Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced that it received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to launch a voluntary program that will provide customers the option to offset the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their energy use. The program is scheduled to launch in spring 2007.
Through the ClimateSmart program, residential and business customers can sign up to help fund environmental projects aimed at reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. The first carbon reduction projects will focus on forest restoration and conservation projects in California. Once a customer enrolls, PG&E will calculate exactly how many pounds of CO2 they are emitting based on monthly natural gas and electricity usage. The customer will pay a monthly amount as determined by their calculated CO2 emissions. PG&E estimates that the monthly amount for the average residential customer who chooses to enroll would be $4.31, which represents a bill increase of about 3%.
PG&E plans to enroll as the first participant in the program by committing more than $1 million of shareholder funding over the next three years to make the energy use in the company's offices, service centers, maintenance facilities, and other company buildings completely climate neutral.
News Release - PG&E Wins Approval to Launch ClimateSmart
News Article - PG&E to let customers help with global warming