From the Forum – Contractor Recommendations and Ethical Electric Reviews

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Contractor Recommendations:

“I’m looking for a contractor to do work on the back of our house, potentially removing the stucco and replacing it with siding. Has anyone had experience with this and/or have recommendations?”

Ethical Electric Reviews:

“Hi all — I found this old topic from the forum on the subject, but we were looking to switch to Ethical Electric and wanted to collect reviews and thoughts. We’re in an about 700 sq ft condo and was curious what the difference on the bill may be and so on.”

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18 Comment

  • I started with Ethical Electric about 5 months ago. Didn’t do any kind of rate lock-in. The first three months were great as the rate was about equivalent with Pepco. Then it went up, with the per kilowatt-hour rate being about a third more than Pepco. For my 1150 sq ft condo, it’s probably worked out to a little north of $20 more a month. Not thrilled about it, but I like what Ethical is offering (not that I have enough knowledge or expertise to really look behind; I’d love opinions from those with reason to know whether they’re really that green & socially responsible…)

    Also, I’m switching to all-LED lighting, which is an up-front investment, but hopefully will help lower usage & bulb replacement costs…

    • Re LED lighting, we picked up a couple of Ikea 60W equivalent LED bulbs last weekend. For only about $7 a pop they seemed worth trying. Warm even lighting, can’t even tell the difference from incandescent and VASTLY better than CFL. Plan to buy more, highly recommended.

      • Home Depot now has the CREE brand of LED bulbs for $4.97 each for the 60W and 40W equivalents.

        • I bought a bunch of Philips Slim Style 60W Equivalent Soft White LED bulbs from Home Depot this weekend for just under $4/each. Put 10 of them in two new kitchen chandeliers last night on a dimmer switch and love them!

          • Interesting — I didn’t know they had LED bulbs cheaper than the CREE-brand ones. Will have to look for those Philips ones!

          • Do the LEDs fully dim? Do they have an incandescent glow (my preference) or do they cast a white-bue light? I tried a “dimmable” 60W equiv. LED a couple of months ago, but it barely dimmed. I like very dim light cuz it make me look better.

        • brookland_rez

          I outfitted my whole house with LED bulbs last winter from Costco. I don’t remember how much they were, but they were less than Home Depot at the time.

    • I got some LED bulbs from Annie’s Ace that I am really happy with. They are Feit Electric A19/OM800/LED LED Dimmable A19 Bulb (for regular fixtures), and Feit BR30/DM/LED LED Dimmable BR30 Reflector (for recessed ceiling lighting). Both were 2,700K Soft White, and they only cost $5 a bulb. I think they’re subsidized by DC SEU. The BR30s are indistinguishable from the incandescent they’re replacing. The 6 incandescents were drawing 390 watts total, while the LEDs are less than 80 total.

  • Washington Gas Energy Services is going to give you a better deal for 100% wind-powered electricity, and you can lock in the rate. I switched to them after Clean Currents collapsed.

  • There’s no noticeable difference when changing electricity providers other than price. Pepco still owns the line that runs into your house, and delivers the actual power to you. The service is identical. The only difference is the source of the electricity, and the price.
    Ethical Electric is offering two different rates today for 100% wind generated power: 9.4 cents per kwh with a 3 month contract, or 12.3 cents per kwh for 12 months. You can look at your Pepco bill and do the math to see the price difference. Last month I used 783 kwh. Pepco would have charged me 8.29 cents per kwh, so the difference on the 12 month price was $31.39. The total difference for the last 12 months of usage on my bill of 6160 kwh was $147.08.
    The DC PSC maintains a list of providers and their offers. Currently, the offers for 100% wind on a 12 month lock are:
    Washington Gas Energy Ser- vices (WGES) – 12.10 cents per kWh
    Viridian – 12.49 cents per kWh
    Ethical – 12.30 cents per kWh

    • This. Go with Ethical Electric if you want to support what they do, and accept that you will have to pay a premium in order to do so. It will not save you money over Pepco, that is not the point, and they’ll never claim otherwise. I have been with Ethical Electric for a little over a year and I am a satisfied customer despite knowingly paying a premium for what I’m getting.

  • I signed up for Ethical about a year ago now…and by signed up didn’t really have to do much and it was super easy.

    There hasn’t been any real change in the billing process or amount itself, so basically didn’t have to pay anything more to get electric now from a company that’s environmentally friendly and socially responsible, so I would def rec.

  • re: siding on back of house. We used Unicorp to take down our old siding on the back of our house and replaced it with Hardieplank siding. we were very satisfied with their work. I found them on DC Checkbook.

  • Thanks everyone for the feedback on Ethical Electric!

  • Signed up last year and didn’t notice a real difference in price or jolts from years Pepco. Thought there might be a jolt from just going with a greener option but pleasantly surprised.

    Liked the fact that I was supporting a socially responsible company with a point of view. Added benefit that as more people jumped in it’d force the bigger companies to offer options for renewables.

  • I’m using They negotiate group purchases of renewable energy from local electricity providers. The group I was in negotiated an offer from WGES of 9.65 cents/kWh for national wind power and 11.2 cents/kWh for local wind power. Both rates were with a 2 year contract.

  • I switched to Ethical Electric a little more than a year ago and I love it. Yes, it will cost you a little bit more, but they’re a great company and it’s an opportunity to send my utility checks to people who are actively working to make the energy economy greener. I’m willing to pay a small premium for that. (And it is small… for my two-unit home, I estimate it was an extra 40 bucks a month avg)

  • I’m an ethical electric customer too. As others have said, there is a small, very quantifiable, bump in price and it’s otherwise smooth sailing.

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