More and more local businesses are turning to wind power as an alternative fuel source and the practice may become more than just a trend. NY1's Real Estate reporter Jill Urban filed the following report.
It may be beige on the outside, but the Barcade bar in Williamsburg is green on the inside. That is because the Brooklyn hotspot is 100-percent powered by wind energy.
"We just received our estimate for the year and the amount of wind that we used was the equivalent of taking 26 cars off the road, about 15,000 gallons of gasoline," says Paul Kermizian, the co-owner of Barcade.
Because the bar operates more than 30 arcade games, it consumes more energy than the average bar. Kermizian and the other owners decided to reduce their carbon footprint by turning to wind, and more and more New Yorkers are asking energy suppliers like Con Edison Solutions to do the same.
"We have about 20,000 residential customers that buy wind from us and we're seeing more people start to choose renewable options," says Michael Perna of Con Edison Solutions. "It's becoming more mainstream, just like years ago recycling was on the fringe and now it's very mainstream."
Perna says many people do not even know this is an option or that it is an easy way to have a big impact on the environment.
To switch to wind energy, customers do not need to put wind turbines on their roof. Instead, they need to call their utility companies and say they want to switch to a different supplier.
That new supplier will purchase the energy from a wind farm on the customer's behalf. Electricity will still be delivered through the same utility company on the same wires, but now wind energy consumers are helping to put renewable power into the grid instead of power produced by fossil fuel generation.
"Since we can't steer kilowatt power right to your meter, buying renewable power ensures that people are producing renewable and putting it into the grid and they're not putting in things like nuclear, coal, oil," says Perna.
Going green will cost some extra green. Perna estimates the added cost for an average-size city apartment to switch to wind power is about the same as a few cappuccinos per month. But for people like Kermizian, it is a small price to pay to offset one's impact on the environment.
To learn more about wind energy, visit www.greenpowernyc.com.