Sunday, January 28, 2007

PGE's spendy green marketing

Gail Kinsey Hill reported in Sunday's Oregonian that PGE's marketing expenses comprise more than half of the premium that customers of their green energy program pay to purchase renewable energy. She compares PGE's costs to the amount Pacificorp pays for marketing a similar program. In other words, much less of the additional 0.8 cents per kWh PGE customers pay actually goes to purchasing green tags. The implication is that PGE is mis-using the funds they receive for green energy and, in addition, receive disproportionate attention for their green practices because of their excessive marketing efforts.

What's missing from the story is exactly how those marketing efforts have paid off -- What is the overall impact of the marketing dollars spent in terms of renewable energy purchased and promoted? This article definitely makes me think twice about the green energy programs, but I'm not jumping to any conclusions about PGE's marketing expenses just yet.

Green Power at a Premium

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