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Carbon Offset Program FAQs

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What is the Carbon Offset Program?

The Carbon Offset Program gives you the opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint by purchasing carbon offsets through a partnership between Duke Energy and NC GreenPower. All contributions go directly to NC GreenPower, which uses the funds to purchase carbon offsets from programs and technologies that reduce or prevent carbon or greenhouse gas emissions.

The Carbon Offset Program in Action

What is a Carbon Offset?

Carbon offsets are an easy and inexpensive way to balance your environmental impact by funding programs and technologies that prevent or sequester the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Carbon offsets are purchased from a third party to help cancel out, or “offset” the environmental consequences produced by our energy-intensive lifestyles.

What are the effects of GHGs?

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one example of a GHG. Most everything we do – driving, flying, heating and cooling our homes – emits CO2 into the atmosphere. The release of too much GHGs is associated with a global climate change by trapping heat and amplifying the earth’s natural greenhouse effect.

What are examples of carbon offset programs?

Reforestation projects are one way to offset carbon emissions. Through photosynthesis, trees naturally capture and remove CO2 from the air. In addition, CO2 can be balanced through the capture of methane gas produced by animals and landfills.

How are the carbon offset offerings to customers selected?

Duke Energy is teaming up with NC GreenPower, a non-profit organization created in 2003 by a joint partnership between Advanced Energy and the state’s electric utilities. NC GreenPower is currently working to evaluate and select the best carbon offset investment opportunities.

How is NC GreenPower evaluating potential carbon offset programs?

All offset programs are being evaluated using the criteria established by the Environmental Defense Fund. For example, carbon offsets offered through the selected program must be verifiable, certified, permanent and have net positive environmental and community impacts.

How much does a carbon offset cost and what is the CO2 benefit?

A carbon offset may be purchased for $4 per month, which will offset 1,000 pounds of CO2 – the equivalent of 1,000 kilowatt hours of energy use based on Duke Energy’s generation mix. The average residential customer uses 1,000 kilowatt hours of energy per month.

Is my contribution tax-deductible?

Yes. Because NC GreenPower is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization, your donation is deductible to the full extent allowed by law. For your convenience, the contribution you specify will be added to your electric bill every month. Duke Energy will forward all contributions in full to NC GreenPower. The Carbon Offset line item on your power bill serves as your receipt each month. Consult your tax professional for more information.

How are customer contributions used?

Duke Energy will turn over 100 percent of our customers’ contributions to NC GreenPower, which uses the funds to purchase carbon offsets.

How can customers sign up?

To participate in the Carbon Offset Program, customers need to complete the program enrollment form.

How do I stop participation in the program?

You may decide to stop your contribution to the Carbon Offset Program at any time. Call 1-800-943-7585.