Green Mountain Energy is now offering consumers across the U.S. a convenient way to green-up their lifestyle through monthly and annual carbon offset subscriptions.
Consumers can engage quickly through a new website, GreenMountainOffsets.com, and have the option of numerous plans to reduce their carbon footprint by purchasing third-party verified carbon offsets. Green Mountain, the longest serving renewable energy retailer in the country, started its carbon offsets program in 2006.
"As a mission-based company, our role is to offer customers products that help them live more sustainably," said Mark Parsons, vice president and general manager for Green Mountain Energy. "Beyond working to reduce unnecessary carbon emissions, customers are choosing carbon offsets as a next step to minimize their carbon footprint, and Green Mountain Offsets aims to facilitate this process for them. Small choices can lead to big impact."
The company started its carbon offsets program in response to renewable energy customers who wanted to offset their events and has witnessed firsthand the growth of the voluntary carbon offsets market. Green Mountain has designed four offset categories based on annualized average consumption data of American consumers by the World Bank and the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") for emissions connected with consumption from various sources.
Green Mountain Offsets monthly subscriptions include:
Lifestyle Offsets: On average, an American citizen is responsible for 36,000 lbs. of CO2 emissions per year, or approximately 16.5 metric tons per year. Lifestyle offsets include plans for individuals, couples, a family of four and customizable options based on the total number of family members.
Commuting Offsets: The EPA estimates indicate Americans drive around 11,500 miles per year. Customers can choose a plan based on the type of vehicle they drive, ranging from hybrid cars to trucks or full-size SUVs.
Home Offsets: Home emissions include daily activities such as electricity usage, heating our homes, or disposing of waste. Together these emissions make up a household's carbon footprint. Home Offset plans make green living easy by providing different options based on size and range from a 1,000 square feet apartment to a large home over 4,000 square feet. Air Travel Offsets: The air travel offset plans provide an easy way to offset emissions from air travel, and the estimates are based on total mileage, ranging from 300-mile flights up to 2,300-mile flights.
The subscriptions can be cancelled at any time with no penalty. For customers who want to purchase a specific number of carbon offsets, Green Mountain provides a custom option, where customers can select the quantity of metric tons of CO2 that they want to offset at any point in time. This option works well for companies aiming to be carbon-neutral and using offsets to help provide the "net" in their net-zero emissions goals.
Carbon offsets are an indirect emission reduction through investments in projects that reduce or avoid carbon dioxide emissions to contribute to climate stability. Customers choose carbon offsets as a mechanism to compensate for carbon impact generated by their daily activities. By purchasing one carbon offset customers can offset one metric ton of greenhouse gas emissions.
Green Mountain sources carbon offsets using industry-leading third-party certification standards, such as the Verified Carbon Standard, Climate Action Reserve and Clean Development Mechanism. As a result of offsetting, Green Mountain invests primarily in projects that capture or destroy greenhouse gases that otherwise would have been emitted, such as methane gas capture projects at landfills, destruction of ozone-depleting substances, or other projects that include reforestation and renewable energy.