Boulder, Colo.'s voters approved the Climate Action Plan Tax on Election Day, which makes this the first time in the nation that a municipal government will impose an energy tax on its residents to directly combat global warming.
This energy tax is referred to as a carbon tax, since most of Boulder's electricity comes from the burning of coal. According to the Office of Environmental Affairs, residents who choose to purchase wind power certificates will only be taxed on the remaining percentage that is not green energy - unless residents choose to offset 100% of their electricity with wind power.
The average household will pay $1.33 per month, and an average business will pay $3.80 per month. The tax will generate about $1 million annually through 2012, when the tax is set to expire. Estimated energy cost savings from implementing the Climate Action Plan is $63 million over the long term.
Residents can purchase wind power certificates through the Boulder Wind Challenge, which is another way the city is implementing its strategy to reduce carbon emissions. The program began on October 1 and ends November 30 and offers residents six companies from which to choose certificates. The city's goal is to sign another 1,500 residents by the end of the program.