Next up for carbon offsetting is our household heating and electricity usage. For some of the past year we were on a renewable energy program with Consumer’s Energy but they changed their arrangements and we haven’t quite gotten around to re-enrolling, so I decided to try and offset 50% of our electricity usage (which totalled 3944kwhs in 2005) and 100% of our natural gas usage (907 therms): a total of 16.44 tons of carbon.
Today’s organization of choice is carbonfund.org. They’re pretty visible in google and their homepage provides a convenient calculator. Use of the calculator became even easier when I discovered that DTE Energy—our gas supplier—provide a quick summary of annual usage. Consumer’s Energy don’t make it quite that easy but our old bills were accessible and addition isn’t too hard.
I was pleased to see that the site offers the option of setting up a recurring monthly payment. I opted to pay a lump sum, but monthly payment options certainly make it more accessible. They also make it clear that the money invested with them for carbon offsetting is a charitable donation and so tax deductible for those in the US.