Renewable Energy Program: Buck-A-Block
People have been putting renewable resources to work in lots
of ways for thousands of years. And now you can, too.
As more and more customers like you opt for renewable generated
energy, like wind and biomass, the more economical it becomes
for everyone. That’s where Buck-A-Block comes in. By signing
up, you’ll get 300 kWh of renewable energy for just $1 — and
you’ll be supporting emission reducing generation in a very
real way. Plus, you will lessen and offset your overall impact
on the environment.
Here’s what we mean: An average customer uses between 600 and
1,000 kWh of electricity a month, so purchasing just two to
four blocks means 100 percent (or more) of that energy could
come from a new renewable resource.
It’s easy to sign up and you can do it right here online. First,
determine how many blocks of energy you’d like to purchase each
month, and then fill out a short
online form to sign up. If you aren’t sure how many
blocks you want to purchase, it may be helpful to look at your
usage. You can review your electric usage by signing in to your
Once you sign up, Avista Utilities will purchase environmental
offsets associated with renewable energy generated at sites
like the State Line Wind Farm. If you’d like to further offset
wind energy’s overall cost and lower your environmental impact
you can purchase more blocks than your monthly usage to cover
your vehicle emissions, too.
Buck-A-Block Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to Questions About Avista’s Voluntary Buck-A-Block Program:
How does wind energy work?
When uneven heating of the Earth’s surface produces differences
in air pressure, wind results. Denser cool air pushes down through
warm air, setting up a pattern of circulation.
By using highly engineered and finely tuned wind turbines —
which work much like large toy pinwheels — you can capture the
wind’s energy and convert it to electricity. Blowing wind spins
the turbines’ blades, thereby turning a shaft, which is attached
to an electric generator. Transformers and electric lines feed
the electricity at the proper voltage into the utility system
for delivery to consumers.
The output of a wind turbine depends on its size and the wind’s
speed through the blades. Wind turbines produce energy only
when the wind blows, and more energy when the wind blows faster.
Isn’t our hydropower renewable?
The Northwest is fortunate to have an abundance of natural resources
such as our lakes, rivers and streams. Avista has a long history
of stewardship in harnessing the power of these resources while
striving for a balance between the need for electricity and
mitigating the impacts of hydroelectric facilities. Avista believes
that hydropower is renewable generation; however, Buck-A-Block
is for new renewable energy. Wind energy is an important new
renewable energy source that — along with other new renewable
like biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, and even solar — further
improves our resource mix.
What is Avista’s resource mix?
Avista produces electricity using a number of different resources.
In 2006, Avista generated or contracted to purchase for resale
5.83 million megawatt hours for our Northwest customers.
Our owned or contracted resources come primarily from four categories
of fuel: biomass, coal, hydro, and natural gas.
Avista’s fuel mix is as follows:
- Hydro – 52 percent
- Natural Gas – 16 percent
- Coal – 25 percent
- Biomass/Waste – 6 percent
- Other – 1 percent
Avista does not own or operate any nuclear or waste generation
facilities. We do however, purchase energy made within the Pacific
Northwest, which includes some nuclear and waste generation.
In 2006, nearly 60,000 mWh's, or 1 percent, of Avista's resources
came from wind and other renewables as a result of Buck-A-Block