After eleven months of waiting, my house is now plugged in to Tesla Powerwalls. These sleek, large batteries are now installed next to the main circuit breaker in my basement, where they store electricity.
The purpose of storing power is two-fold: 1) to provide power to my home when the power goes out; and 2) to provide power to the grid during peak usage. This is a win-win situation: I win with continuous power even when the wind knocks a tree on the power line, interrupting service at my home, and the power company wins by having access to decentralized, stored power to tap into during peak usage without having to buy expensive power from the national grid.
Yes, I’m paying a modest fee to rent the power walls. I’m happy to do so. Power outages are frequent in the northern forest, where trees fall on power lines and people drive into utility poles and other hiccups in the power grid interrupt power at home. When this happens, most of our neighbors fire up their gas-powered generators whose noise disrupts the lovely quiet that descends on the house when the Heat Recovery Ventilator stops breathing. I don’t just like the quiet, I like stepping back into a lamp-lit time. It helps me appreciate the natural rhythm of day and night, with the different qualities of illumination cast by the sun and moon.
But without power, we have no water, the homegrown food in our freezer is at risk of defrosting and we’re limited to whatever battery charge we have in our devices. While being cut off from the rest of the world has its momentary advantages, it also prevents us from reporting the outage to Green Mountain Power.
Green Mountain Power
Until a few years ago, I took both the electricity that powers my home and the company that provides it for granted. Not any more. I’m now proud to be a customer of Green Mountain Power, a company that for three years in a row has been named one of the top ten most innovative energy companies in the world.
Green Mountain Power has a mission to improve lives and transform communities by helping people use less energy and save money while generating clean, cost effective and reliable power in Vermont. It’s the first utility company in the world to become a B Corporation by meeting rigorous standards of performance, accountability and transparency while also working to alleviate poverty, address climate change, strengthen local communities and create a progressive workplace.
The Green in Green Mountain Power is real.
Just over a week ago, GMP announced their goals to have a 100% carbon-free energy supply by 2025. That’s just six years from now. And in eleven years, GMP aims to generate 100% of its energy from renewable sources.
I know it’s not usual for someone to wax poetic about their power company, but how can I not? GMP not only provides the electricity that powers my house, GMP is doing so while also reducing carbon emissions, and they’re educating and including consumers like me to be able to help do what we can to protect our endangered planet.