Google Checkout Blog

Powering renewable energy

Friday, April 20, 2007

Did you know that most electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels like coal or gas? Wind power is a viable alternative to these environmentally unfriendly energy sources. One of our newest Checkout stores, Renewable Choice Energy, is leading the way in supporting wind power and making it easy for you to join them. By purchasing a Wind Power Card, you can ensure that energy you and your family use is replaced by environmentally friendly wind power.

The Wind Power Card contains wind energy credits generated by wind farms. People buy the card to guarantee the electricity they use at home (which often comes from coal and gas) is replaced with clean, carbon-free electricity. Most importantly, buyers help grow a system that gives renewable energy developers an incentive to build more wind farms.

In celebration of Earth Week, you will see the option to purchase a Wind Power Card after you complete a purchase with Google Checkout at participating stores. On's site, for example, after you buy your new notebook and flat screen, you'll see an option to buy a $5 or a $15 Wind Power Card on the Google Checkout purchase confirmation page (attention, merchants: this functionality is coming your way shortly).

Let's say you opt to buy the $15 card. That buys you 750 kilowatt hours of wind power -- enough to cover one month's electricity usage for an average sized family, or the equivalent of not burning 561 pounds of coal. The average person uses about a third of that (250 kilowatt hours) per month. For $5, you can buy 250 kilowatt hours of wind power to guarantee that the energy you use is replaced with carbon-free wind power. (Or, you could just plant 4 new trees every month. Hmm...that Wind Power Card sure seems easier to me.)

In celebration of Earth Week, if you buy more than $30 worth of wind power at Renewable Choice (details here), we'll throw in $10. It's our way of saying Happy Earth Day to you and to the planet.

Finally, a tip of the hat to software engineer Christophe Bisciglia, who dedicated his 20% time to making this work for Checkout customers.

Update: Added paragraph 2, clarified purchase options, recognized Christophe.