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About the Program

Nicor Gas is committed to providing customers with increasingly clean, safe, and reliable energy, and is now offering customers another way to live and work more sustainably.

TotalGreen™ is our newest carbon footprint program that offers customers another way to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. It combines renewable natural gas credits* with the purchase of carbon offsets to allow you to offset your amount of natural gas-based combustion emissions. Plus, it is conveniently integrated right into your bill.

TotalGreen™ is a voluntary pilot program that allows qualifying Nicor Gas customers to balance their carbon footprint at home by paying an additional charge on their natural gas bill. On average, the cost for single family homes is about $100 a year but varies based on individual usage and plan selection.

*i.e., credits associated with the production of RNG, transferred to Nicor Gas in the form of Renewable Thermal Credits.

To enjoy all the benefits of TotalGreen™

Sign Up Today

Calculate the Cost of TotalGreen™

Natural gas usage is calculated in therms. Because your therm use varies by month, you may have months where the cost of TotalGreen™ is higher than others. To get an idea of what your bill will look like participating in TotalGreen™, use our calculator below. You should have your Nicor Gas bill handy and look for the total monthly therm use! To see an example of a monthly bill, check out our FAQ “How does TotalGreen™ Work?”.

Note that during winter months, when you use more natural gas to heat your home, your therm consumption will be much higher than in summer months, when you use much less natural gas.

Have A Question?

We are here to answer your questions. Email us at RenewableGas@southernco.com.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is TotalGreen™?

TotalGreen™ is a voluntary program for customers interested in paying an additional fee to balance their natural gas-based carbon footprint. The reduction is achieved through the purchase of carbon offsets, renewable natural gas (RNG) environmental attributes (or credits), and program administrative costs. 

How does TotalGreen™ work?

TotalGreen™ will use a set percentage of renewable natural gas, or RNG, to displace the corresponding amount of geologic natural gas.

The program utilizes the purchase of carbon offsets to offset the remaining carbon dioxide emissions associated with your use of natural gas purchased from Nicor Gas. 

TotalGreen™ Basic:  $0.0886 per therm
TotalGreen™ Basic offsets 0.6% of the carbon dioxide emissions associated with your natural gas usage through (RNG) environmental attributes and the remaining 99.4% of emissions through carbon offsets.

TotalGreen™ Premium: $0.2872 per therm
TotalGreen™ Premium offsets 10.3% of the carbon dioxide emissions associated with your natural gas usage through (RNG) environmental attributes and the remaining 89.7% of emissions through carbon offsets.

Nicor Gas sample bill image

TotalGreen Customer Bill with 2 year rate

For customers enrolled in TotalGreen Premium, their therm usage would be multiplied by $0.2872 to calculate the per-month contribution, displayed as a separate line item on their bill.

Disclaimer: The prices quoted above for both TotalGreen Basic and TotalGreen Premium are subject to change and are in addition to natural gas commodity costs, delivery costs, and taxes. Any changes will be communicated to participating customers prior to any price changes taking effect. Current prices listed on this website are effective from July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2025, at a minimum. 

Customer impact example for participation in TotalGreen Basic:

The average Nicor Gas residential customer uses 1,093 therms of natural gas per year (based on 2019 usage). That’s approximately 91 therms per month, which equals an estimated per-month contribution of $8.06. Of the 1,093 therms used annually, approximately 7 therms are offset by RNG environmental attributes and approximately 1,086 therms are offset through retiring carbon offsets.

While natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel, there are still greenhouse gas emissions associated with the combustion of natural gas. Greenhouse gases are measured using a common unit referred to as CO₂e (carbon dioxide equivalent). For example, the annual CO₂e emissions associated with 1,093 therms of geologic natural gas used annually results in 5.8 metric tons of CO₂e. 

RNG is considered to be carbon neutral at the point of use because it does not contribute any net carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.¹

Each individual carbon offset that is purchased and retired on this customer’s behalf through participation in TotalGreen results in the reduction or elimination of one metric ton (2,204 lbs) of CO₂e. So, participation in TotalGreen for one year would offset, eliminate, or reduce an estimated 12,783 lbs of CO₂e.

This would be an equivalent amount in greenhouse gases being avoided by approximately 250 trash bags of waste being recycled instead of landfilled in a year, OR the equivalent amount of carbon nullified by over 95 tree seedlings that are grown for 10 years.

Additional comparisons can be found here: Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator | US EPA

Disclaimer: This calculation assumes customer participation in TotalGreen Basic and is included for example purposes only. For TotalGreen Premium, the same calculation can be used, replacing 99.4% carbon offsets with 89.7% to revise the values calculated for RNG.

¹ See, e.g., https://ghgprotocol.org/sites/default/files/standards/ghg-protocol-revised.pdf [ghgprotocol.org] (chapter 4, p. 25 and chapter 9, p. 63). By visiting this link, you are being redirected to a 3rd party site not affiliated with Nicor Gas and such third party is the author or provider of the content therein.

If you are a Commercial or Industrial customer that would prefer a purchasing option that would include 100% RNG environmental attributes (no carbon offsets), a special contract can be arranged through Nicor Gas. Please use the enrollment form above to contact us and a representative will get in touch with you.

 

Is there a cost to participate?

Yes, there is a cost. If you sign up for TotalGreen™, the cost will be added to your monthly bill based on your individual natural gas usage. This usage is measured in therms and clearly identified on your monthly bill through a separate line-item. An average single-family home can expect to pay around $100 over the course of a year to participate in TotalGreen™ Basic, but this cost varies based on individual use.

In addition, costs may be higher in the months when your natural gas use is higher, like in the winter, for example. We have also created a helpful TotalGreen™ calculator.

How are my emissions calculated for this program?

Nicor Gas measures customers’ natural gas usage in therms. To calculate the carbon dioxide emissions associated with the combustion of one therm of natural gas, Nicor Gas will use the U.S. EPA's combustion emissions factor. The program addresses greenhouse gas emissions associated with the combustion of natural gas at the point of combustion and does not include lifecycle emissions that occur during the extraction, production, or delivery of natural gas.

Can any residential or business customer sign up?

TotalGreen™ will be available to qualifying Nicor Gas Sales Customers. 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. Click here to view where you can find your rate on your bill. LIHEAP and PIPP funds will not be applied to offset the cost premium associated with TotalGreen™. For detailed information on eligibility, please see Rider 40 for full Program terms and details.

Nicor Gas reserves the right to terminate any or all contracts and/or this tariff at any time at the Company’s discretion.

What are the benefits of participating in TotalGreen™?

Some customers want to take further action to live or work more sustainably. This voluntary program is for those customers who desire to pay a premium for the purchase of carbon offsets and investment in RNG. An environmental impact summary can be provided to participating customers annually, upon request by contacting RenewableGas@southernco.com.

What is the difference between TotalGreen™ Basic and Premium?

The difference between the programs is based on your total investment in renewable natural gas. For the basic service, this number is 0.6% of your monthly usage. For the premium service, this number is 10.3% of your monthly usage.

Why is Nicor Gas introducing TotalGreen™?

Nicor Gas offers increasingly clean, reliable, affordable, and safe energy to our customers. TotalGreen™ is part of our continued effort to offer ways for customers to balance their carbon footprint. This can be done through energy efficiency activities or through further actions like participating in TotalGreen™.

To learn more about energy efficiency activities you can take to lower your energy use, visit https://www.nicorgas.com/residential/ways-to-save.html.

What is a carbon footprint?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), our carbon footprint is created through emissions that are a normal part of life and work. These include daily activities at home and work such as using electricity, driving, burning oil or gas for heat, or through manufacturing. Our carbon footprint refers to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we individually or collectively are responsible for.

What is renewable natural gas (RNG)?

Renewable natural gas (RNG) is a sustainable alternative to traditional (geologic) natural gas. It is produced by capturing methane from decaying organic waste found in landfills, wastewater plants and animal waste at farms. The finished RNG product is pipeline-quality gas that is interchangeable with geologic natural gas and, once connected to the gas system, can be integrated without upgrades to existing infrastructure.

RNG is not a fossil fuel, but can be used for space heating, water heating, cooking and all commercial processes currently fueled by geologic natural gas.

To learn more about RNG, how it’s made and how it works, visit https://www.nicorgas.com/sustainability/renewable-gas.html.

What are RNG environmental attributes and how are they used in TotalGreen?

Environmental attributes are credits associated with the generation of a quantity of renewable gas by an RNG facility. For TotalGreen™, these environmental attributes are quantified and transferred as Renewable Thermal Credits (“RTCs”). One RTC is issued for one dekatherm (10 therms) of RNG generation.

Nicor Gas will purchase the RTCs, which will then be retired on behalf of participating customers to offset the allocated portion (TotalGreen™ Basic vs. TotalGreen™ Premium) of carbon dioxide emissions associated with the use of natural gas that is purchased from Nicor Gas. Learn more about TotalGreen™

What is a carbon offset?

A carbon offset is an action or activity that compensates for the emission of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere. Examples of carbon offset activities include planting of trees, carbon sequestration, or destructing methane before it escapes into the atmosphere.

GHGs are measured using a common unit referred to as “carbon dioxide equivalent” or “CO₂e.” A carbon offset represents the removal or capture of one metric ton of GHGs measured as CO₂e. A carbon offset is reflected through a certificate that represents measures taken to remove or capture greenhouse gas emissions that occur elsewhere.  

For TotalGreen™, carbon offsets are purchased on behalf of our customers to offset the geologic natural gas carbon dioxide emissions they would otherwise produce. In simplest terms, carbon offset certificates are created and quantified when one metric ton of greenhouse gas is reduced, captured, avoided, or destroyed from specific projects that offset or reduce the negative impact of CO₂e on the environment.

Some examples of carbon offset projects include forestry management, landfill gas, manure management, energy efficiency, methane destruction, land use, or other agricultural management processes.  

To learn more about carbon offsets, click here. Please note, by visiting this link, you are being redirected to a 3rd party site not affiliated with Nicor Gas and such third party is the author or provider of the content therein. Learn more about TotalGreen™

TotalGreen™ Product Mix

 

How do I sign up?

You can sign up online by visiting our sign-up page.

Can I cancel anytime?

Yes! There is no long-term commitment to join TotalGreen™. It operates on a month-to-month basis; you can change your subscription options at any time by visiting the TotalGreen™ unsubscribe page. Click here to unsubscribe.

Who do I contact for more information?

Please contact Southern Company Gas’ renewable gas team at RenewableGas@southernco.com.

For more information on the commodities used in TotalGreen, please visit the Credibility, Visibility, Viability page.