In response to growing customer interest in sustainable energy options, Black Hills Energy today announced plans to offer a voluntary renewable natural gas, or RNG, and carbon offset program for residential and small businesses.
The program, submitted to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission in a June 6 filing, would allow participants to offset 100% or more of the emissions associated with their own natural gas consumption, according to a Black Hills press release.
“We believe natural gas will continue to play a critical role in a clean energy future,” Kellie Ashcraft, vice president of operations for Black Hills Energy in Colorado, said in a statement. “As thousands of customers and communities depend on natural gas every day for highly efficient heating, water heating and cooking in their homes and premises, our customers are increasingly turning to us for sustainable and cost-effective options to help them reduce the carbon footprint associated with their natural gas consumption.
“Our customers have told us they are interested in sustainable energy and we are listening,” continued Ashcraft.
As proposed, participants in the voluntary program could purchase “blocks” at a fixed price at $5 per block, representing a portion of their natural gas consumption, according to the release. One block would be equivalent to 20.5 therms of natural gas, or approximately 25% of the residential customer’s average monthly consumption.
“We designed this voluntary RNG and carbon offset program with their direct feedback in mind, cultivated over the past two years through customer surveys which indicated that more than half (57%) would “somewhat” or “very interested” in participating in a voluntary RNG and carbon offset program,” Ashcraft said.
Depending on customer preferences, participants could purchase enough blocks to offset more than 100% of the emissions associated with their natural gas consumption. The offset would be achieved through a combination of carbon offset credits and renewable natural gas attributes.
Pending Colorado PUC approval, the company plans to offer the voluntary RNG and carbon offset program to customers under a four-year pilot program beginning in 2023 and running through 2026.
“By piloting this program, we will have a better opportunity to shape the program to meet our customers’ expectations,” continued Ashcraft. “We will take this time to study a variety of performance factors such as customer interest and sign-ups, which in turn have the potential to drive market growth for carbon offsets and renewable natural gas development. in the communities we serve. »