “snowquester” in the forecast, we still love this month because of the Environmental Film Fest. The festival is the largest showcase of environmental films globally, bringing hundreds of films from 50 countries to DC. But most importantly, at least according to us, the Festival is wind powered by Clean Currents.

The 21st annual Environmental Film Festival takes place March 12 through 24, presenting 190 documentary, narrative, animated, archival, experimental and children’s films selected to provide fresh perspectives on environmental issues facing our planet.  This year’s Festival theme is the vital role of rivers and watershed in the global environment. This will be explored in works from 50 countries and include hundreds of films seen for the first time.

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Can You See The Power?

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This week, we’re taking a 20 foot wind turbine on a road trip through Philly to celebrate opening up shop in Pennsylvania. Yup, you read that right — we built a 20 foot wind turbine made of upcycled materials that you can hand crank!

Think you’re as powerful as the wind? Join us at Rittenhouse Square, Manayunk Brewery, the Flyers — Penguins game, and LOVE Park to give our turbine a whirl and find out. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled, too.  We’re giving prizes to the first person to spot the turbine each day and to whoever captures the best picture this week. Winners will be announced on Friday at LOVE Park and through Twitter.

Join the fun by following us on Twitter @CleanCurrentSol, #SeeThePower, on Facebook, and learn more about how to See The Power. We hope to see you out there!

After this week, there will be no doubt that Philly residents can get 100% local PA wind power for their home or business with Clean Currents.

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Dance Exchange is Dancing into a Greener Future

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Join Them & Switch Your Home to Wind Power Today!

Help us support Dance Exchange’s mission to address social and environmental issues through expressive art and movement: switch to wind power before Earth Day (April 22nd) and Clean Currents will donate $30 to Dance Exchange.

Clean Currents is the region’s leading independent and sustainably certified green energy company, offering residents clean, renewable wind electricity.

Dance Exchange is an intergenerational company of artists that creates dance and engages people in making art. They stretch the boundaries between the studio, stage, and other environments to make dances that are rooted in the particularity of people and place.  Through local, national, international, and online projects they gather and create community to contribute to a healthy and more sustainable environment.

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Clean Currents Shores Up Support for Offshore Wind

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Encourages Energy Suppliers to Back Offshore Wind Act of 2013

Clean Currents presented a letter of support for Maryland’s Offshore Wind Act of 2013 to State Representatives in Annapolis, MD today in anticipation of final passage of the bill. Although other suppliers were invited to lend their support to the letter, Clean Currents is the only supplier signing on.

The bill mandates electricity suppliers and electric utilities to utilize a certain percentage of offshore wind in their energy mix while preserving the integrity of the restructured electricity market.  The bill would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, bring economic activity to Maryland, and provide a long-term stable electricity resource.

“Mandating the use of offshore wind as part of the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard is a vital part of growing the clean energy economy. It will be good for Maryland’s economy, our environment, and our future. We support this bill without hesitation,” states Gary Skulnik, Clean Currents’ President.

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Interview with Jason Schwartz: What it’s like to Work for a Benefit Corporation

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Leah Stonefeld is the winter semester marketing & communications intern at Clean Currents. She is a graduate student at American University where she is pursuing a Masters of Arts in Global Environmental Policy. Leah has a passion for renewable energy completed undergraduate studies at Arizona State University, School of Sustainability. Besides renewable energy, one of Leah’s main reasons for wanting to intern at Clean Currents was our B Corp status.

As a new intern at Clean Currents, I wanted to discover why staff chose to work for a Benefit Corporation. I met up with Jason Schwartz, V.P. of Sales at Clean Currents to discuss what makes working for a Certified Benefit Corporation so unique.

Prior to working with Clean Currents, Jason was the Senior Sales Strategist for Kurlan & Associates. He also has experience as an entrepreneur, starting his own business Bkind Foods, LLC in 2009. Jason has extensive experience consulting on executive level coaching, sales team training and development, and leadership development. He has a M.S. in Organizational Change Management from the New School University.

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The Courts of Devon Purchases 100% Wind Power

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The Courts of Devon is proud to announce that it has purchased Renewable Energy Certificates (REC)s from wind farms in the United States that is equivalent to 100% of its common area electricity load. This was done to offset the carbon emitted from the conventional generation of the electricity needed to power the common areas. By purchasing 100% wind power from Clean Currents, a Maryland-based green energy supplier, the electricity consumption of The Courts of Devon is now carbon neutral.

The wind power purchase of 268,680 kilowatt-hours of electricity by the Courts of Devon is equivalent to removing 417,924 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the atmosphere or removing 28 single-family homes from the electric grid for a year.

“Buying renewable energy makes sense — sustainable energy use increases value, which benefits our policy owners, and it’s a win for the environment,” notes Angela Scodellaro, Washington, D.C.-based asset manager for Northwestern Mutual, which owns The Courts of Devon.
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Who We Are

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The Clean Currents mission is to energize communities for a clean energy future by enabling individuals and businesses to make responsible choices that protect their bottom line while reducing their environmental impact.

Since 2005, Clean Currents has helped 10,000 individuals and 3,000 businesses make the switch to wind power in Maryland, DC and Pennsylvania. We’ve also donated over $20,000 to community greening projects through our award winning Green Neighborhood Challenge program.

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Breaking down the B Corp Basics

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What happens to your favorite, socially responsible ice cream maker when a multinational corporation sets its sights on acquiring it? That is exactly what happened in the case of Ben & Jerry’s, and they had no legal options but to sell to the highest bidder — even if that company’s values didn’t align with their social mission.

So, how do socially responsible businesses hold themselves responsible to their stakeholders when corporate structures put shareholders and financial profit first? Enter Benefit Corporations and Certified B Corporations.

By providing legal structures that increase transparency, accountability, and performance, Benefit Corporations and B Corps are changing the way we do business.

Certified B Corporation vs. Benefit Corporation

There are two ways for companies to participate in the B Corp movement: Certified B Corporations are 3rd party certified by non profit B Lab and Benefit Corporation is a legal status administered by the state.  “B Corp” generally refers to either of these types of organizations.

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Energize Responsibly

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There’s nothing like reaching the top of the mountain or crossing the finish line. But what are you breathing while doing it? Take the pledge to support wind power at home and join a movement of people who are committed to a sustainable, healthy future.

Plus, your pledge qualifies you to win prizes including:

  • A Specialized Bike
  • A ChicoBag DayPack loaded with a Klean Kanteen and other goodies
  • Charm City Run Gift Card
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The Fest is Wind Powered: How About You?

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This year, The Philly Farm & Food Fest is powered by 100% local Pennsylvania wind. And, your home can be too!

Clean Currents is the region’s only Certified B Corp green energy company. The Fest team loves them because they give back to the community, but you’ll love them because you can get 100% local wind power at home.

To celebrate all things local, Clean Currents is buying your ticket* to the Fest when you sign up for wind power at home before April 12th.

*24 -48 hours after you sign up, Clean Currents will send you an email with instructions for how to redeem your complimentary ticket to Philly Farm and Food Fest. You’ll just enter a promotional code to get tickets you can print at home – so easy!

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Wind Powered Business Directory

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These Businesses Mean Green

We encourage you to support our diverse wind powered customers. You can grab a coffee, shop for food or home goods, get a haircut, and go out for dinner all while supporting companies that have made a conscious effort to green their operations by switching to Wind Power through Clean Currents.

*The map below shows just a few of our commercial wind powered customers throughout the region

You can join the Clean Currents Green Community by switching your HOME or BUSINESS to clean, affordable wind power.

The following is a directory of our wind powered business customers:

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Clean Currents Supports Offshore Wind Energy Act 2013

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This is the year Maryland can take a step forward towards a clean energy future and the Offshore Wind Bill is one giant leap in the right direction. Clean Currents fully supports this bill and we applaud Governor O’Malley’s leadership in working to bring it to this point.

I call on other energy suppliers that supply green power to join us in standing firm with our colleagues in the environmental, faith, labor and business advocacy world in support of offshore wind power in Maryland. You can’t be authentic if you sell wind power on the one hand, but do nothing to support, and sometimes actively oppose, the development of wind off Maryland’s coast. I offer Clean Currents’ help to educate the public about the importance of this bill and the importance of Maryland taking it’s next big step towards a cleaner, greener, future free of the threat of climate change and air pollution.

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Clean Currents Wins Green America’s People & Planet Award

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Wind Power Provider Recognized as Leading Edge Green Business

Clean Currents announced today that it has won Green America’s People & Planet award, recognizing America’s best green businesses with innovation in clean energy. Winners are granted $5,000 to invest in their green initiatives. Clean Currents was selected as a winner of this award for their Green Neighborhood Challenge program (GNEC).  GNEC gives community groups and non-profits an opportunity to raise funds for green projects while increasing support for clean energy.

“We are honored to have won the People & Planet Award as it reinforces one of our main goals: to link green-minded businesses, individuals, and organizations together to build more sustainable communities. Thanks to Green America, we can further our Green Neighborhood Challenge program by energizing neighborhoods around clean energy and green projects to build a cleaner, greener future together,” commented Gary Skulnik, Clean Currents President.

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5 Tips for An Energy Efficient Holiday

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The holidays are a time of joy, good cheer, and excess. From Aunt Muriel’s indulgent cake to gifts galore and lights everywhere, it’s easy to set aside your environmental standards. We make it easy for you to lower your impact — and your electricity bill — this holiday season with 5 easy steps.

1. LED holiday lights: Let’s be honest – a Christmas tree isn’t finished until it’s bright enough so you can see it from space. That said, holiday lighting in the US consumes the equivalent electricity consumption of 500,000 homes in one month. Invest in LED lights – they use only 10% of electricity needed to light incandescent bulbs and last 10 times longer. And, they don’t get hot – reducing the risk that your tree will go up in flames.

How to: Recycle your incandescent lights at holidayleds.com and receive 25% off your purchase of LED lights. Or, drop off your old lights at area MOM’s Organic Market. Grab LED lights at ACE Hardware, Target, and other major retailors. See how much energy your lights use with this fun calculator.
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Meet Farmland LP the Future of Sustainable Farmland

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Back at the B-Corp Champions Retreat, we met Jason Bradford of Farmland LP. After chatting about sustainable food and the future of US farmland, we were hooked on the mission of Farmland LP. We sat down with Jason to learn more about Farmland LP and their unique model that cultivates farmland sustainability.

Jason Bradford with Mac Stewart of Vitality Farms.
Vitality Farms leases Farmland LP land in Oregon to raise sheep and cattle.

Clean Currents: What does Farmland LP do and why is it important?

Jason Bradford: Farmland LP buys farmland and converts it to certified Organic, sustainably managed farmland as an investment fund, similar to a REIT.  We specialize in sustainable agriculture and integrating crop and pastured livestock rotations.  Our goal is to play a role in the transformation of the food system while benefiting the environment, supporting quality jobs, producing healthy food, and returning a financial profit for our investors.

Organic food sales in the U.S. have been growing between 15-20% per year since 1990 and yet the rate of conversion of U.S. farmland is lagging far behind.  Organic food is therefore more likely to be imported, and yet people also want local food.
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Clean Currents attends the Social Venture Institute Conference

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The Social Venture Institute conference took place October 19th & 20th in Philadelphia, PA. Over 200 representatives, owners, and members of a multitude of socially conscious businesses operating across the mid-Atlantic came together to connect, learn, and share their experiences. A rousing set of speakers, including Maggie Anderson (author of Our Black Year), Alejandro Velez (Founder of Back to the Roots), Mandy Cabot (Founder of Dansko), Michael K. Pearson (Founder of Union Packaging), and many others, provided great context and insight into the world of social entrepreneurship, its impediments, and advantages in the greater Philadelphia region.

Throughout the conference, there was amazing energy in the room. Much like our experience at the B-Corp retreat, we were reminded yet again that special things happen when socially conscious businesses come together. Spending two days with business owners whose mission goes beyond their own profits was inspiring. And, sharing challenges and insights about ways to make a profit without sacrificing our core values reminded us why we are a socially conscious business to begin with. Thanks for a great event, Sustainable Business Network!

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Blustery or Clear Future for Domestic Wind Power?

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Join us for a webinar on the state of wind power in the US, November 7th

Recently, we’ve seen headlines like the east coast has enough offshore wind potential to power one third of the country and twice as many coal power plants will be decommissioned by 2016 as originally estimated. Sounds pretty good for the wind industry, but what about the questionable renewal of the Production Tax Credit? And how will the upcoming election change the future of wind power?

Join Clean Currents for a webinar on the wind power potential in the US – where we are now, and where we’re headed – presented by Stan Calvert. Stan Calvert brings 30 years of experience in advancing renewable energy research and policy to this presentation. Currently with NeoNiche Technologies, Stan worked with Department of Energy for 20 years. He will share his expertise on wind power potential in the US and what it means for our future.

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Sandy is Coming: What you need to know

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Hurricane Sandy is decending on the East Coast today, bringing wind, rain, snow and storm surges. Here are some resources to help you stay safe.

1. Stay safe and dry!

2. Report power outages to your power distributor (Pepco or BGE).

PEPCO and BGE maintain power lines and distribute your power, even when you are a Clean Currents customer. Check their websites or call them for up to date information about your power should it go out. Click here for BGE. Click here for Pepco.

3. Stay up to date with current weather conditions. Check your local news, Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang, and the Weather Channel for current news on Hurrican Sandy.

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Kelly Richmond: Grassroots Organizing Rock Star!

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DC resident, Kelly Richmond was searching for a way to reduce her carbon footprint. After figuring out how easy it was to switch her apartment to Clean Currents’ wind power, she got inspired to spread the word.

Kelly started her own Green Neighborhood Challenge campaign among her neighbors in her Cathedral Heights apartment building. After assisting 7 neighbors in making the switch, Kelly branched out into the surrounding neighborhoods. She wrote to local list serves and put announcements on environmental websites. She even developed her own presentation on making the switch to wind power which she gave to community members at local public libraries. But, where Kelly found most of her success was in personal connections with the wide network of her friends in the DC area.
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Wind Powered Balitmore Week wraps up with a Bang!

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Last week, Clean Currents hosted the first ever Wind Powered Baltimore Week to celebrate Baltimore’s dedication to renewable energy. We hosted events like mixers and happy hours, wind powered businesses offered up deals and discounts, and we rounded everything out with an ice cream social the likes of which have never been seen before.

We kicked off the week in style, with a mixer at the Black Olive, overlooking the beautiful Baltimore Harbor. The following evening, we were joined by Abigail Hopper, MEA Acting Director, Maryland Senator Catherine Pugh, and many more to acknowledge Baltimore’s commitment to a clean energy future.  Hosted at Woodberry Kitchen, attendees heard inspiring messages from Ms. Hopper, Senator Pugh and Spike Gjerde, co-owner of Woodberry Kitchen.

Abigail Hopper shared, “Wind energy brings numerous benefits to the State, including homegrown clean energy, sustainable jobs, reduced public health costs, lowered greenhouse gas emissions and significant progress towards meeting our renewable energy portfolio standard.  Wind Powered Baltimore Week recognizes Baltimore businesses that are committed to Maryland’s renewable energy future.”

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Jodi’s Climb for Hope

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When my sister, Jodi, was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer I couldn’t sit still. I went to Mexico and climbed an 18,500 foot mountain – Pico de Orizaba. On the descent with my friend Eric Kronthal, I came up with the idea of raising money through mountaineering to fund important breast cancer research. And so, Climb for Hope was born.

Six years later, over 100 beginner climbers summited mountains on 4 continents, and CFH has donated over $600,000 to Johns Hopkins University for a vaccine under development. This vaccine addresses some of the most aggressive and lethal forms of breast cancer, and CFH has helped speed up Dr. Leisha Emens work by more than 6 months, potentially saving thousands of lives. One day, this vaccine could be used preventatively in high-risk women.

My sister lost her long battle to breast cancer at age 45. To ensure Jodi Buerger’s name would live on, we changed the organization’s name to Jodi’s Climb for Hope. Now, she will be synonymous with great work because in Jodi’s words, “I want my daughter to grow up in a world without that disease.”

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Clean Currents is donating $25 to Jodi’s Climb for Hope for each household that switches to wind power. Learn more about Jodi’s Climb for Hope and what you can do to support the fight against breast cancer.

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Wind Powered Baltimore Week Kicks Off

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Join the fun, hon! Today we’re launching Wind Powered Baltimore Week to celebrate the vibrant wind powered community in Charm City. With events scheduled at wind powered businesses throughout the week, discounts and deals, and an ice cream social grand finale, there’s no better way to experience Baltimore this week.

Starting today, the following deals and events last all week:

  • Bambeco: 10% off entire site with code WINDWEEK
  • Michele’s Granola’s Autumn Breeze Special: Retail sized package of Apple Quinoa for only $5. Visit Michele’s Granola at the Catonsville, 32nd Street, or Baltimore Farmer’s Markets
  • Village Learning Place & Woodberry Kitchen: Donate to kick start the Little Free Library project in Charles Village and receive a gift certificate to Woodberry Kitchen.
  • All Star Pest Management: $50 off new service for customers that sign up with a reoccuring service plan.

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Eighteen Area Non-Profits Join Forces to Support Wind Power and Save on Electricity

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Clean Currents Assembles Local Non-Profits in Sixth Round of Successful Wind Power Purchase

Clean Currents, a leading green energy provider in the Mid-Atlantic, announced the successful execution of the sixth Nonprofit Energy Alliance purchase, a green electricity purchasing cooperative arranged by The Nonprofit Roundtable, Nonprofit Montgomery, and the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County.

By working with Clean Currents, the eighteen area nonprofits in the energy alliance were able to leverage collective buying power to take advantage of lower electricity rates.  Collectively, the eighteen nonprofits purchased 3.9 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of wind power, with an aggregate savings compared to standard rates through their local utilities of approximately $25,000 per year.  The fourteen participants renewed their commitment from past rounds: CentroNía; Latino Economic Development Corporation;  Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care; Metro TeenAids; DC Scores; Vesta, Inc.; A Wider Circle; Joe’s Movement Emporium; Warner Memorial Presbyterian Church; Emmanuel United Methodist Church; Great Hope Homes; Montgomery Housing Partnership; Washington Revels, Inc. and Friends of the Library, Montgomery County, MD. In addition, four new organizations joined NPEA VI: Advocates for Justice and Education; First Baptist Church of Ken-Gar; Washington School of Photography; Whitman-Walker Health.

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B Corps Take Over the World!

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Last week, Gary and I had the opportunity to attend the 3rd Annual B Corp Champions Retreat in Half Moon Bay, California. B Corp certification is a voluntary certification socially minded companies can use to report on and improve their impact on employees, their community and the environment. We became a B Corp in 2010. We went out to this year’s retreat, our second, with our friends from Nana Design, another MD socially responsible business who we recruited to join the B Corp movement this year.

The community of B Corps has grown in the last year (630 companies and counting) and the retreat was a much larger group than last year. It is incredible to spend a few days among such an inspiring group of businesses. We all share the belief in the power of the private sector to do good not only because we can but because it is our responsibility to our communities and the world. The retreat is not like another conference, where you sit in over-air-conditioned rooms and struggle to stay awake. In fact, we spent most of the retreat in a big tent outside with a nice ocean breeze talking, listening to stories, brainstorming, and doodling with scented markers. There was even an impromptu song at the end there…
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We all Scream for Taharka Brothers

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Taharka Brothers makes handmade ice cream with a mission. Creating change and connecting with the community is at the heart of the company’s soul as Taharka Brothers was one of the companies to file for Benefit Corporation status in Maryland.

Switching to wind power was a natural choice. As Darius Wilmore with Taharka Bros. explained to us, “Sustainability is important to our business because it’s important to the overall health of our economy, society and planet – it’s the responsible thing to do.” The company uses their purchasing power to create change. Taharka Brothers has built personal relationships with the farmers in Haiti where they source ingredients and uses Facebook to educate consumers about the lives of those behind the ingredients. You will also find local ingredients in their ice cream as they are strong believers in supporting the local economy. On a recent visit, we discovered a large bag of Michele’s Granola waiting to be combined into the next magical creation.

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Green Neighborhood Challenge BLAST OFF!

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On October 1st, 2012 a diverse range of community groups in Maryland and Washington, D.C. launched their 60-day Green Neighborhood Challenge (GNEC) campaigns to educate and inspire members of their communities to switch to wind power at home. Participating groups receive a $30 donation from Clean Currents for every associated household that switches to wind power. The donations earned through GNEC fund local greening initiatives that directly benefit participating communities.

The Silver Spring YMCA launched their GNEC campaign October 1st at a Healthy Living Workshop for Latino mothers and their children. “Part of healthy living is living in a way that keeps our community and planet healthy” Says Patricia Coronado, Director of Membership for the Silver Spring YMCA.

Other groups that launched their GNEC campaigns this week include the Washington Waldorf School in Bethesda, MD, Seaward Academy in Washington, D.C., the Calvert Hills Neighborhood in College Park, MD, and The Zenith Apartments managed by Bozzuto in Baltimore City.

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An Educated Consumer is our Best Customer

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Growing up in the New York area, I remember a certain clothing store’s commercial that had the tag-line, “an educated consumer is our best customer.” Exelon/Constellation’s recent foray into the anti-wind camp makes this point especially true in the green energy world. For Clean Currents, and other truly green companies, an educated consumer is indeed our best customer.

Exelon/Constellation is “publicly leading an organized campaign against the (wind) industry’s #1 priority,” according to the spokesman for the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the premier wind power group. Exelon/Constellation is apparently leading efforts to abolish the Production Tax Credit (PTC), set to expire this year.  The PTC is a huge driver in getting wind farms built, along with consumer demand through voluntary purchases and state Renewable Portfolio Standards. In fact, uncertainty surrounding the renewal of the PTC is already negatively affecting the wind industry, causing the loss of domestic manufacturing jobs. Exelon/Constellation’s efforts against the PTC is a serious enough issue that AWEA has expelled Exelon/Constellation from the group. As the AWEA spokesman notes, this is not just a “difference of opinion,” but rather the fact that Exelon/Constellation is leading the efforts to kill the PTC, thereby curtailing the development of wind power.
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Golden West Cafe – #2 Best Bar in Hampden

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It is easy to see why Golden West Cafe was just name #2 Best Bar in Hampden by City Paper’s Best of Baltimore. The menu is an eclectic mix of organic grass-fed beef, vegan BBQ riblet sandwich, Thai chicken and mint salad and their famous green chile sauce. What really sets Golden West apart is their focus on sustainability.

We recently had the opportunity to talk with Kris Gobeil the General Manager and learn more about Golden West’s efforts. Kris explained that being 100% wind powered is only one of the many steps that they are taking. Composting and purchasing produce and meat from local, organic farms are other key initiatives. They purchase natural eggs from Springfield Farms in Sparks, MD.

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Galway Bay: Live Green, Eat Irish

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On September 10th, Clean Currents own Lynn gardner hit the golf course as part of the 13th Annual Galway Bay Golf Tourament. The tournament worked to raise enough frunds to install 15 new water wells in the Holy Cross Parish Community of Nhkamenya, Malawi.

Galway Bay is part of the Irish Restaurant Company in Anne Arundel County, MD. All three of the company’s locations, Brian Boru, Galway Bay and Killarney House are 100% wind powered through Clean Currents. The Irish Restaurant Company also minimize their carbon footprint through recycling, rain barrels, earth friendly serving products, re-using materials for renovations, recycling cooking oil into biofuel, eliminating plastic, using environmentally friendly cleaning products, minimizing water usage, and much more. Galway Bay was the first restaurant in Maryland to be certified as a Maryland Green Travel Partner.

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Hello, Wind Powered Baltimore Week!

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We are THRILLED to announce Wind Powered Baltimore Week, October 16 – 21st. We have a week full of great events to celebrate the amazing wind powered community in Charm City.

Events range from happy hour co-hosted with Baltimore City Paper at Golden West Cafe to Not Your Mom’s Ice Cream Social at Taharka Bro. Ice Cream Factory. Don’t miss the Green Neighborhood Challenge kick off at Union Mill, and see the full schedule of events.

Congrats to our Clean Currents powered businesses that raked in the recognition from Baltimore City Paper’s Best Of Baltimore today! We can’t wait to celebrate with you during Wind Powered Baltimore Week. Here’s the round up of wind powered winners:

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Energy Efficiency 101 with TerraLogos Energy Group

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So, what is the deal with energy efficiency? The concept is easy enough – use less electricity, save on your bills. But how do you know which investments will give you the energy savings, and cost savings, you’re looking for?

Peter Van Buren of TerraLogos Energy Group helped the Clean Currents team answer these questions with ways to prioritize your energy efficiency investments.

  • Sealing ducts, air leaks and insulation gives you the best return on your investment. If you have leaky ducts and air leaks, you’re heating and air conditioning your neighborhood rather than your home. By sealing those holes, your furnace and air conditioner can use less energy to heat and cool your home. You’ll see the most return on your investment by taking this step first.

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Megan Barrett Joins Clean Currents

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This week, Megan Barrett joined Clean Currents as our new Communications Manager. Megan comes to Clean Currents after spending three years at Live Green, a grassroots organization working to make green living easy and affordable for people in the DC metro area. As Co-Director, she managed their communications strategy, cultivated partnerships, and organized community events. She helped grow the start up from its infancy to the organization it is today.

When not at work, Megan grows tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and other local fruits and veggies in her community garden, plays interior designer in her Cleveland Park apartment and is training for a half marathon. She’s been dedicated to the environment since a small child. Her parents often recount the trials of raising the young environmentalist who would make her family bring recycling home from vacation and ration water usage in the bathroom.

Megan has a M.A. in Global Environmental Policy from American University and a B.A. in Political Science from Kenyon College. Contact her at mbarrett@cleancurrents.com.

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Gettin GNECy With It

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While many of you are enjoying the last precious days of your summer vacation and area children prepare for the upcoming school year, here at Clean Currents we’re busy gearing up for the next round of the Green Neighborhood Challenge (GNEC), which officially begins on October 1st.

Armed with a new and improved program structure, new website, new promotional materials, new video, and a new staff member to lead the program, we are more excited than ever to help build more sustainable communities in the Mid-Atlantic through our hallmark community engagement program!

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Customer of the Month – August

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Clean Currents is happy to present our August Customer of the Month: Charlie Garlow.

Charlie lives in the Woodmoor Neighborhood in Silver Spring, MD.  He is a lawyer and co-owner of The Green Commuter bike shop located in Takoma Park.

 

When asked what his favorite Clean Currents wind powered business was, he couldn’t help but say his own, The Green Commuter, which sells standard and electrically powered bicycles.

Charlie was selected the our August Customer of the Month because of his commitment to minimizing his impact on the environment and spreading knowledge and information on sustainability to others.

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Sailing into the Sunset

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It seems as though we were just planning our Memorial Day getaways, but alas, the end of summer is nigh — and as we sail into summer’s sunset, let’s take a look at what’s occured during the past few months …

On all counts, the summer of 2012 was the hottest on record, setting new high temperature benchmarks across the country, exacerbating one of the worst wildfire seasons in history, and causing the worst drought in the United States since that of the mid 1930′s dust bowl.  In fact, the full economic consequences of this summer’s drought have not yet hit, as experts are predicting prices for grains–and in turn, prices for meat–to soar as farmers prepare for record low harvests.

It was also a cruel (cruel) summer for the globe’s usually ice-clad regions.  Climatologists are expecting a record low for Arctic sea ice this season, beating even the most aggresive warming trends and forecasts.

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Apples to Oranges

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We’re entering the final stretch of Presidential campaigning and energy is one of the top issues that continue to be brought up by both President Obama and Governor Romney.  Both men have reiterated their support of “homegrown” sources of energy in order to provide greater energy security for the country, but differences arise when it comes to their overall energy policies.

To cut through the cable news punditry that’s proliferating on the subject of each’s energy policy, here’s a quick reference guide:

Governor Romney

Mitt Romney’s proposed energy policy focuses on decreasing environmental regulation of energy while increasing production of domestic carbon-based energy resources in the hopes of creating jobs and bolstering the economy with lower prices for energy.

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Too Hot, Too Dry

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Have you been scratching your head at the seemingly endless barrage of “weather anomalies” we’ve been subjected to, wondering what role human-induced climate change is playing?

A new scientific study out this week may help fill in some of the blanks for you.  NASA’s senior climate scientist, Dr. James Hansen and two co-authors published a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences about extreme heat waves and droughts.  Their main finding: The percentage of Earth’s land surface hit by extreme heat during summer has expanded from less than 1% in the years 1951-1980, to as much as 13% from 1980 to now.

The authors use the metaphor of “climate dice” to explain what we are doing to our planet by burning fossil fuels and destroying forests.  A normal set of dice gives a standard set of outcomes based on statistical likelihood of hitting a certain number.  For example, the odds of rolling a “7″ with two dice are about one in six.  However, if you “load” the dice in such a way that makes them almost always land with a “4″ on one dice and a “3″ on the other dice, you are substantially increasing the odds of rolling a 7; likewise with climate.  By significantly increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, we are in essence loading the climate dice to land more frequently on “extreme weather”.

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Production Tax Credit – Time to Get Serious

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Domestic wind power has been the fastest growing source of energy in the U.S. for the past several years, adding over 1/4 of all new electric generating capacity in 2010.  And just yesterday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar presided over the opening of the country’s latest wind farm in Nevada, pushing the total installed wind power capacity in the U.S. over 50 Mega Watts – or enough to power over 10 million homes.  But we’re not breaking out our party hats quite yet.  This is because the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC), which reduces the federal income taxes of a qualified tax-paying owner of renewable energy projects based upon the electrical output of its grid-connected renewable energy facilities, is set to expire at the end of this year.  The credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour (KWh) of electricity generated has been a critical source of financing for wind farm owners, and the uncertain state of its future is causing havoc in the industry.

With the Presidential election only three months away, we’re nearing the zenith of political and partisan fanaticism.  And of course, the state of the domestic economy–specifically the persistent high unemployment rate and the mounting deficit–is top of mind.  Understandably, this has made many lawmakers skeptical about extending or proposing any new tax breaks for business in general.  The basic argument being: if a business or industry can’t float on its own then perhaps it should sink.  Add in the fresh memory of Solyndra, a bankrupt maker of solar modules that defaulted on a federal loan, and the image of America’s renewable energy industry begins to look a little sullied.

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Neighborhood Wind Gets More Neighborly

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Clean Currents Neighborhood Wind™ Now Sourced from Pennsylvania Wind Farm

For the past two years, Clean Currents has offered customers the choice between being powered by National Wind RECs or Neighborhood Wind™.  The main difference between the two product offers is the location of the energy generating wind farms.

Both our National Wind RECs and Neighborhood Wind™ products are Green-e Energy certified; the highest standard of renewable energy certification and verification.  Whereas our National Wind RECs product is sourced from domestic wind farms located in the continental United States (specifically Elkhorn Ridge Wind Farm in Bloomfield, Nebraska, Adair County Wind Farm in Adair, Iowa, Benton County Wind Farm in Fowler, Indiana, Turkey Track Wind Farm in Blackwell, Texas, and the Heartland Consumers Power District in Wessington Springs, South Dakota), our Neighborhood Wind™ product was sourced from a regional wind farm called the Big Sky Wind Farm in Bureau & Lee Counties, Illinois.  But we are happy to annonuce that our Neighborhood Wind™ product is now sourced from the Highland North Wind Farm in Cambria County, Pennsylvania (pictured below).

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Sustainable Style at Boundary Road

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Commercial Customer Spotlight: Boundary Road  

Things have been heating up on H Street NE for a little while now.  This bustling neighborhood’s streetscape is almost unrecognizable compared to its worn look just a few years ago.  Bars and late night clubs like Rock and Roll Hotel and Biergarten Haus have clustered towards the eastern end of the strip at 14th St. and H NE, just a few doors down from neighborhood anchor Atlas Performing Arts Center.  But Clean Currents wind powered customer Boundary Road, which bills itself as a true “neighborhood restaurant”, chose to open on the less raucous–if more accessible–end of H Street between 4th and 5th streets NE.

Clean Currents staff member Eric Vermeiren had a chance to chat with Karlos Leopold, general manager and owner of the relatively new (circa Feb. 2012) Boundary Road, about opening a restaurant that’s focused on seasonal ingredients and sustainable operations.

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Understanding Your Bill

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As a resident of Maryland, Washington, DC, or Pennsylvania you can choose your electric supplier – but what does that mean exactly?  Deciphering your electric bill can be confusing!

Below is a brief explanation of the different components of electricity delivery and what to look for when reviewing your monthly utility bill:

Charges

Overview

There are three main components that comprise your monthly utility bill: GenerationTransmission, and Distribution.  When you choose to switch electric suppliers, your new supplier is responsible for the Generation & Transmission portion of your bill. These two sections are often referred to as “Supply Charges”. The Clean Currents rate which you select upon enrollment will replace both the Generation & Transmission charges from your utility. There are no other charges or fees associated with making the switch to Clean Currents. The Distribution portion will not change and will continue to go directly to the utility.

On average, the Generation section of your utility bill constitutes about 75% of the total monthly cost. Your local utility remains responsible for Distribution, which includes billing, maintenance, and service issues.  (Below is a scanned Pepco bill, showing the three components)

Generation

This is the cost of energy produced by a facility (power plant/wind farm) before being delivered to the “grid.”  This cost is dependent upon the type of power, time of year, and the length of the contract, and how these variables are impacted by commodity markets. When you switch your electric supplier from your local utility to a competitive electricity supplier (like Clean Currents), this section will be replaced by the Clean Currents rate you select upon enrollment.

Transmission

This is the cost to bring high-voltage electricity from power plants to distribution points near to you and includes the cost of high-voltage power lines and towers, as well as monitoring equipment. This section will also be replaced by Clean Currents rate you select upon enrollment.

Distribution

This charge is the cost to deliver electricity through power lines strung on utility poles, across transformers, to where you use it. This charge also includes repair crews and emergency services.  Regardless of what company you choose to supply you with electricity, your local utility will continue to charge you this portion of your bill.  

Service Options

Standard Offer

Maryland, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania have deregulated electricity markets.  Residential and commercial customers in deregulated electricity markets can elect to switch to a competitive electricity supplier (like Clean Currents).  But if you do not select a competitive electricity supplier, your local utility will supply you with their “standard offer service”.  These standard offers are seasonally adjusted unlike Clean Currents wind power rates, which are fixed for one or two years.

Power Options

Renewable Power vs. Standard Power

The beauty of a deregulated electricity market is customer choice.  In Maryland, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania you have a choice when it comes to not only what company supplies your electricity, but also the source of that power.

Standard power produced in the Mid-Atlantic region comes primarily from fossil fuel sources – mainly coal.  With Clean Currents, you can choose to be powered by clean, renewable wind power at your home or business.  To learn how you can switch to Clean Currents wind power.

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Clean Currents and SolarCity Pioneer New Way for Homeowners to Adopt Solar Power

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Partnership allows Maryland and DC homeowners to install solar panels for free while paying for their solar electricity and utility power on a single bill

Clean Currents, a leading supplier of green electricity, today unveiled a new clean energy purchasing program that allows Maryland and Washington DC homeowners to pay for electricity from solar panels at a discount to utility rates on a single, consolidated electric bill. Rockville’s Clean Currents is partnering with SolarCity—a national leader in clean energy products and services with local offices in Jessup, MD and Washington, DC—to create the program.

Under the new program, homeowners sign a fixed-price Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Clean Currents and get a free solar panel installation on their roofs from SolarCity. The pricing of the PPA will be available at rates lower than current utility rates, saving homeowners money in the short-term, while allowing them to protect their family budgets in the long term. SolarCity also insures and monitors the systems, guarantees their performance and provides necessary repairs for no additional cost.

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What is the Green Neighborhood Challenge?

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The Green Neighborhood Challenge (GNEC) is Clean Currents’ hallmark community engagement program for groups to get involved in clean energy, fundraise, and help build a more sustainable community!

GNEC GOALS:

  • Educate Friends and neighbors about clean energy and living sustainably
  • Encourage Community members to adopt eco-friendly habits
  • Inspire Individuals to get involved in the clean energy movement!

TIMELINE:
Program Runs October 1st – Earth Day (April 22nd) Annually

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Solar Thermal

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With Clean Currents Thermal, Installing a money-saving Solar Hot Water System at Home is Easy and Affordable

A Solar Hot Water system is the most energy efficient way to heat water – and hot water is the second biggest energy hog in your home.  That equates to a potential savings of hundreds of dollars a year!

Clean Currents Thermal uses the latest technology in solar hot water systems, exclusive to our partner Sunnovations.

Why Solar Hot Water?

An average American household spends up to 25% of its total energy use on heating water (second only to space heating and cooling). For most homes in the Mid-Atlantic, a solar hot water system will provide anywhere between 65% to 80% of a home’s hot water needs from the sun’s rays.

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Business Spotlight Community Forklift

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Clean Currents staff member Nicole Dvorak had a chance to sit with Ruthie Mundell at Community Forklift to chat all things sustainable interior design.

Community Forklift is the area’s leading thrift store for new and reclaimed flooring, cabinets, lumber, appliances, paint, doors, windows, bricks, lighting, radiators, hardware, insulation, sinks, tubs, toilets and more.

Here’s what Nicole learned about the ins and outs of shopping for reclaimed furniture and decor:

The Scoop

Everyone is looking for a great piece of furniture, filing cabinet, sink, something to re-purpose for our living space while not dropping a wad of cash on it.  And while we’re out there desperately trying to find a coffee table that *might* fit our style and not break the bank, if we could be eco-savvy AND help the community at the same time, we’d feel even groovier about it.  Enter Community Forklift.

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Shoot for the Stars

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What do jet engines, computers, transistors, the internet, and the Global Positioning System (GPS) have in common?  They all owe their existence to early stage investment by the U.S. Government.

When it comes to emerging technologies and industries, very often the barriers to market entry can be prohibitively high for purely private sector investment.

Government funding can mitigate the high costs and risks of initial research and development (R&D) and through its huge power of procurement, government funding allows private industry to take bigger gambles on R&D.  With early stage investment, government funding aims to bring embryonic technologies to commercially viable products and services.  The experimentation that accompanies these new technologies can be very costly and entail considerable risks.  If private enterprise can imagine commercial promise in a radically new technical idea then it will gamble.  But there are limits to a firm’s willingness to gamble – and this is where government funding can step in.

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The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Purchases 100 Wind Power Through Clean Currents

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Clean Currents, a leading retail provider of wind power in Maryland and the District of Columbia, announced today that The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) will purchase renewable energy for its organizational locations. The CBF has committed to purchasing Green-e Energy certified wind power from Clean Currents for 100 percent of its facilities electricity usage.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s stunning headquarters (also known as The Philip Merrill Center) located in the Bay Ridge neighborhood east of downtown Annapolis, has won international acclaim as a model for energy efficiency, low impact design, and water conservation. It also has the distinction of being the first building in the United States to receive a Platinum rating through the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating program.

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Shale Gas Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing

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June 2011 Brief on Hydraulic Fracturing in Shale Gas Deposits / Update from September, 2010 Report

Background:
Recent discoveries of vast natural gas resources in the Marcellus Shale region (spanning PA, NY, MD and DE) and in other parts of the country are driving down natural gas prices and sparking a modern “gold rush” of companies seeking to cash in on new drilling opportunities. This abundance is leading many energy industry experts and politicians to tout the promise of natural gas as a major piece in meeting US energy needs and reducing dependence on foreign resources. Because natural gas typically has a lower carbon emissions profile than coal,  progressives (including President Obama and the Natural Resources Defense Council)  have joined more conventional allies of natural gas, calling it a ”bridge fuel” between coal-fired generation and renewable options. However, recent studies have found that shale gas may not be as an environmentally or climate friendly and a shift to this fuel source may actually lead to increased greenhouse gas emissions.

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Welcome, Annapolis Green Supporters! Help Build a Greener Annapolis

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Annapolis Green’s mission is to make Annapolis the greenest city in Maryland, a place where sustainability is a way of life and a source of pride.

Clean Currents is proud to support Annapolis Green’s initiatves and mission. Sign up for wind power today, and we’ll donate $25 to Annapolis Green.

By making the switch, you will:

  • Support the development of domestic wind power
  • Reduce your home’s carbon footprint
  • Join a community of thousands who have already made the switch to wind power

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Clean Currents First Benefit LLC in State of Maryland and Country

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CLEAN CURRENTS BECOMES FIRST BENEFIT LLC IN UNITED STATES

Green Energy Company’s Action Demonstrates Leadership in Sustainability

(ROCKVILLE, MD, June 1, 2011) – Clean Currents, a leading green energy provider in the Mid-Atlantic, today announced it has become the first company in the country to be designated a “Benefit LLC”.  This designation legally adds Clean Currents’ environmental and social commitments into the company’s legal charter.  Today was the first day that limited liability companies (LLC’s) could register as a “Benefit LLC” with the state of Maryland – which is the first state in the nation to recognize the designation.

“It’s natural for Clean Currents to be the first Benefit LLC” said Gary Skulnik, Co-Founder of Clean Currents.  “We were among the first companies in the state to have our energy products certified by Green-e Energy, the first to have our headquarters certified as sustainable by Montgomery County, and the first and only energy company in the state to be certified as a B-Corporation.”
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Wind Power for Home

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By making the switch, you will:

  • Support the development of domestic wind power
  • Reduce your home’s carbon footprint
  • Join a community of thousands who have already made the switch to wind power

Clean Currents wind power for home is an easy option:

  • No special equipment or installation required
  • No change in billing or electricity service
  • No change in dependability of power
  • Rates are competitive with standard utility rates

Learn more about how Clean Currents wind power works

Weighing the options? Learn more about Neighborhood Wind vs. National Wind RECs

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Clean Current is Now an Independent Electricity Supplier

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As of July 15, 2011 Clean Currents is no longer affiliated with WGES and is now a full-fledged & independent electricity supplier

For anyone who enrolled with Clean Currents AFTER July 15, 2011, Clean Currents will serve as your sole electricity supplier.

If you enrolled with Clean Currents BEFORE July 15, 2011 this transition from wind power broker to wind power supplier will NOT affect the terms of your contract or the delivery of wind power to your home!  You will continue to receive reliable power and service through the end of your current contract!  But in order to remain a Clean Currents customer, you will have to take action as your current electricity contract approaches expiration!

  • As the expiration date of your current contract approaches you should expect to receive a renewal letter in the mail from WGES
  • If you would like to be supplied directly by Clean Currents, you will have to REJECT WGES’s renewal offer and enroll through our website
  • *Be sure to check when your current electricity contract expires before enrolling, otherwise youmay face an early termination fee from WGES!  You can do this by calling WGES at 888.884.9437

If your current electricity contract is nearing expiration and you have received a renewal notice in the mail from WGES, you will need to contact them at (888-884-9437) and reject their renewal offer.  *If you do not do this, you will be automatically renewed directly with WGES and will no longer be a Clean Currents customer.  Once you have rejected the WGES renewal offer, you will be free to enroll in a new electricity contract with Clean Currents.   

If you have time remaining in your electricity contract and have not yet received a renewal notice from WGES you do not have to take any action at the moment.  If you attempt to enroll in one of our wind power offers you may face a cancelation penalty from WGES.  To avoid this you will have to wait until you receive a renewal notice from WGES before acting.

Clean Currents will continue to offer its affordable 50% and 100% wind power sourced from wind farms across the country with our National Wind RECs product.

But we have also rolled out our newest offer, Neighborhood Wind™, which is a premium wind power product produced by local wind farms located within our regional grid.

  • Our commitment to our customers and the communities in which we operate
  • Our passion for clean energy and reducing our nation’s carbon emissions
  • Our focus on sustainability – Clean Currents is the ONLY energy company in the region that exclusively offers Green-e Energy certified wind power and the only energy company that is both acertified B-Corp and a registered Benefit LLC

Clean Currents is stronger than ever, with our transition to a full-fledged electricity supplier, we are able to better serve our customers and ensure that the products we provide meet rigorous third party verified environmental standards.

  • Truly Green:  Be sure to check the facts behind a company’s green claims.  Are their claims certified by an impartial third-party?  Have they gone through reputable green screening processes?  Any company can say they are green, but it’s meaningless without verification.  Clean Currents is the only energy company in the Mid-Atlantic that is certified for sustainable operations by two separate, independent groups – Montgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection Green Business Certification Program, and B Corporation.
  • A Different Kind of Business:  We are a Certified B Corporation, one of only a dozen in the Maryland and DC area, and the only energy company with this designation.  This means that we put our commitment to sustainable operations, stakeholder engagement, and transparency right into our legal operating agreements.  In other words, our green claims are real and not just marketing ploys.
  • Advocating Green Solutions:  When you support Clean Currents with your wind power purchase, you are getting an environmental “two-fer.”  We not only sell wind power, but we support several partner organizations in advocating for positive environmental legislation.  For example, Clean Currents has been integral in pushing for the Offshore Wind bill in Maryland, which will bring large wind farms to our coastal areas.  Our competitors may sell wind power, but many have lobbied to kill good environmental and clean energy bills like the Offshore Wind Bill.  Only Clean Currents has a 100% record of supporting clean energy legislation in Maryland and Washington, DC.
  • Local:  Clean Currents was started by local Maryland entrepreneurs and is an integral part of Maryland and Washington DC’s civic life through the many groups our team is a part of as well as the deep connections we have in the greater community. 
  • Flexible Options:  Clean Currents offers LOCAL as well as NATIONAL wind.  You can choose which you prefer.
  • Highest Standards:  All of our energy products are Green-e Energy certified.  This is important because having a third party independently verify that our products meet the highest environmental quality standards ensures that you, the consumer are getting exactly what you pay for.  When other energy companies tell you they are selling you green power, you have no guarantee on exactly the kind of green power they are selling you!
  • What We Don’t Sell:  Unlike our competitors, some of whom try to say they are “green”, we do not make the vast majority of our money by selling carbon-emitting energy. In fact, Clean Currents doesn’t sell ANY polluting energy products!

 

We hope that this guide helped clarify our current situation and we hope that you will join us in this next phase of growth!

CONTACT US if you have any questions or comments and thank you for your continued support.

~Team Clean Currents

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LEED Points for Renewable Energy

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Clean Currents is a proud member of the USGBC and is able to provide LEED®certification and energy efficiency consulting services.

Building owners that pursue LEED® certification have three ways to earn points in the rating system from renewable energy.

Clean Currents provides all three!

  1. Utility green power purchase
  2. Onsite clean energy generation, such as solar PV
  3. Green-e® certified Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)

Renewable energy certificates (RECs) are a key tool in the purchase of clean, sustainable power. Clean Currents is a  seller of “Green-e” certified RECs for commercial customers.

Special discounts are offered to USGBC members through an exclusive partnership.

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Wind Power FAQs – Switch to Green Energy

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How can I switch my home to wind power?

Maryland, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania have deregulated electricity markets. This means that residents (or businesses) in these places can choose their electricity supplier (you don’t have to remain with your local utility). When you switch to Clean Currents Wind Power, you are switching the source of your home’s electricity to carbon-neutral wind power.

Clean Currents offers TWO distinct wind power products:

  1. Neighborhood Wind™  Get the highest quality Green-e Energy certified wind power locally produced in Pennsylvania. You’re helping to increase the share of renewable energy in the Mid-Atlantic’s regional electricity grid.
  2. National Wind RECs  Support the domestic wind power industry with Green-e Energy certified National Wind sourced from wind farms located across the United States.  Wind power that’s affordable.

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Going Green at Home has Never Been Easier

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Over 10,000 of your neighbors have already made the switch to wind power with Clean Currents, and so can you!

Clean Currents is the only energy company in the Mid-Atlantic to exclusively offer Green-e Energy certified Local and National wind power.  (How does it work?)

  • Residents of Maryland, DC, and Pennsylvania can choose their electricity provider
  • Clean Currents offers low fixed-price electricity rates
  • Switching to Clean Currents involves NO installation of equipment and NO fees
  • Your local utility will continue to handle billing and service issues
  • There will be NO change in the dependability of power to your home
  • Switching to Clean Currents wind power at home is one of the easiest steps you can take to support a cleaner, greener future

By choosing 100% Clean Currents wind power at home, you are actively supporting domestic renewable energy development.  Your wallet will thank you too because Clean Currents offers the most affordable green power in the region.

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Clean Currents Wind Power for Home

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It’s Never been Easier to Go Green!  
As a resident of Maryland, Delaware, Washington DC, or Pennsylvania, you can choose your electric supplier.  Clean Currents is the region’s leading, independent green energy company providing electricity sourced from clean wind power.  The electricity that powers your house will still be delivered through the grid, so there is no installation of equipment and no change to the dependability of service at your home.  

By choosing Clean Currents you are actively helping to promote further renewable energy development in the United States.  Your wallet will thank you too because Clean Currents electric rates are competitive with rates through your local utility. Learn How it Works

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Clean Currents Certified as a B Corporation

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Clean Currents Certified as a B Corporation

Green Energy Firm Becomes First in Montgomery County and Fourth in State of Maryland to Achieve Certification

Clean Currents LLC., a leading green energy company in the Mid-Atlantic, today announced it has achieved certification as a B-Corporation, a socially responsible business designation.  This achievement makes Clean Currents only the fourth company in Maryland to attain this classification and the first in Montgomery County.

“At Clean Currents, we pride ourselves in being ahead of the curve in showing what it means to be a truly sustainable business,” said Gary Skulnik, Co-Founder of Clean Currents.  “Other companies talk about being sustainable, but getting certified as a B-Corporation, which includes independent third party verification, proves that we really walk the sustainable walk.”

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SolarCity Expands to the East Coast, Introduces Marylands First Solar Lease

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SolarCity Expands to the East Coast, Introduces Maryland’s First Solar Lease

Nation’s largest solar service provider acquires Clean Currents Solar, will extend solar leasing and energy efficiency services to Maryland and Washington D.C.

SolarCity®, already the largest solar service provider in the U.S. with 1,000 employees and more than 10,000 projects completed or underway, is expanding its operations to the East Coast. The company has acquired Clean Currents Solar, the solar installation division of leading Mid-Atlantic based independent green energy company Clean Currents LLC, and will serve Maryland and the District of Columbia from its new operations center in Silver Spring.

“Clean Currents has built a strong, local installation team that we will grow to bring zero-down solar leasing and a range of other clean power and energy efficiency options to Maryland and Washington D.C.,” said Lyndon Rive, SolarCity’s CEO. “This partnership should significantly increase solar and energy efficiency adoption in the Mid-Atlantic region.”

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Wind Power Facts

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How can I switch my home to wind power?

Maryland, Washington DC, Delaware, and Pennsylvania are de-regulated energy states. This means that as a resident of one of these states you can choose your electric supplier. Clean Currents allows you to go carbon-neutral at home. We do this by bundling national wind power produced by wind farms situated across the country with your home’s electricity use. This bundled product is delivered through the Mid-Atlantic grid (also known as the PJM grid) and supplied by Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES). By choosing wind power for your home through Clean Currents you are helping to decrease your carbon footprint by offsetting the emissions from your electricity use with clean renewable wind power.

If I switch to Clean Currents, does my electric utility no longer serve me?

Your local utility will always be your electric distributor, regardless of which company you choose as your electric supplier. Even if you switch to Clean Currents, your local utility will continue to service your home as your electric distributor.

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How Clean Currents Wind Power at Home Works?

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How Does it Work?

Residents and businesses in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Pennsylvania can choose their electric supplier (you are not obligated to stay with your utility for electric supply).  This is because of electricity deregulation.

Electricity deregulation can be best described through a metaphor.  Consider our national electric grid as a big pot of soup.  There are multiple ingredients that go into a soup – but once blended it can be difficult (if not impossible) to tell each ingredient apart from the others.

In the case of our national electric grid, different sources of electricity would be the different ingredients for the soup – carbon fuels like coal and natural gas, hydro power, nuclear, and renewable energy like wind power and solar power.  At the moment, the vast majority of our national electric grid is powered by carbon fuels.  Once an electron is placed onto the grid, it becomes essentially impossible to trace where it came from (electricity is electricity).  However, the source of where that electron was produced is very important!  (Click here to learn about electricity deregulation)

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Clean Currents Wind Power for Home Overview

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Clean Currents Wind Power allows residents of Maryland, Washington DC, Delaware, and Pennsylvania to go carbon-neutral.  Clean Currents bundles standard electricity from the Mid-Atlantic grid with Renewable Energy in the form of national renewable energy credits produced by domestic wind farms.  This bundled product is supplied through the grid by Washington Gas Energy Services.  There is NO installation of equipment required and NO change to the reliability of power to your home.

* Clean Currents wind power rates are currently LOWER than avg regional utility rates

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Green Neighborhood Challenge

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What is the Green Neighborhood Challenge?

As a resident of Maryland, DC, or Pennsylvania you can choose your electric supplier.  Clean Currents is the Mid-Atlantic’s leading green energy supplier.  With the Green Neighborhood Challenge you can also have your community, school, or house of worship powered by clean wind energy!  In addition to helping your community, school, or house of worship save money on their electric bills, we are also providing an extra incentive: Clean Currents will donate $10 per household sign-up to your registered community for use towards a “green project”.  Start a community garden, plant trees along sidewalks or medians, replace common-area light bulbs with fluorescents, etc.  The more people who sign-up for wind power and refer your community, the more resources you will have to complete your green project. 
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Greener in Greenbelt

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Greener in Greenbelt

Choose Green Power, Save Money and Support Greenbelt

Clean Currents is a licensed clean energy broker/aggregator offering special fixed price contracts for wind power at rates lower than PEPCO’s standard rates.* Even better mention “Greener in Greenbelt” when you sign up and Clean Currents will donate $15 to the Greenbelt Community Foundation.

TO SIGN UP:

It’s easy!

When you are ready, click on the “ENROLL” button at the bottom of this page. Remember, you will need your BGE or Pepco account number to proceed.

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Purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to Offset Your Carbon Footprint!

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Nearly 40% of the carbon emissions are generated from electricity production.  The more clean renewable energy from sources like wind power or solar, the less power generated from fossil fuels like coal or natural gas.

Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) represent the environmental attributes from 1000 kilowatt hours of clean energy!

Resident can purchase RECs directly (separate from their utility) to offset their electricity or more.

Who purchases RECs?

  • Can’t sign up for (Chesapeake Green) 
  • Live in an apartment or school dormatory and not responsible for paying a bill
  • Want to offset more than just your electricity’s carbon footprint.

 

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Green Neighborhood Effect

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What is the Green Neighborhood Effect?

It’s a Community Powered by Clean Energy!  As a resident of Maryland or DC, you can choose to have your business or home powered by clean wind energy.  With the Green Neighborhood Effect you can also have your community, school, or house of worship powered by clean wind energy!  In addition to helping your community, school, or house of worship save money on their electricity bills, we are also providing an extra incentive: Clean Currents will donate $10 per household sign-up to your registered community for use towards a “green project”.  Start a community garden, plant trees along sidewalks or medians, replace common-area light bulbs with fluorescents, etc.  The more people who sign-up for wind power and refer your community, the more resources you will have to complete your green project.  All we ask is that all funds are used for a community greening project and that you complete it by summer 2010.
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Conscious Corner: Multiple Paths to Healthy Living

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Clean Currents’ own Claire Douglass testifying to protect customer rights

Clean Currents testifed at the DC Public Service Commission (DC PSC) hearing on deceptive marketing and sales practices by alternative energy suppliers.

Complaints about deceptive marketing practices by alternative energy suppliers have skyrocketed over the past few years, prompting a hearing. Many of our customers have faced issues with other alternative energy suppliers, ranging from being enrolled without consent to being unable to cancel their contract. We find these practices unacceptable and are calling on the Public Service Commission to do something about it.

We are asking the DC Public Service Commission to institute higher standards for transparency and accountability to ensure consumer protection among alternative energy suppliers operating in the District of Columbia.

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Solar Installation

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Clean Currents Solar designs and installs small and large scale solar photovoltaic (PV), solar thermal and small wind power systems.  The company is a leading solar power installer in the Mid Atlantic region, including Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Washington DC.

Click here to request a free site evaluation.

Our experienced crews have installed hundreds of installs ranging from small residential to large commerical systems.  Our team is led by  a certified solar installer along with a licensed engineer.  The result is a detailed site analysis and understanding on how best to complete the work required, whatever the size.  We provide a turn key approach to solar power system installations. 

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Climate Change and the Human Effect

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Human activities, especially the burning of carbon fuels, have warmed the earth by dramatically increasing the concentrations of heat-trapping or greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), in the earth’s atmosphere. The presence of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere is natural and is what makes our planet habitable by regulating temperature extremes. But as humans pump more of these gases into the atmosphere, our world’s delicate and complex climate system is being increasingly stressed.

The impacts of climate change can already be observed in many places, from rising sea levels to melting snow and ice, to changing weather patterns and increasingly violent storm systems. These effects are already affecting ecosystems, freshwater supplies, human health, agriculture yields, and physical property.

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C Green Overview

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Clean Currents Wind Power allows residents of the Mid-Atlantic to go carbon-neutral.  Clean Currents bundles standard electricity from the Mid-Atlantic grid with Renewable Energy produced by wind turbine farms in the United States.  This bundled product is supplied by Washington Gas Energy Services.  There is no installation of equipment required and no change to the reliability of power to your home.  YOU CAN ALSO SAVE MONEY!  Clean Currents wind power rates are LOWER than avg Pepco, BGE, and Allegheny rates.

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Go LEED! Go RECs!

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“We purchase 100% wind power RECs for our entire property portfolio of over 3 million square feet including office, apartment, retail and restaurant space. It’s part of our corporate philosophy to develop and maintain sustainable, healthy buildings.”
Marnie Abramson
The Tower Companies

Buildings powered by Clean Currents are choosing clean, sustainable power that is good for the environment, good for future generations, and can help position them to qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification.

Clean Currents and LEED Certification –
A Simple Way to Get Two LEED Points.

LEED grants credits for clean energy purchasing. A building can earn one LEED point by purchasing renewable energy to meet at least 50% of its needs in a contract of at least two years. A building can earn an additional LEED point by substantially exceeding the minimum energy purchase level. A 100% clean energy purchase can earn two LEED points.

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Go Green Power!

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Go Green, Go Smart… Save $ While you Help Save the Environment!

  • Reduce your organization’s CO2 emissions, help combat global warming, and clear the air.
  • Increase investor and analyst confidence in your sustainability practices, and improve your environmental performance record.
  • Foster employee and customer loyalty through community action.
  • Strengthen your brand’s association with a clean environment and a healthy lifestyle
    • Add Clean Currents logos to your marketing materials.
    • Receive certificate and banners to display at your business
    • Press releases or other media to get the word out
    • Introduction to clean energy homeowners through Clean Currents newsletters and sponsored events

How does Clean Currents work?

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