TotalGreen™ is a voluntary, pilot program designed to be a flexible option for customers to balance the emissions associated with use of natural gas purchased from Nicor Gas. TotalGreen™ utilizes RNG environmental attributes (e.g., credits) and carbon offsets¹ which are retired on behalf of the customer. By participating in TotalGreen™, customers are helping to foster the growth of projects and practices that offset or reduce CO₂ being released into the atmosphere.
Eligible² participating customers can balance emissions associated with the combustion of the natural gas purchased from Nicor Gas.
For a midsize business customer using 10,000 therms annually, participation in TotalGreen™ would result in approximately 53 Metric Tons (MT) of CO₂ emissions offset, providing roughly the same benefit as sequestering carbon through the planting of 875 tree seedlings and letting them grow for 10 years, avoiding greenhouse gas emissions from 2,290 trash bags of waste being recycled instead of landfilled, or 2,005 incandescent lamps being switched to LEDs³. More specific examples are below:
Emissions associated with 9,940 therms are offset through the retirement of carbon offsets.
(9,940 therms *.0053 = 52.68 MT CO₂ offset)
The remaining 60 therms are matched with RNG environmental attributes in the form of retiring (or claiming) an equal amount of Renewable Thermal Credits.
(60 therms *.0053 = .318 MT CO₂ avoided/reduced)
Estimated Participation Premium: $734/year.
Emission associated with 8,970 therms are offset through the retirement of carbon offsets.
(8,970 therms * 0.0053 = 47.54 MT CO₂ offset)
The remaining 1,030 therms are matched with RNG environmental attributes in the form of retiring (or claiming) an equal amount of Renewable Thermal Credits.
(1,030 therms * 0.0053 = 5.46 MT CO₂ avoided/reduced)
Estimated Participation Premium: $2,646/year.
Regardless of which program option⁶ the customer enrolls in, 100% of the 53 MT of CO₂ emissions associated with their natural gas usage are offset.
If you would like to see an example based on your specific usage, please visit the TotalGreen™ home page where you can use our cost calculator.
The TotalGreen™ program bundles RNG RTCs (e.g., Renewable Thermal Credits) with carbon offsets to reduce or offset 100% of the carbon dioxide emissions associated with a customer’s use of natural gas purchased from Nicor Gas. The program will use a set percentage of RNG⁷ to displace the corresponding amount of geologic natural gas that customers would have otherwise used. All remaining emissions are offset by retiring carbon offsets on behalf of participating customers.
TotalGreen™ Product Mix is below:
There are several carbon offset certifying entities that verify and issue carbon offset credits, such as the Climate Action Reserve (CAR), Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), Gold Standard, and American Carbon Registry (ACR). These entities serve as independent verification bodies to ensure that carbon offset projects and associated emissions reductions are real and measurable. The carbon offsets purchased and retired in the TotalGreen™ program are tracked and verified through the Climate Action Reserve.
More information can be found on the Climate Action Reserve website.
More information on the Carbon Offsets purchased for TotalGreen™ program.
RTCs purchased and retired on behalf of participating customers for the TotalGreen™ program are verified and tracked using the Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System (M-RETS). M-RETS is a nonprofit organization that serves as an independent verification body to ensure environmental attributes (e.g., Renewable Thermal Certificates) are tracked using an online platform to facilitate the drive toward economy-wide decarbonization. By streamlining certificate verification and tracking, M-RETS is able to prevent double counting.
More information can be found on the M-RETS website.
¹ A carbon offset represents the removal or capture of one metric ton of greenhouse gases (GHGs) measured as CO²e.
² To participate in TotalGreen, customers must take natural gas service under Rate 1 (residential), Rate 4, Rate 5, Rate 6, or Rate 7 and purchase their natural gas supply from Nicor Gas.
⁴ Product Mix: 99.4% Carbon Offsets, 0.6% RNG.
⁵ Product Mix: 89.7% Carbon Offsets, 10.3% RNG.
⁶ Eligible Commercial or Industrial customers may also choose to contract with Nicor Gas to purchase 100% RNG Environmental Attributes to offset their carbon emissions associated with their natural gas usage.
⁷ TotalGreen Basic: 99.4% Carbon Offsets, 0.6% RNG; TotalGreen Premium: 89.7% Carbon Offsets, 10.3% RNG.