Green Power FAQ

The Maine Green Power Program

What is renewable energy and why is it important?

Renewable energy is energy from sources that replenish themselves without depleting the Earth’s resources.

Compared to traditional energy sources, renewable energy offers benefits including:

Lower levels of air pollutants and wastewater Reduced greenhouse gas emissions Reduced reliance on imported and domestic fossil fuels Boosts to Maine’s economy and job availability due to investments in local renewable energy projects

Can I reduce my monthly energy bill and still participate in the program?

An easy way of reducing costs is to reduce the amount of energy you use. For example, if you install compact fluorescent light bulbs in place of conventional bulbs, you would reduce the amount of electricity you use, thus reducing your bill. In fact, if you conserve enough energy at the same time you buy green power, your overall electric bill might not increase at all. You would benefit and so would the environment! For more information please visit Efficiency Maine.

How do I know that I’m getting what I pay for?

The Maine Public Utilities Commission provides oversight to ensure that only eligible Maine renewable energy resources are used to generate energy for Maine Green Power. In addition, Maine Green Power will issue annual reports that outline the mix of renewable resources your household or business purchased through Maine Green Power.

Who manages Maine Green Power?

Maine Green Power is a program of the Maine Public Utilities Commission. 3Degrees Group Inc., a national leader in green power program services, was selected by the Commission via a competitive proposal process to help manage and grow the program.

Can I sign up if I live in an apartment?

Yes, the Maine Green Power program is available to renters. 

Am I required to participate?

Participation in Maine Green Power is strictly voluntary.

Can I cancel whenever I want?

Yes. There is no commitment. Simply email to cancel

How do I sign up?

You may enroll your home or business in the Maine Green Power Program at this link:

How does Maine Green Power work?

When enrolled in Maine Green Power, the program will purchase certificates (see below) from renewable energy facilities in Maine on your behalf. This guarantees that electricity from facilities like wind, solar, and biomass is delivered to the regional power system. Electricity from renewable energy facilities replaces and reduces the need for electricity generated from non-renewable sources like fossil fuels, creating measurable environmental benefits.

How does Maine Green Power purchase renewable energy?

Renewable energy is purchased to match your participation level in the form of renewable energy certificates (RECs). RECs are one way the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend procuring renewable energy. To learn more about RECs, see the questions below or visit the EPA's website.

Doesn't the State require renewable energy generation already?

All purchases through Maine Green Power are voluntary and represent the generation of green power above and beyond the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which sets a statewide minimum level of renewable energy use. For that reason, none of the renewable energy purchased by Maine Green Power participants can be used by Maine's electricity providers to fulfill their RPS requirements. Maine Green Power enables electricity customers to go beyond the RPS and “green” their own electricity use.

Does my purchase really make a difference?

Yes. Your purchase builds demand for Maine-based renewable energy, encouraging new renewable energy supply that helps support jobs and makes sustainable and productive use of our state’s resources. Maine Green Power is sourced from emissions-free and low-emissions electricity generators in Maine such as hydro, solar, and biomass. Maine Green Power will reduce carbon emissions under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative by retiring the Voluntary Renewable Energy (VRE) “set aside” of carbon allowances for every qualifying Maine Class I REC that is purchased for program supply. Each megawatt-hour that qualified for the VRE set-aside for 2012 avoided 907 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

We will issue an annual report detailing the mix of renewable resources each year and describing the positive environmental impact you've made thanks to your participation.

Who is eligible to participate in Maine Green Power?

Business and residential customers of Central Maine Power or Versant Power are eligible to participate in Maine Green Power.

Why should my business purchase Maine Green Power?

Choosing Maine Green Power may help your business:

Support emissions-free or low emission energy Be a leader in your community and industry Generate customer loyalty and employee pride Create positive publicity and earn recognition benefits Differentiate your company from the competition Connect with and market to environmentally conscious customers

What kind of renewable energy am I supporting through Maine Green Power?

Green power projects that are eligible to supply renewable energy to Maine Green Power include:

Solar photovoltaic systems Hydroelectric projects that meet state and local fish passage requirements Wind turbines Biomass facilities that use wood, wood waste, landfill gas or agricultural biogas Tidal power projects Geothermal projects Fuels cells that use landfill gas or agricultural biogas
Costs of the Program

What does it cost to participate in Maine Green Power?

Residential customers can match their home’s electricity use with Maine renewable energy by choosing the block size that works best for their household, from 250 kWh to 2,000 kWh. Every kWh matched with renewable energy makes a difference. The average Maine home uses 521 kilowatt hours a month, and you can refer to your own electricity bill to see how much you use. The cost for each block is $8.95 per month.

Residential customers can also participate in Maine Green Power at the half block (250 kWh) rate of $4.95 a month.

Monthly prices for commercial customers start at $8.95 per 500 kilowatt-hour block, with a bulk price of $6.45 per block if 10 or more blocks are purchased. The quantities can be customized to meet business needs and usage levels.

Why does renewable energy cost more than basic electrical service?

Maine Green Power costs a premium because customers are supporting the addition of more renewable energy above and beyond what their supplier is already purchasing on their behalf.

Is my purchase tax deductible?


Do the utility companies or the State of Maine make a profit on Maine Green Power?

No. The State of Maine, Central Maine Power and Versant Power do not make a profit from Maine Green Power.

Quick Facts About Renewable Energy

What is a kilowatt-hour (kWh)?

The kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a billing unit for energy delivered to consumers by electric utilities. In technical terms, a kilowatt-hour is a unit of energy equal to 1000 watt hours. The average home in Maine uses 521 kWh a month. Maine Green Power offers renewable energy in 500 kilowatt-hour blocks in order to approximate the average household’s energy use and give residents the ability to scale up their impact.

What is a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC)?

Renewable energy certificates (RECs) are proof that 1,000 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy have been generated and delivered to the regional power pool. RECs represent the environmental, or green, attributes of the power produced by renewable energy projects. RECs are sold separately from the electricity and are one way the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend procuring renewable energy.

For every unit (in New England, measured in 1,000 kilowatt-hour blocks) of renewable energy generated and delivered to the regional power pool, an equal number of RECs are created. As such, RECs provide a tracking mechanism to ensure that no two customers pay for the same unit of renewable energy generation. The more RECs that are sold, the more demand is created for renewable energy. As renewable energy facilities sell their RECs, demand shifts to bring more renewable energy sources on-line. New renewable energy sources are being constructed in Maine to meet the demand created for renewable energy.

When you sign up for Maine Green Power, 3Degrees contracts for RECs to match your purchase level. Your purchase of RECs benefits the environment by encouraging greater renewable energy generation and displacing non-renewable generation from the electricity system. To learn more about RECs, please visit the EPA website.

Will renewable energy resources be delivered directly to my home or business?

The electricity generated from the renewable resources that you support through Maine Green Power is put into the regional power-supply grid along with electricity from Maine's other energy resources. While it is not possible to differentiate the various electricity sources at the point of delivery (a.k.a. your home or business), by choosing Maine Green Power, you are helping to increase the proportion of renewable energy that is available to the entire system.

Will the power to my home be dependent upon the wind blowing or the sun shining?

No. Your power will continue to be uninterrupted because you are connected to the regional electricity system. The power that travels through the network of lines and wires that bring electricity to your home or business comes from a variety of generating sources.

How are environmental equivalencies calculated?

The environmental equivalencies (such as trees planted, miles driven, etc.) for Maine Green Power are calculated using methodologies developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You can learn more by visiting the Calculations and References page on the EPA website.