Green Mountain Power Gives Customers Carbon Neutral Option

Green Mountain Power Gives Customers Carbon Neutral Option

Amid growing concerns over global warming, Green Mountain Power today announced "choose2bgreen," a program that provides customers with a way to neutralize their carbon footprint through renewable power and home heating and driving offsets. Simultaneously, the company announced that it is now carbon neutral in its operations, which includes its offices, facilities, trucks and all business travel.

"Green Mountain Power is showing the nation that we can address climate change in very real and practical ways," said Jonathan Lash, President of the World Resources Institute of Washington, D.C. and former Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. "By becoming carbon neutral in its operations and offering to help its customers to do the same, Green Mountain Power is modeling the way companies and individuals can take steps to reduce carbon emissions from our everyday activities."

As a company, Green Mountain Power has long worked to reduce carbon emissions. In 2002, it was the first utility in the country to offer customers the option to offset their total home carbon emissions through the CoolHome program. The company uses bio-diesel fuel and hybrid cars in its fleet of vehicles, and major building renovations in 2001 improved energy efficiency and conservation at its offices.

Employees are offered incentives to adopt environmentally friendly practices at home, work and on the road, and the Company uses real mugs and plates at the employee cafe in an effort to reduce waste. "Even with these measures we still contribute to global warming, so our decision to offset our remaining carbon footprint works in tandem with our continuing efforts to reduce emissions and conserve energy," said Mary Powell, Chief Operating Officer of Green Mountain Power.

Choose2bgreen offers Green Mountain Power customers the ability to sign up for three different programs directly on its website: Greener GMP, CoolHome and CoolDriver. GreenerGMP allows customers to purchase energy from certified renewable resources equal to some or all of their monthly use. CoolHome and CoolDriver provide customers with an option to offset their individual carbon footprint associated with heating their homes and driving their cars, respectively.

Customers can sign up for one program or all three. Participation ranges from just $3 per month (the cost of offsetting a small car) to approximately $50 per month (the cost of purchasing 100% renewable energy and offsetting both home heating and driving a large SUV).

The CoolHome and CoolDriver offsetting programs are offered in partnership with NativeEnergy, headquartered in Charlotte, Vermont. In addition, the offsets for Green Mountain Power's operations will be purchased from NativeEnergy and paid for by the Company's owner. Funds raised through these programs are used to help finance the construction of renewable energy projects, including Vermont and Northeast-based methane and biomass projects.

These projects displace electricity from fossil fuels and reduce other greenhouse gas emissions, making up for the carbon emissions from daily home and travel requirements. The offsets are donated to and retired by Clean Air - Cool Planet, a Northeast-based non-profit environmental leader, which has partnered with Green Mountain Power since 2002.

"While many are talking about effective solutions to the climate crisis, Green Mountain Power is taking action across its business and for its customers by making its office and field operations carbon neutral and providing power from renewable energy sources" said Mindy S. Lubber, President of Ceres. "These are the types of actions needed to address our impact on climate change."