DTE Energy launches first-of-its-kind program allowing residential and small business gas customers to reduce their carbon footprint
February 3, 2021
From protecting Michigan forests to harnessing renewable natural gas created from landfill emissions and wastewater treatment plant by-products, the program is another step by DTE to secure a cleaner future for our state
DETROIT, Jan. 26, 2021 — As part of DTE Energy’s 2050 net zero commitment, DTE Gas today announced that it will offer customers a new way to reduce their carbon footprint. The program, called CleanVision Natural Gas Balance is the first in the nation to include both carbon offsets and renewable natural gas. The carbon offset program is focused on protecting Michigan forests that naturally absorb greenhouse gases. Renewable natural gas will be sourced by transforming landfill emissions and wastewater treatment plant by-products into usable gas. Natural Gas Balance offers customers a way to affordably offset 25% to 100% of greenhouse gas emissions from an average home’s natural gas use.
Grand Rapids-based Madcap Coffee has joined the program as the first Natural Gas Balance customer. Madcap’s mission as a specialty roaster is to use the business of coffee to promote positive change, whether that’s making premium coffee more widely accessible or using it to solve big challenges like sustainability. DTE and Madcap Coffee are offering a $10 Madcap Coffee gift card for the first 200 customers who sign up for the Natural Gas Balance program.
“We’re proud to have a local Michigan company with such a strong commitment to sustainability become the first new member of this program,” said Matthew Paul, president and chief operating officer, DTE Gas. “When we announced our 2050 net zero emissions commitment last year, we promised our customers that they could join us on this journey. Natural Gas Balance is the fulfilment of that promise and empowers both residential and small business customers to work with us to make Michigan a cleaner, healthier place to live.”
DTE Gas’ ambitious 2050 net zero plan includes suppliers and customers, as well as its own gas operations. This clean energy commitment, combined with customer participation in sustainability programs like Natural Gas Balance and energy efficiency, could reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 6 million metric tons by 2050 — the equivalent of offsetting natural gas emissions of 1 million homes or taking 1.3 million cars off the road annually.
Trevor Corlett, founder and co-owner of Madcap Coffee, has been looking for ways to lessen his company’s carbon footprint. Recent industry data has shown that coffeehouses log the highest level of carbon emissions in the production chain, from seed to cup.
“As a company, we believe that Madcap Coffee has a responsibility to fight poverty and climate change” said Corlett. “Joining Natural Gas Balance allows us to offset our emissions so our customers can feel even better that the coffee they’re enjoying is reflective of our shared commitment to a more sustainable Michigan and coffee industry.”
DTE is the first energy company to offer an environmental program that combines the use of both renewable natural gas and a robust carbon offset program aimed at protecting Michigan’s forests, which naturally remove greenhouse gas emissions. Natural Gas Balance offers four levels of participation, ranging from $4 a month to offset 25% of an average home’s gas use emissions to $16 monthly to offset 100% of an average home’s gas use.
The program goals are achieved through two environmentally friendly components:
Michigan forest preservation
Michigan’s trees are nature’s greatest tool in removing harmful greenhouse gases from our air and creating oxygen. By helping to preserve Michigan’s forests through the Natural Gas Balance program, DTE customers not only support the removal of greenhouse gases, but also preserve one of Michigan’s greatest natural assets. The program follows the American Carbon Registry methodology and protocol to quantify and report greenhouse gas reduction benefits that result from the forestry projects in the program.
Renewable natural gas
Landfill emissions and wastewater treatment plant by-products are transformed into fuel that heats homes and powers businesses and cars. DTE began investing in renewable natural gas more than 20 years ago and has since built a network of sources for Natural Gas Balance.
“We’re excited to invite customers to be part of our ambitious vision to create a cleaner future,” said Paul. “The environmental benefits of Natural Gas Balance will make a difference in the lives of our customers, the communities we serve and the health of our planet for generations to come.”
DTE Gas customers can learn more and join Natural Gas Balance by visiting dteenergy.com/naturalgasbalance.