PG&E ClimateSmart program aims to offset emissions

The town of Los Gatos, in Silicon Valley, has enrolled in a program sponsored by PG&E that is designed to offset that city’s greenhouse gas emissions.  The program, which is available to residential, commercial, and government entities, is called the ClimateSmart program.

The program aims to offset emissions through investment in projects that decrease net emissions.  A couple examples include an effort to preserve the Lompico Headwaters in Santa Cruz, and plans to capture methane gases from dairy farms and landfills.

The program is available to all PG&E customers, of which 33,000 businesses and homes have already joined.  The average cost per home is around $5 per month.  Los Gatos’s investment will cover only that city’s municipal buildings.  Interestingly, Los Gatos plans to pay for the costs of the program through reduced electricity bills from installing LED traffic signals and holiday lighting.

While this sounds like a great program PG&E is offering, it is our hope that it is not just a way to convince the state not to enact other regulations.  Additionally, the investments in the program, of course, need to be transparent and audited.

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