It's Easy to Go Green (Energy) in Oak Park

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By Deb Quantock McCarey

Contributing reporter/Nature blogger

It's not easy being green. 

Not for Kermit the Frog, or any of us "green folk" in Oak Park, now that the full up continuation of Oak Park's previous 100% renewable energy commitment was rescinded by the current VOP board in the run up to Earth Week 2014. 

The day after the decision was made, Gary Cuneen of Seven Generations Ahead told me that "to save residents $4 per month by purchasing greenhouse gas-emitting brown energy over green energy...will continue to exact climate change consequences that will affect Oak Park pocketbooks and quality of life in real terms much greater than $4 per month."

I am on that page, as well, even though if I were to take the "brown energy" option, I could splurge by lining up four bucks worth of joe at The  Buzz Café, or Eastgate Café, my neighborhood go-tos.

But, of course I am joking, and obviously won't be doing that. 

That's because an opt in for a green (100% renewable) energy alternative, Plan B if you will, is available.

Phew...fewer fumes?  Thumbs way up for that.

The only catch is that you have to do it before May 8. 

Here's how: by now we all should have received a letter, with a detachable form, from Constellation, our new energy supplier.  It gives us an "opt-out code."  With that code, and our ComEd account number (it's on our monthly bill), we can call 1-800-718-1493 to opt in to reduce our carbon footprint by using alternative "green energy" in our homes.  

For folks who have already signed up for the "brown energy" program, they can reverse their decision by calling the 800 number, but do have your account number handy, as you will need it.

Additional enrollment  info about the Village's electrical aggregation program is now available, as well.

So, very soon I will be spending $4 a month more to live a little greener for me, you, all our kids, the butterflies, the bees, the birds, everyone and everything on our Earth. 

To celebrate my personal high five to the planet, and more, I 'm heading to  Earth Fest 2014 in Oak Park on Saturday, April 26.     

Join me.  I'll be the one talking up composting and humming a familiar Muppet tune, 'cause I'm 100%  with Kermit on this one..."I am green, and it'll do fine.  It's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be."

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Reader Comments

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Posted: May 1st, 2014 12:38 PM

Keep in mind, you can still go green by opting out of the Village plan *entirely*. There are other 100% green options that are *cheaper* than the Village plan... check out It's just as easy to Opt-Out of the Village plan and sign up with an alternate, so you can save the environment *and* money!

Deb Quantock McCarey from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 28th, 2014 4:59 PM

I am with you, Fellow greenie...called today. Switched form brown to green. Felt real good.

Leslie Roberts from Oak Park  

Posted: April 25th, 2014 11:21 PM

Thank you Deb! Love your Kermit video! This whole situation has been a comedy of errors and I am so glad you are so delightfully helping get it corrected. One friend got an e-mail to go green from VOP president and another fw from her block party contact from Village Clerk, Teresa Powell, both acting on their promises at the 4/21/14 Board meeting to get the word out.

Fellow greenie :)  

Posted: April 25th, 2014 10:52 AM

So easy to be green! Got off the phone with Constellation and had Com Ed account ready. Opted out of brown and opted into renewable energy--electricity comes from a wind farm..thanks!

Ana from Oak Park  

Posted: April 24th, 2014 5:48 PM

Thanks, Deb! There is an "info hub" set up for this topic, with easy visual instructions for opting into the green plan (thanks to OP's VMA), background (eg, news articles), links to videos of the 2 special board meetings on this topic, and more. If interested, check out

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