Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

As of last week, homeowners in parts of Pittsburgh can get their energy from 100 percent renewable sources -- specifically, wind and solar -- at a price that's 10 percent cheaper that the standard utility rate. The citizens have Community Energy's entry into the city's electricity market to thank: The utility company "sold the first wind energy products to commercial and industrial consumers in the state and developed many of the state’s first solar and wind farms." Fully-renewable energy costs 8.99 cents per kilowatt-hour, almost a cent less than non-renewable energy.

What's the Big Idea?

Across the nation, choosing to get all one's energy from renewable sources tends to be more expensive. However, a truly competitive market such as Pittsburgh's lets utilities offer competitive prices. Since the beginning of 2001, more than 1.8 million customers have chosen an alternative supplier for their energy needs, making Pennsylvania one of the nation's biggest successes in the commercial renewable energy market. Competition is said to be responsible for helping similar energy initiatives along in other states as well.

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