Green Electricity Pricing

Purchasing electricity from renewable sources...

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Green Electricity Pricing is an Innovation goal in the Cornell Climate Action Plan (CAP).


Pictured above is the Snyder Road Solar Farm, Cornell’s first large-scale solar initiative. This is one step in Cornell’s plans for a low carbon future. (Ryan Landvater / Sun File Photo)
Pictured above is the Snyder Road Solar Farm, Cornell’s first large-scale solar initiative. This is one step in Cornell’s plans for a low carbon future. (Ryan Landvater / Sun File Photo)


Establish a framework for Green Electricity pricing to enable buildings, departments, and colleges on campus to purchase renewable energy at a slightly higher cost from both internal and external sources.

Goal: Building/departments/colleges purchase renewable energy from internal sources (solar, hydro, etc.) at a slightly higher cost, and revenue generated through the surcharge is used to implement small energy conservation projects.

Current renewable energy production on campus from the hydroelectric plant and solar installations on Day Hall and The Campus Store amounts to roughly 5,711,500 kWh per year. The Snyder Road solar farm will add 2.5M kWh to this total. This green energy can be sold to various units on campus for a slightly higher surcharge, on the order of $.02 per kWh. All buildings, departments, and colleges would be invited to participate in the Green Electricity Pricing scheme, and they could choose to buy anything from a small fraction of their total usage to 100% of their electricity from internal renewable sources.

Once adequate funds accumulate from the surcharge, they could be used to finance energy saving projects, such as efficient lighting upgrades or replacement of space heaters with foot warmers. Funds could also be combined with unit or college allocations to buy down the payback on larger projects, for example, to upgrade lab controls to reduce airflow. Qualifying projects would have a minimum of five-year simple payback on the initial investment.

Next Steps

  • Establish a process for pooling and distributing the surcharge funds.
  • Determine how energy savings from small projects will replenish the fund over time.
  • Work to ensure that 100% of available renewable energy is “sold” to various buildings/departments/colleges on campus.
  • Accumulate renewable energy surcharge proceeds for two years, and utilize these proceeds to implement energy conservation projects.

Resources

Educate and raise awareness among buildings/departments/colleges about the value of renewable energy and the proposed energy conservation projects, so that they purchase this energy at a slightly higher cost.