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Coal… it’s what’s for Xmas. Courtesy of ComEd.

If you’re like me, you rarely open — much less read — your mail anymore if you can help it; everything is done online nowadays (for the most part). I heard recently from one of our customers that ComEd had sent them some information about alternative energy suppliers, so I started opening my ComEd bills to see how they’re spending their marketing dollars of late. I didn’t find any info on switching electricity suppliers (and would be pretty surprised if I did, frankly), but I did receive some flyers with some pretty interesting data. I’ll save you the trouble of opening your ComEd bill, and provide you with a quick little summary:

  • 5 Smart Ideas to Save Energy leaflet (Who knew you could “over chill“ your food?)
  • A promotion for a satellite television provider. Are they suggesting we watch more TV, to cancel out the aforementioned energy savings? Hmm, sounds a little counterproductive to me.
  • Wait. This one is just a little too much for me. So, it appears that ComEd is now offering Gift Certificates. Yes, that is correct, GIFT CERTIFICATES. For Electricity. “Give the gift of energy this holiday season.” Wow. Now I’m depressed. Has it really come to THIS? And, is anyone else appreciating the irony of this? Electricity: the new coal. Yet, in actuality, it really is coal — just in a different form. So, you are effectively giving coal as a present. Nice. And, on top of it, there’s a processing fee for the purchaser. Really, ComEd? (Honey, if you’re reading this and you really do love me, I’d much rather have a gift certificate to the spa. Or a pair of socks. Or pretty much anything else.)
  • Ok, if you’ve gotten this far (thank you!), this last one is actually pretty interesting. So, every year, ComEd must provide Environmental Disclosure Information per the rules of the Illinois Commerce Commission. Contained within this leaflet is a list of all of the sources of electricity supplied by ComEd for the year leading up to June 30, 2011. Here’s how it all breaks out, a la my colorful little pie (sans the ice cream) chart:

As you can see, coal is still the favored source of electricity among our power options, with nuclear in a close second. Doesn’t bode terribly well for the environment, now does it? The use of alternative energy sources can only increase as demand merits. At Power2Switch, we encourage everyone to fully consider the many different options, including renewable energy sources, when choosing your electricity supplier.

Oh, and one final note…  if you decide to give electricity as a gift, don’t be too surprised if you get a fruitcake in return.


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