Some, if not most, energy companies offer some sort of “green power” option for their customers to sign up for. I know that were I used to live in Los Angeles, we were serviced by the LADWP, which offered this kind of power for a few extra bucks a month. Where I live now, they don’t offer it – in fact, when I wrote them about it, they told me it is already built into the price of the energy, making it, in effect, mandatory for all customers to pay for some development of green power. When you buy green power from your utility company, you are not getting your power from a wind turbine, for example, but rather you are giving the company extra money to invest in and/or buy from energy suppliers using these technologies.
If your utility company does not offer you any way to buy green power, you can always buy renewable energy certificates which fund development and research in alternative energy – solar, wind, water, etc. Granted, you will pay a lot more for these REC’s, but you are at least helping us to develop alternatives!
So check out your next utility bill or give them a call when you get a chance and inquire about green power. From what I have seen, it normally only costs a few extra dollars a month to buy this kind of power, and if everyone in the community does the same, it will be that much faster that we can ween ourselves off coal and other dirty power supplies. You can also check out the U.S. Department of Energy, which maintains a list of the companies that do offer green power.
Of course, if you can afford it, go all out and install solar panels on your roof and wind turbines in your yard. That way, you can sell the clean power to the utility company and not have any bills at all!