12/11/2009 04:02 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Green Power Just Three Clicks Away

Reality check: What's the largest single source of U.S. carbon emissions today?

You didn't say cars, did you? It's electricity generation, which is really a shocker, since the solution - beginning to cut carbon from our personal or business electricity use - is a no-brainer.

Or in New York, a three-clicker.

Green Power NYC, a joint effort between the Natural Resource Defense Council, and the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, lets residents make the switch to green power in just three mouse clicks.

It really doesn't get easier than that.

While overall fewer U.S. consumers have chosen to switch than was indicated in polls on the issue, sales of green power did increase about 15% during 2008, a low year economically.

And we've passed the one million green power purchasers mark, with more than a million consumers choosing green energy. Seems like it's time for a second wave.

In fact, in some states the end of this year will signal a rude awakening as rate caps are removed and prices rise - in Pennsylvania more than a 40% bump up is expected. Yet it doesn't have to signal a downturn for green power. With more deregulation, more competition is hoped to follow.

In Pennsylvania, one of the new electricity providers, Direct Energy, has said it will offer a green power option, as it does for its Texas customers.

Nobody likes higher energy costs. Yet prices going up spur us, just like smart metering does, to really make the insulation and other changes (that may soon entail tax breaks for "Cash for Caulkers") that make our homes more energy efficient. And remind us that though the greener option will cost more, it helps us to use wisely and not take for granted the electricity.

And when it is as easy as three clicks, one of the big excuses to getting it drops away.

Read more about green power at TreeHugger:
Cost of Renewable Energy Dropped in 2009, But...
Five Good Ways to Get Green Power in Your Home
Deregulation Party Is Over: Get Ready For A Shock, Political Outrage...And Unexpected Benefits
The Electric Bill That Makes You Smile

For more articles by Graham Hill click here.