SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

TVA Green Power Switch


green_power_switch.jpgLike any revolutionary idea, the idea behind Green Power Switch is simple: harness the natural power of the wind, the sun, and the earth to create an energy source that’s usable in our everyday lives. Working in cooperation with the environmental community, TVA developed Green Power Switch as a way to bring green power — electricity that’s generated by renewable resources such as solar, wind, and methane gas — to Valley consumers.

How much does Green Power Switch cost?
Green Power Switch is sold to residential consumers in 150-kilowatt-hour blocks (about 12 percent of a typical household’s monthly energy use). Each block adds $4 to the customer’s monthly power bills. Consumers may buy as many blocks as they like. In other parts of the country, residential consumers who participate in green power programs pay an extra $2 to $10 per month for green power. Green Power Switch is also marketed to commercial and industrial consumers, who are asked to buy blocks based on the amount of energy they use.

How does green power benefit the environment?
The environmental effects of traditional energy sources like coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear power can be significant. 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 Power Switch to equal the environmental benefits of planting an acre of trees in the Tennessee Valley.

Why does green power cost more?
Although renewable sources like sunlight and wind are free, the technology used to capture the energy they produce is currently more expensive than traditional power generation methods. However, increased demand leads to lower costs as production of renewable technologies expands.

Where are the Green Power Switch generation sites located?
TVA has built the first commercial wind-powered turbines in the Southeastern U.S. on Buffalo Mountain in Anderson County, Tennessee. Solar generation sites are located in the service areas of participating public power companies. And methane gas is providing power at Allen Fossil Plant in Memphis, where a methane waste by-product from the city’s wastewater treatment plant is used for co-firing.

How much electricity does Green Power Switch produce?
TVA has the capacity to provide as much as 97 million kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Physical laws determine where electricity is ultimately used, so power from these sources will go into TVA’s electric system as part of the Valley’s total power mix, rather than to individual homes or businesses. When the green power resources aren’t operating — for instance, when wind speeds are too low to generate energy — TVA’s other resources will continue to supply reliable electricity.

How many consumers does Green Power Switch serve?
Green Power Switch can provide enough electricity to supply one block, which equals 150 kWh, a month for about 54,000 Tennessee Valley homes, plus an ample supply of energy for participating businesses and industries.

How do I sign up for Green Power Switch?
To sign up online, click here or call 866-673-4340.