What is The Energy Co-op?
The Energy Co-op was founded in 1979 and over the past 40 years we have grown and expanded our energy services in order to help people buy, use, and understand energy better. We were the first renewable electricity supplier in Philadelphia and the first Renewable Natural Gas supplier in the Delaware Valley. Today, we provide the region with renewable electricity, Renewable Natural Gas, and home heating oil.
We pride ourselves on being a unique energy supplier that does things differently. As a nonprofit cooperative we are able to focus on our community in ways that most other energy suppliers do not. For 40 years we have been leading the way for affordable and sustainable energy usage in southeastern Pennsylvania.
What is a cooperative?
A consumer cooperative is a business that is started, owned, and run by its members for their benefit. This means that we exist to meet our members’ energy needs. Unlike other energy companies, if you buy your energy from The Energy Co-op, you have a say in how we do business.
Who can join The Energy Co-op?
Membership is open to everyone in the territories that we serve. If you live in southeastern Pennsylvania or northern Delaware, you qualify for heating oil membership. If you are served by PECO or PP&L for electricity, you can switch to renewable electricity from The Energy Co-op. If you live in PECO gas territory, you can sign up for our Renewable Natural Gas program.
How is The Energy Co-op different from other energy suppliers?
We’re a nonprofit cooperative that works for our members. We are owned by and are accountable directly to our membership. As a result of this, we make efforts to educate our community about responsible and sustainable energy usage. As a nonprofit, we do not engage in deceptive or misleading practices that some other suppliers use, and when you join The Energy Co-op, you are not a customer, but a member of the community with direct say in how we do business.
Are there any membership fees?
No. There are currently no fees associated with Energy Co-op membership for any of our programs. Complete transparency is one of the reasons people choose to source their energy from us instead of other energy companies. We do not use teaser rates, hidden charges, or cancellation fees for any of our programs. You are always able to check your current energy rate or the current price of oil by calling, emailing, or checking online.
What are the benefits of joining The Energy Co-op?
- No sign-up or membership fees and completely transparent pricing.
- Membership in a local, nonprofit, mission-driven organization.
- Access to member-only events in Philadelphia and the surrounding area.
- No contracts – cancel service anytime without cancellation fees.
- Cooperative ownership means that members vote on the organization’s governance and direction.
What is The Energy Co-op doing for our community?
One of our main priorities is to give back to the community that we serve. We go to schools, universities, community events, and other venues to discuss responsible, sustainable energy use. You can see us all over southeastern Pennsylvania tabling, teaching, volunteering, and discussing clean energy. Be sure to check out our blog, The Current, to see what’s happening in the local energy space. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on what we’re doing!
How do I join The Energy Co-op?
What say do I have in how The Energy Co-op does business?
The Energy Co-op is accountable to its members. We hold an Annual Membership Meeting (AMM) where members will receive a report on the state of The Energy Co-op and have the opportunity to elect our Board of Directors. Our Board oversees the operations of the Co-op and is elected by the membership for two-year terms. In between AMMs, there are a variety of member events where members have the opportunity to provide their thoughts and feedback directly to The Energy Co-op.
How do I contact The Energy Co-op?
We are always happy to speak with our members (or future members!) either by email or phone. Call 215.413.2122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to answer any and all of your questions.
Renewable Electricity Program
What is renewable electricity?
Our renewable electricity is sourced from 99% wind and 1% solar power arrays. Generation of our clean electricity produces zero pollution and is created by the infinite, renewable resources of the wind and sun.
Why should I sign up for renewable electricity?
By default, your power comes from a mix of mostly non-renewable sources. In Pennsylvania, it’s mostly coal, natural gas, and nuclear. As a result, electricity is a leading source of pollution, including carbon emissions, here and throughout the United States. However, in Pennsylvania, you get to choose how your power is made. By choosing wind and solar, the average Pennsylvania household will save approximately 8,173 lbs. of pollution*, each year! Even more amazing? It takes less than two minutes to sign up, does not require any new equipment or changes to your home, and your electric utility will continue to deliver electricity to your home or business.
Why should I buy electricity from The Energy Co-op instead of another supplier?
We are the only local nonprofit renewable electricity supplier in southeastern Pennsylvania, and one of the few suppliers that sells only 100% renewable electricity. Many other suppliers are subsidiaries of larger fossil fuel companies that mainly sell coal and natural gas-fired electricity. The Energy Co-op is a different kind of energy supplier. As a member-owned, nonprofit cooperative, we work for our members to help them affordably and sustainably buy, use, and understand energy.
What is the difference between EcoChoice National and EcoChoice Pennsylvania?
EcoChoice Pennsylvania is made up of 99% wind, 1% solar power sourced from projects located only in Pennsylvania. This keeps your energy dollars local and supports the state’s renewable economy by supporting clean energy jobs and providing further incentive for developers to build clean energy projects in our state.
EcoChoice National is made up of 99% wind, 1% solar power that is sourced from projects all over the country. This provides a more affordable way to protect our environment while encouraging increased clean energy development in the United States.
What is the difference between fixed and variable rates?
Variable rates vary from month to month based on market conditions. This rate is set at the first business day of every month. You can choose a different Energy Co-op plan or provider whenever you like, without penalty.
Fixed rates are guaranteed for at least 12 months. But, again, there is still no penalty to you if you change plans or providers before the end of that period.
At The Energy Co-op, we believe in complete transparency. That means no teaser rates, no cancellation fees, and no hidden charges with any of our programs. What you see is what you pay.
How will my bill change?
Your electric utility will continue to deliver your electricity and bill you for it. You’ll just see The Energy Co-op listed as your electric generation supplier on your bill. That’s how you know your money is going to 100% renewable electricity from wind and solar power!
How do I know if I can power my home or business with The Energy Co-op’s renewable electricity?
Everyone who pays a bill from PECO and PPL can get renewable electricity from The Energy Co-op.
How do I sign up for renewable electricity from The Energy Co-op?
You can enroll in three ways:
- online at www.theenergy.coop/enrollment
- by email to email@example.com
- call us at 215-413-2122.
Signing up only takes a few minutes and, after you do, you’ll be able to rest assured knowing that your home or business will soon be powered by clean, renewable electricity from a local, nonprofit cooperative.
After I sign up, when will my supply of clean electricity from The Energy Co-op begin?
When you sign up for renewable electricity with The Energy Co-op, it usually takes about 3 to 5 days for your electric utility to process your membership. Then, we’ll send you a confirmation email and you’ll see The Energy Co-op listed as your electric generation supplier on your bill.
I accidentally switched/was switched to a different supplier, help!
“Slamming” is when electricity suppliers mislead consumers to secure their enrollment. Regrettably, some energy suppliers are unscrupulous. If you believe this has happened to you, please click here and submit a report to the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission – http://www.puc.state.pa.us/filing_resources/filing_complaints.aspx.
Then, give us a call at 215-413-2122. We will be happy to sign you back up.
Can you supply my small business?
Yes. We supply owners of both multi-family rental properties and small businesses through all of our energy programs, including renewable electricity. Just submit a commercial quote request online, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 215-413-2122.
Will choosing renewable electricity from The Energy Co-op affect any of my billing assistance programs?
Joining The Energy Co-op will not affect your use of Budget Billing, your eligibility for LIHEAP, or the Senior Discount on the distribution portion of your bill. Unfortunately, PECO customers on the Customer Assistance Program (CAP) are not eligible to choose any electric supplier at this time.
*Indirect savings, based on an average use of 10.37 MWh/year, at 788.2lbs. of carbon dioxide emissions per MWh.
Renewable Natural Gas Program
What is Renewable Natural Gas?
Renewable Natural Gas (or RNG) is comprised primarily of methane that forms naturally from the decomposition of organic waste in landfills and other waste treatment facilities. Also known as biogas, it is often flared, burning it, and wasting its energy content. However, RNG can also be used like conventional natural gas. But, it is recovered without any drilling or fracking.
Why would I want to change to using RNG?
Conventional natural gas is recovered by deep drilling and environmentally destructive fracking, including here in Pennsylvania. The results? Subsurface and surface disturbance, groundwater contamination, and air emissions of raw methane from drilling and production rigs. By enrolling in The Energy Co-op’s RNG program, you are reducing the demand for conventional natural gas and therefore reducing the environmental damage caused by drilling and fracking. In addition, you are using, and promoting the use of, an abundant, sustainable resource. Finally, you are directly supporting businesses and projects that capture this valuable resource and put it to good use.
Who can sign up for The Energy Co-op’s RNG program?
Anyone who receives a gas bill from PECO or PGW can enroll in The Energy Co-op’s Renewable Natural Gas program.
Does RNG cost more than conventional natural gas?
In the year ended July 2020, the additional cost for the average residence in our service area was between 60 and 75 cents a day, a fraction of the cost of a cup of coffee. For those committed to acting now to improve our environment, we and our RNG program members believe it’s a small cost for a cleaner, more sustainable Pennsylvania. Please note that PECO and PGW change their gas rates every few months. And our RNG program rates are also subject to change monthly (although we work as hard as we can to keep them steady). So, the difference in cost will vary. For those desiring more information, our current RNG rates and detailed terms applicable to PECO and PGW customers can be found here.
Does The Energy Co-op’s RNG program charge any fees?
No. The Energy Co-op’s RNG program does not charge any fees in addition to our RNG rates for your consumption for residential accounts. No enrollment fee, no membership fee, no monthly fee, and no cancellation fee. You can leave the program at any time by notifying your gas utility or us. Of course, we hope you will be like the vast majority of our members and continue to support The Energy Co-op for years to come. Please note that (1) both PECO and PGW charge account and other distribution fees, none of which are paid to The Energy Co-op, and (2) for certain commercial accounts, prudent business practice occasionally requires The Energy Co-op to impose an early cancellation fee that is clearly disclosed in writing and discussed during the enrollment process.
How does The Energy Co-op’s RNG program work?
When you enroll in our RNG program, we become your gas supplier. Your utility (whether PECO or PGW) will remain your distributor. We supply gas to your utility, and the utility delivers it to you. For every unit of gas that you use, your money is going to support the recovery and use of RNG. There is nothing to install and no interruption of service. You will continue to be billed by your gas utility, and The Energy Co-op will be listed as your gas supplier within 1 to 2 billing cycles.
How do I enroll in The Energy Co-op’s Renewable Natural Gas program?
You can sign up at any time online at www.theenergy.coop/enrollment or by emailing us at email@example.com. You can also call us Monday through Friday, between 9am and 5pm, at 215.413.2122. Signing up for our Renewable Natural Gas program only takes a few minutes—and even less if you have your gas utility bill in hand.
How Does The Energy Co-op Source RNG?
Our RNG program is like our renewable electricity program. Just as there is only one set of electricity distribution wires, there is only one system of gas distribution pipes.
So, each program is supported by our purchase of what are called environmental attributes. For electricity, these are called renewable electricity certificates, or RECs. For renewable natural gas, these are called renewable natural gas credits, or RNGCs (pronounced “RINKS”). A REC represents 1 megawatt-hour of generated renewable electricity. A RNGC represents the direct equivalent of 1 mmBtu of landfill methane.
Since The Energy Co-op’s RNG program began, we have supported it in two ways: (1) We have acquired RNGCs from landfills that process biogas and inject it into the natural gas distribution system; and (2) we have acquired RECs from landfills that process biogas and use it to generate electricity. Both methods are industry-recognized means of sourcing RNG.
Please note that The Energy Co-op’s renewable electricity program is supported only by the purchase of 100% wind and solar RECs, not landfill biogas RECs.
What are the advantages of The Energy Co-op’s cooperative business model?
Because The Energy Co-op is a nonprofit that is owned by its members, our staff operates the cooperative business in an open, transparent manner. We answer to our members. So, there are no gimmicks or tricks. We like to think of ourselves as the energy supplier you can trust. In addition, we can innovate in ways that corporations have not. In 1999, The Energy Co-op became the first supplier of renewable electricity in southeastern Pennsylvania. And now, ours is the first—and only—Renewable Natural Gas program in the area.
What’s the difference between The Energy Co-op’s RNG program and other “green” gas options?
Many gas suppliers that advertise a “green” option purchase carbon offsets on your behalf. These offsets can be generated from investing in energy efficiency projects, planting trees, and other such projects that are intended to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. However, carbon offset projects do not necessarily reduce drilling or fracking, nor do they promote the use of abundant, sustainable biogas. As far as we know, The Energy Co-op’s RNG program is currently the only one serving southeastern Pennsylvania that directly supports the production and use of RNG.
Will participating in this program affect any billing assistance programs?
Choosing The Energy Co-op should not affect your use of Budget Billing, your eligibility for LIHEAP, or the Senior Discount on the distribution portion of your gas utility bill. Unfortunately, neither PGW customers with CRP nor PECO customers on CAP are eligible to choose any gas supplier other than their gas utility at this time.