City of Grand Marais - Minnesota

USA Today's 2017 Best Midwestern Small Town, Budget Travel's 2015 Coolest Small Town in America & Lake Superior Magazine's 2015 Best Weekend Destination 

Green Power Purchasing

What is Green Power Purchasing?

Grand Marais Public Utilities offers its customers the opportunity to offset the carbon footprint of their electricity use through the purchasing of renewable energy certificates, or RECs. A REC is the environmental, social, and other non-power attributes of renewable electricity generation. Every time 1 megawatt of electricity is generated through renewable sources, 1 REC is produced and added to the market. The REC market for the state of Minnesota is tracked by the Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System (MRETS).

More information about RECs 

 Where does Grand Marais PUC get their RECs?

Grand Marais PUC purchases partial RECs on behalf of customers through its wholesale provider, the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA).  To get its RECs, SMMPA can produce renewable energy or buy them from the REC market.

How many RECs should I buy?

To calculate how many RECs will cover your electricity use, convert the usage reported on a monthly utility bill from kilowatt hours (kWh) to kilowatts kW, see example below. On your bill, kWh can be found as a number in the ‘ELECTRIC USE’ row under the Usage column. It is best to refer to a bill with average or above average electricity use.

kilowatt hours divided by time in hours equals kilowatts

Example: A customer’s electric usage on their utility bill reads 1290 for a 30 day billing period. There are 720 hours in 30 day (24 x 30 = 720), so the customer divides 1290 by 720 and gets 1.79. Since RECs can only be bought in whole numbers, this rounds up to 2. 

How to participate in the Green Power Purchasing program:

To offset the carbon footprint of your own electricity you can ask the Grand Marais PUC to add RECs to your monthly bill. The PUC sells partial RECs at $1.12 per kilowatt. Continuing the example from above, the customer would ask the PUC to add the cost of 2 RECs to their bill at a total cost of $2.24/month. This will appear on their bill as ‘Renewable Energy’ until the customer asks to change the number of RECs or stop the program altogether. 

Click here to fill out the form and join the program

Official Website for the City of Grand Marais, MN