Bullfrog Power leaps into homes

New Carbon-free program a ‘great way’ to combat climate change

Bullfrog uses wind power—an “emission-free power” option.
Bullfrog uses wind power—an “emission-free power” option.

Homeowners in Kingston will soon have the ability to choose the type of power they want to use,
said Jo Coombe, vice-president of marketing for Bullfrog Power.

Bullfrog Power has just moved to Kingston, selling a green-powered electricity source to both residents and businesses. It is already servicing commercial consumers, but will soon be available to residents.

“All of our power is carbon, emission-free power. So it’s not contributing to greenhouse gases
[or] smog emissions,” she said. The company believes that by buying their product, consumers are contributing to a cleaner environment. “It’s a great way to combat climate change and smogproducing
emissions in Ontario,” Coombe said. “This is something that individuals can do to take action,
to create a cleaner healthier environment.” The company started in September of last year and has
grown rapidly. While they only have 1000 resident homes in Ontario, they supply over 100 commercial
businesses, some of the largest being select Wal-Mart and RBC financial venues.

Coombe said there is a growing demand for environmentally-friendly energy.

“Just last week two new wind turbines were erected on the Bruce peninsula.
“Those new turbines would not have been erected were it not for the demand from Bullfrog power customers,” she said.

“We’re helping to change the balance of power.” Kingston’s Multatuli Coffee is one of the first companies to sign-up for the new service. “We just feel strongly that corporately we need to lead the
way,” said John Panting, sales manager for the company. Panting feels Bullfrog’s product has the same environmental standards as their own. “It goes well with what we’re doing, we also sell fair trade
organic coffee across Canada,” he said, adding that they also use fuelefficient delivery trucks.

Multatuli Coffee currently provides coffee to both the Tea Room, the Common Ground, and will be supplying coffee to the new Stauffer Library coffee shop—the Jazzman Café—slated to open later this year. Panting said it’s an important step that will resonate in the future.

“I think as a corporate citizen it’s important for us to show the way,” he said.

“We have kids so the environmental change factor is certainly important.” The company buys their
electricity from businesses in Ontario which produce eco-friendly electricity. “It’s a combination of wind
power and low impact water power,” Coombe said. Currently, 20 per cent of the company’s electricity comes from wind power and 80 per cent comes from low impact hydro. According to Coombe, the
company’s low impact hydro projects are more environmentally friendly than larger hydro projects. “Low impact is quite different from large hydro; they have a much smaller impact on the local ecosystem,” she said. Coombe said their low impact hydro plants minimize fish migration patterns, water temperatures and flooding in order to reduce effects on the ecosystem. “It has a much smaller footprint than the much larger projects.” The company does not use solar powered energy because the technology is not yet cost effective. Customers who sign up for Bullfrog will still draw their power from the Kingston system.

The company sends the amount of electricity a customer uses onto the grid.

“When someone switches to Bullfrog the amount of electricity that their home uses, we get the
reading from their provider, we’ll inject that much power on their behalf,” she said. “Although the green electrons don’t reach their house, it is projected onto the grid.” Residents who sign up for
the service will simply receive a bill from Bullfrog instead of Kingston Hydro. One drawback of the more eco-friendly power is that it is more expensive.

“9.1 cent per kilowatt per hour,” said Coombe, adding that it works out to about one dollar per day for the average household. As of May 1, Ontario’s average hydro rates are 5.8 cents per kwh for the first 600 kwh consumed each month, and 6.7 cents after that.

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