Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. (WGES), one of the largest competitive energy suppliers in the mid-Atlantic region, announced today that Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is matching 35 percent of its natural gas usage with WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets. One of the largest community colleges in the country, NOVA’s offset purchase will have an environmental impact equivalent to avoiding the consumption of almost 125,000 gallons of gasoline. WGES is a subsidiary of WGL, which offers a diverse set of energy sources including natural gas, wind, and solar as well as a range of energy solutions – generation, storage, transportation, distribution, supply, and efficiency – which serve customers in more than 25 states. “Northern Virginia Community College’s sustainability strategy includes aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals, and working with Washington Gas Energy Services to neutralize the impact of our natural gas usage is a simple and effective way to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Rob Johnson, sustainability officer at NOVA. “This commitment to matching 35 percent of our natural gas usage to WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets, coupled with our other projects and initiatives across our six campuses, will help us extend our leadership in environmental sustainability.” WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets support independently verified local carbon-reduction projects in the areas of efficient transportation and landfill gas capture and destruction. The carbon-reduction projects have environmental benefits for the region, such as improved air and water quality. Through WGES’ partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), a portion of all offset purchases supports the Carbon Reduction Fund, which is used to develop future clean air and water projects, such as tree plantings, throughout the Chesapeake Bay region. NOVA students and faculty interested in supporting these projects will be invited to volunteer at WGES’ annual Earth Month tree planting event, held in conjunction with CBF, in April. “Northern Virginia Community College is the first higher education institution to utilize WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets to help achieve carbon reduction goals. Using offsets matched to natural gas is an effective and credible way to counterbalance the impact of the school’s energy usage and complement NOVA’s other efforts, which include constructing LEED-certified buildings and offering comprehensive recycling and composting programs,” said Harry Warren, president of Washington Gas Energy Services. “This carbon offsets purchase demonstrates to the NOVA community and to other educational institutions that lessening their environmental impact can be simple and have local benefits.”
All WGES standard natural gas contracts include a baseline 5 percent match of carbon offsets to natural gas usage for residential customers and a 3.5 percent match for small commercial customers. Both residential and small commercial customers have the option of choosing natural gas matched with 100 percent WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets. Large commercial customers have the option of customizing the percent of their natural gas that is matched with carbon offsets.Since WGES launched WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets in September 2010, customers have purchased more than 109,000 offsets. This is equivalent to taking 22,000 cars off the road for one year, or avoiding the consumption of over 12 million gallons of gasoline. To learn more about WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets, visit http://www.wges.com/carbonoffsets. About Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. is one of the largest competitive energy providers in the mid-Atlantic region. Washington Gas Energy Services supplies electricity, natural gas and green energy options to commercial and residential customers in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) named Washington Gas Energy Services the Green Power Supplier of the Year in the non-utility category . Headquartered in Herndon, Va., Washington Gas Energy Services is an affiliate of Washington Gas, the regulated natural gas utility, and a subsidiary of WGL Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: WGL). www.wges.com About Northern Virginia Community College Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.