Frequently Asked Questions

What is renewable energy and why is it important?

Renewable energy is generated from resources that can be replenished naturally, such as wind, solar, various forms of biomassgeothermalhydro power, offshore wind, wave and tidal. Renewable energy:

  1. Reduces the impact on the environment compared to non-renewable sources
  2. Lowers levels of air pollutants and wastewater
  3. Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
  4. Reduces reliance on imported and domestic fossil fuels
  5. Boosts local economies through job creation and investments in local renewable energy projects
What is the Blue Sky program?

Blue Sky is a way for customers to support renewable energy equal to all or part of their energy use. Through Blue Sky, customers can reduce their home or business' carbon footprint tied to their electricity use and drive demand for more renewable energy in the region. Depending on the enrollment option, customers may also help fund salmon and native fish habitat restoration projects in Oregon or help fund community-scale renewable energy projects in their state.

How does Blue Sky work?
  • You use electricity to power your home or business.
  • When you sign up for Blue Sky, you support renewable energy equal to all or part of your energy use.
  • You pay a little extra on your bill each month. Participation is voluntary, requires no contracts and can be canceled at any time.
  • Pacific Power purchases renewable energy certificates on your behalf from newly developed facilities in the western region of the United States.
What renewable energy resources will I support with Blue Sky?

The following resources are included in the 2017 Usage and Habitat mix: 

  • Wind: Wind energy is generated by air flow that powers turbines to produce electricity. Wind power is often used in conjunction with other power sources to maintain a reliable supply.
  • Biomass: When electricity is created by burning organic matter or the gas that is released from decomposing organic matter, it is called biomass. Many sources of low-emissions, non-toxic biomass can be supported by the Blue Sky program, including: 

- Solid organic fuels from wood, forest and field residues (e.g. saw dust from lumber mills)

- Dedicated energy crops available on a renewable basis

- Methane gas captured at landfills or from animal waste (e.g. dairy cow manure) 

  • Solar: Energy is harnessed from the sun through the use of photovoltaic cells in solar panels. This is currently the fastest growing source of renewable energy in the United States!
  • Geothermal: Geothermal energy refers to natural heat energy within the earth. We can recover this and use it to heat buildings or generate electricity. Most geothermal resources are deep underground and not visible from the surface, but sometimes they can be seen above ground in the form of geysers, hot springs and volcanoes.

The Block option supports 100% wind energy and the development of local, community-based renewable energy projects.

What are the benefits to signing up for Blue Sky?

Build a better future 

  1. Diversify regional energy sources
  2. Reduce fossil fuel dependency

Protect the environment 

  1. Reduce your carbon footprint
  2. Preserve natural resources

Support your community 

  1. Encourage new development of local and regional renewable energy projects
  2. Stimulate economic development and create jobs

Blue Sky participant rewards 

  1. Opportunity to tour renewable energy projects 
  2. Window cling and yard sign to show your support for renewable energy
  3. Access to mobile coupons from Blue Sky participating businesses
  4. Annual program report
  5. Biannual program newsletter
By supporting Blue Sky am I really making a difference?

Yes! Enrolling in Blue Sky makes a big impact – on the environment, local communities and more. Check out the difference (PDF) Blue Sky participants made last year.

Your participation helps reduce your carbon footprint and builds the market for renewable energy, decreasing the region's dependence on fossil fuels.

Supporting the Blue Sky Block option also helps fund the construction of new, smaller scale renewable energy projects in your state. See a full list of community renewable energy projects that customers have supported. 

Where is the renewable energy for the Blue Sky program generated?

Blue Sky customers support renewable energy from newly developed facilities in the western region. Learn more about the renewable energy resources that Blue Sky customers support.

See a list of facilities Blue Sky customers supportt and learn more about the community renewable energy projectss that Blue Sky customers have helped fund.

If I move, does the Blue Sky enrollment transfer to my new location?

Yes. If you sign up for Blue Sky and move within Pacific Power's service area, you will automatically continue with Blue Sky.

How do I sign up?

Sign up now or call us toll free at 1-800-769-3717.

Cost related answers

How much does Blue Sky cost?

Select your state to view your program options and cost.

To calculate what your expected costs would be, please visit our online calculator. 

Where does my money go?

Your money is allocated to three different funds:

  1. Renewable energy: Pacific Power purchases renewable energy certificates on your behalf from newly developed facilities in your region.
  2. Education, outreach and administration: We dedicate a portion of the program funds to provide customers with education and awareness about their renewable energy options.
  3. Community projects and habitat restoration: The Block option supports the construction of new community-based renewable energy projects in your state and the Habitat option (available to Oregon customers) funds native fish habitat restoration.

We are required by regulations to allocate the costs associated with Blue Sky to program participants. We do not make a profit by offering Blue Sky to customers.

How do I know I am getting what I pay for?

The Blue Sky program is overseen by your state’s public utility commission, regional advisory groups and is Green-e Energy certified. Green-e Energy certifies that the Blue Sky program meets the minimum environmental and consumer protection standards established by the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions that were developed in conjunction with leading environmental, energy and policy organizations.

Learn more about Green-e certification »

Blue Sky quick facts and resources

What is a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC)?

Renewable energy certificates (RECs), also known as “green tags,” are proof that 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable energy was generated and delivered to the regional power pool and gives customers the right to claim the environmental benefits produced from renewable energy projects.

For every unit of renewable energy generated and delivered to the regional power pool, an equivalent amount of RECs are created. This provides a tracking mechanism to ensure that no two customers pay for the same unit of renewable energy generation. When you sign up for Blue Sky, Pacific Power purchases RECs to match your level of participation. Thus, when more RECs are sold, more demand is created for renewable power. As renewable facilities sell out their RECs, this creates demand to bring more renewable energy sources on-line.

Watch this EPA video to learn more about RECs »

Blue Sky home representatives

Learn more about our Blue Sky outreach representatives.

 

 

Where can I find more information about Blue Sky?

Call a customer service representative at 1-800-769-3717 or explore our website.

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