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Green Power: Make Your Plug-in Vehicle Even Greener

Picture of green car in a field with windmills in background

Your plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicle can help reduce oil dependence. It can also reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) that lead to climate change if the electricity you use is produced by renewable energy. Even if most of the electricity in your area is generated by coal or other fossil fuels, you may be able to purchase green power for your vehicle.

What Is Green Power?

Green Power is electricity generated wholly or in part from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, geothermal, hydropower, and various forms of biomass.

The actual electricity delivered to your outlet may not be green, but your purchase of green power ensures that the power company generates that amount of power from renewable energy or purchases it from another provider that does.

What Are The Benefits?

Green power lowers our dependence on foreign oil. It also generates less pollution than conventional power and produces no net increase in GHG emissions, helping protect human health and the environment.

How Can I Purchase Green Power?

Check with your local power company. More than half of U.S. consumers can purchase green power directly from their electricity supplier. You can often purchase it in small "blocks" of electricity (a set number of kilowatt-hours each month) for just a few pennies more per kilowatt-hour, or less.

If green power is not available through your local power company, you can support renewable energy development through the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs), also known as "green tags." A variety of organizations offer RECs separate from electricity service. So, you don't have to switch from your current electricity supplier in order to purchase them.

How Do I Know I'm Buying Green Power?

To help consumers more easily identify green power products, the "Green-e Energy" certification program has coordinated the development of market-based, consensus definitions for environmentally preferable renewable electricity and renewable energy certificates (RECs).