Pissed at power politics? Empower yourself!

Check out your green energy options online: www.powerscorecard.org.

by Alice Martinez


id you know that the generation of electric power produces more pollution than any other single industry in the United States? Now you can choose your power supplier, and you can choose one that uses resources with less environmental impact. Created by a group of six well-known environmental organizations, the Power Scorecard (www.powerscorecard.org) gives you clear, accurate, and reliable information to help you understand the real environmental differences among electricity products.

Conservation and efficiency provide the biggest single ways that consumers can help themselves and the environment. "The clean-est kilowatt is the kilowatt never used. Consumers who implement energy conservation measures in their homes and offices will recognize the dual benefits of reduced electricity bills and reduced environmental impacts." Check out the Power Scorecard's "Twenty Things You Can Do to Conserve Energy."


Overall Environmental Impact Rating

The Power Scorecard assigns a score to the impact a product has in each of the eight environmental areas most seriously affected by electricity production. The Overall Environmental Impact Rating combines the scores in these eight areas:


  • Global climate change
  • Acid rain
  • Smog (ozone) and fine particulates
  • Toxic mercury emissions


  • Consumption of water resources
  • Pollution of water bodies


  • On-site land impacts (permanent plant footprint)
  • Off-site land impacts (solid waste disposal and fuel processing)

The Power Scorecard also grades electricity products according to the percentage of electricity obtained from new renewables and identifies newly built technology that uses renewable sources of power, such as wind or solar energy, to produce electricity. By using new, low-impact, renewable resources, a power supplier displaces older, often higher-polluting facilities - one of the very best ways to make a difference.

If you want more information, links are provided to allow you to find out more details, such as:

  • The numerical score a product received in each of the eight environmental impact areas specific criteria used to produce the product scores (found in the Power Scorecard Methodology Report).
  • What resources a product uses (coal, nuclear, hydro, wind, etc.).
  • How much and what kind of new renewable resources a product contains.
  • How to order electricity from a specific supplier.

The Power Scorecard was created by a group of six nationally recognized environmental organizations, working closely together. The group includes Environmental Defense, the Izaak Walton League, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the NW Energy Coalition, the Pace Energy Project, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.