Positive Environment News

Whole Foods Offers Cards to Fund Wind Power Market

Date: 02-Nov-06
Country: US

Seventy-six Whole Foods stores in nine states will offer US$5 and US$15 plastic cards that are to represent the average electricity use by a person - 250 kilowatt hours - and an average household -- 750 KWh - in the United States per month.

Renewable Choice Energy will collect money from the sale of the cards and use it to market wind power produced by its clients, which are US wind power producers that sell to utilities on the open power market, said Ted Rose, director of business development for Renewable Choice Energy.

The card does not reduce or impact consumers utility bills, nor does it deliver wind power to consumers. Rather, it helps US wind-power producers market their product.

"This is for consumers who want to ensure they are paying for clean energy" rather than electricity produced by using fossil fuels like natural gas and coal, said Rose, who offered no projections on how the card will sell.

"It's impossible for us to deliver wind power electrons to people's homes," he said. "But this system allows people to pay the premium on the (wind-produced) electricity."

Rose said the US$5 per individual and US$15 per household is in line with the increased costs of producing and marketing wind power in North America over the costs or producing power from plants that run on fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas.

In January, Whole Foods announced the largest corporate purchase of renewable energy credits in North America to offset all of its electricity use.

"A purchase of a wind power card provides an opportunity for an individual or a family to help reduce their dependence on fossil fuels by supporting the production of renewable energy," said Michael Besancon, Whole Foods Market Southern Pacific president.

The cards went on sale Wednesday in Boulder, Colorado, and will soon be offered at 76 stores in mainly western US states including Colorado, California, Texas, Washington, Arizona, Louisiana, Oregon, New Mexico and Nevada.

© Thomson Reuters 2006 All rights reserved

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