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Black Hills Energy proposes voluntary RNG and carbon offset program for homes and businesses in Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. – Nov. 2, 2022 In response to customers’ growing interest in sustainable energy options, Black Hills Energy today announced plans to offer a voluntary renewable natural gas (RNG) and carbon offset program for residential and small business customers. The program, submitted to the Nebraska Public Service Commission (NPSC) for approval, would allow participants to offset 100% or more of the emissions associated with their own natural gas usage.

“Natural gas will continue to play a critical role in a clean energy future,” said Kevin Jarosz, Black Hills Energy’s vice president of Nebraska operations. “Thousands of customers and communities rely on natural gas each day for highly efficient home and space heating, water heating, and cooking. Our customers are increasingly looking to us for sustainable and cost-effective options to help them further reduce their carbon footprint, and this program creates a pathway for our company to help customers and communities achieve our shared goals.”

“Our customers have told us they are interested in sustainable energy and we’re listening,” said Jarosz. “We’ve 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 56% would be interested in participating in a voluntary RNG and carbon offset program.”

As proposed, customers who opt-in to this program would be able to purchase fixed price “blocks” at $5 per block, representing a portion of emissions from their natural gas usage. One block would offset the equivalent of 20.5 therms of natural gas, which amounts to approximately 33% of an average residential Nebraska customer’s monthly usage. Based on customer preference, participants could purchase enough blocks to offset more than 100% of the direct emissions associated with their natural gas usage. This would be achieved through a combination of carbon offset credits and renewable natural gas attributes.

“We applaud Black Hills Energy for their leadership in sustainability,” said Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird. “Through this innovative offering, Lincoln residents will have the opportunity to take meaningful actions to help slow the pace of climate change and support our shared vision of a cleaner energy future for all.”

Pending approval by the NPSC, the company plans to offer the voluntary RNG and carbon offset program to customers as a four-year pilot program starting in 2023 and running through 2026.

“By piloting this program, we will have a better opportunity to shape the program to meet the expectations of our customers,” continued Jarosz. “We’ll take this time to study a variety of performance factors such as customer interest and enrollments, which in turn, have the potential to drive growth in the carbon offset market and in renewable natural gas development across the communities we serve.”

Black Hills Energy News