, an alternative energy company in Maryland, is moving into a new market and adding more employees. It launched operations last month in eastern and central Pennsylvania, and plans to expand to Philadelphia in early 2013.
Clean Currents provides electricity provided through sustainable methods, including wind and solar, for residential and commercial buildings. It also sells and installs hot-water tanks powered by solar-thermal for residences.
Founded in 2005, Clean Currents houses its operations in Silver Spring but opened a sales office in February in Baltimore's Federal Hill neighborhood. “It’s a great city for green activities and it was time for us to be here,” Clean Currents spokeswoman Megan Barrett says.
As a result of its expansion, Clean Currents is in the process of adding to its current staff of 25. The company plans to hire up to five people for sales positions in Maryland. It is also hiring one person to serve as a community organizer in Pennsylvania.
Barrett says that part of Clean Currents’ mission involves encouraging and supporting green activities in local communities. It partners with neighborhood groups, nonprofits and schools to do so. The company's Green Neighborhood Challenge gives communities and nonprofits the opportunity to raise funds for green projects such as building community gardens, starting recycling programs and preserving green space.
On the energy side, the company contracts with wind farms nationally and in the mid-Atlantic region that are connected to the electricity distribution grid. Clean Current sells wind-generated electrical power to customers in the form of renewable energy certificates that are applied to their electricity bills.
Barrett says the cost varies by utility area. Clean Current offers fixed-rate contracts of one and two years, in which customers pay the same rate regardless of price fluctuation in the market.
Currently, a Clean Currents one-year residential contract to receive 100 percent of your electricity from wind power costs 9 cents per kilowatt hour, the standard measure used for electrical power. By comparison, BGE’s electricity rate for standard offer service is 8.964 cents per kilowatt hour effective through May 31, 2013.
Clean Currents uses Solar City, a national company with a Maryland office in Beltsville, for rental of solar panels. This arrangement allows customers to rent rather than buy the solar panels after installation. Starting in 2013, Clean Currents will have its own solar panel installation program, says Barrett.
Federal and state tax credits may apply to solar panels and to solar-thermal hot water tanks.
Source: Megan Barrett, Clean Currents
Writer: Barbara Pash