San Francisco, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — February 27, 2008 – U.S. utility Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s ClimateSmart™ program today announced the largest investments in verifiable greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions under California’s rigorous forest carbon sequestration project protocols. PG&E’s ClimateSmart program will purchase 214,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emission reductions, including 200,000 metric tons from The Conservation Fund’s Garcia River Forest, located on California’s North Coast, and 14,000 metric tons from Sempervirens Fund’s Lompico Headwaters Forest, located in Santa Cruz County.
"These investments mark a major milestone in the use of high quality forest sequestration offsets as an effective mechanism to address climate change," said Nancy McFadden, senior vice president of public affairs for PG&E. "We’re honored to be making these purchases on behalf of our ClimateSmart customers. Through their commitment to the environment, we’ve been able to sequester a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions and protect some of California’s most precious resources."
PG&E’s ClimateSmart program is a voluntary greenhouse gas emission reduction program that allows customers to balance out the greenhouse gas emissions that are produced by the energy they use, making their energy use ‘climate neutral’. Over 17,500 customers have enrolled in the program.
With today’s agreements, PG&E will now turn those enrollments into investments in forestry projects that will sequester greenhouse gas emissions. Following an extensive competitive bidding process, PG&E selected these projects because they met the stringent verification protocols set both by the California Climate Action Registry and PG&E. PG&E will permanently retire the reductions on behalf of its enrolled ClimateSmart customers, thereby deriving no benefit from the offset purchases.
As more customers enroll in the ClimateSmart program in the next two years, PG&E will seek more GHG reductions by investing ClimateSmart funds in a range of innovative projects, such as livestock manure management projects that capture methane gas from dairy farms and conserving and restoring California’s native forests. Through the first three years of the program, ClimateSmart has set a goal to invest in projects that yield 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide reductions or more.
PG&E enrolled as the first participant in ClimateSmart by committing more than $1.5 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. When a customer enrolls in ClimateSmart, PG&E will calculate the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by the customer’s electricity and gas usage. For the average residential customer, PG&E estimates the cost will be less than $5 per month.