You know how every time you go to the farmer's market, or any sustainable street event in NYC, the wind power guys are there? All cheerfully hailing you as you pass, like, "Hey, it's so easy to switch to wind power!"
And because you're a New Yorker, you look down at the pavement and imperceptibly shake your head in a way that says, "I didn't notice you talking to me, but if I did, the answer is no."
Well, actually, they're right. It is easy. But you don't need to seek out their chipper services to switch to an alternative energy provider. I know your (and your roommate's) next question, and the answer is, it's not even more expensive. It's cheaper.
Let me lay it down for you, because I did it.
There's this thing called Power to Choose in New York. (There are other, similarly-named initiatives in other states, too.) Not to be confused with Right to Choose or anything involved with abortion, it means that, unlike your cable provider (F you, Time Warner, die, die, die) you can actually choose to get your electricity from anywhere you want. Most people don't know this. It's like this dirty little secret of saving tons of money, that doesn't involve standing for an hour in line at Trader Joe's or borrowing your parents' HBO Go pass.
How to Switch to Cheaper Wind Power Electricity
So, here's what you do. Go to this website. Type in your zip code and click the button. Ok, now you're looking at a list of all the different places you can get your energy, and how much they will charge you. ConEd is at the top, and as of this writing, is charging 0.1156 kwh. Check the box on the left next to it. Now press Command+f, and type in "wind." Now, all the wind power sources are highlighted for you. Check the box next to all those. Now, head back up to the top and click the Compare button. Now all the offers for wind-powered electricity are listed next to each other, along with what you probably have right now, ConEd. As I write this, I see six offers that are cheaper than ConEd. Two of those have no cancellation fees. Those look awesome. I'm going to go with Green Mountain Energy Company, which charges a variable 0.099 kwh and no cancellation fee.
Call up ConEd. After you're on hold for a little bit, a very nice representative will come on. Tell him or her that you want to switch power sources, and tell him or her which one you want. She'll be very pleasant about it, and also inform you that just for switching, you get a discount for a few months! Nice! Ask her if you need to fill out any paperwork, or if you need to call up the other company, or pay a separate bill, or anything else annoying. She will say, "Nope, you are all set. Thank you so much and have a great day." That just took you about 15 minutes.
Now, go tell your roommate or husband or whoever that you just lowered your electricity bill and they owe you a hug.
Photo credit: Flickr/PhotoAtelier