So a little while ago, I heard about Clean Currents, where BGE customers can switch over to wind power at competitive rates -- indeed, right now they claim a lower rate than BGE.
(Now, this is all accounting BS anyway -- the actual amps that come to your house still pushed there by coal and nuke plants. But some credit goes to wind power providers in other parts of the country, so in theory you're offsetting the dirty power you consume with clean power somewhere else.)
Sounds nifty, and it was on my list of things to check out more fully in my copious free time. I was talking about it this weekend with my friend Carl, who's always up on this stuff, and he mentioned that Clean Currents had partnered with Washington Gas Energy Services as the wholesale electricity supplier. (Which you can verify on their website.)
By coincidence, WGES had salespeople in my neighborhood yesterday. I’m normally a bit reluctant to do business with any company that disturbs me with telemarketers or door-knockers -- but these guys were such grade-A assholes that there’s no way I would do business with the company they were representing.
Here’s a hint, guys: when I say “thank you, no soliciting”, that means you go away immediately. You don’t stick around in desperate attempts to tell me how you’re not selling anything, you’re there to save me money. And then telling me that you need me to sign a waiver showing that I declined the “savings” you were offering? That just shows me that you're shady.
Let me point out that I had to deal with two of these guys in about a quarter-hour, so it wasn't just a single bad apple.
(Though the first guy was merely annoying. The second one, though...I have to admit that the second had me thinking of grabbing up the camp ax -- did I mention I was doing yardwork when these bozos harassed me? -- and doing some crude exploratory surgery to see what was wrong with his brain. But I kept those thoughts to myself.)
I’m not surprised to see that this company rates an “F” from the BBB.
I'll keep my eye open for other clean power options. But for now, I have to recommend staying away from anything involving WGES.
Update Nov 2011: According to Clean Currents' website, "As of July 15, 2011 Clean Currents is NO LONGER AFFILIATED WITH WGES and is now a full-fledged, independent electricity supplier. This means that for anyone who enrolled AFTER July 15, 2011, Clean Currents will serve as your sole electricity supplier."
It's also worth nothing that "Clean Currents was one of the first companies in the state of Maryland to complete the B Corp assessment and adopt the B Corp legal framework into its operating structure and was the first company in the state of Maryland and the United States to file to become a Benefit LLC." (Benefit corporations, or "B Corps", are a new legal structure in Maryland and few other states which are certified to provide a public benefit in addition to a financial return to investors.)