RWE's fifteen-thousandth green customer

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A family in Bad Rothenfelde became the fifteen-thousandth customer -- from a total of 2.7 million -- to sign on to a "green tariff" program offered by Germany's largest utility, RWE Energie. Customers choosing to buy electricity from renewable sources of energy pay an extra DEM 0.20/kWh to support the expansion of wind, solar and hydro. For every Mark raised by the program, RWE contributes one Mark from a fund of DEM 20 million for investment in renewables. Since the program's start in mid 1996, 22 photovoltaic plant and two wind turbines have been built. "The high level of participation shows we are meeting customers' desires to contribute financially to the environment," says Roland Farnung of RWE. "Other utilities have followed our example and now offer a green tariff too, but they haven't been met with nearly the same broad approval as we have."

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