*Participation in the Reliant EcoShareSM Program at either the Gold or Silver level is optional and will not impact your agreement to purchase electricity service from Reliant. Choose your level of participation and cancel at anytime. You do not have to change your current electricity plan.
Only available to customers in Texas.
Reliant SmarStart customers are not eligible for the Reliant EcoShareSM Program.
Q: How does the carbon offset component of Reliant EcoShareSM work?
A: Reliant will purchase and retire carbon offsets equal to the participation level you select to reduce an equivalent portion of your carbon footprint.
Q: What is the difference between a carbon offset and a renewable energy credit/certificate?
A: They are both tools that have been developed to help companies and individuals reduce their impact on the environment, particularly in terms of global climate change. They have different approaches. RECs help support clean energy by providing an extra incentive for the production of renewable energy. Carbon offsets focus on reducing or avoiding greenhouse gas emissions, by supporting a variety of projects that are certified to keep greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.
Q: Can I cancel or change my Reliant EcoShareSM participation at anytime?
A: Yes you can cancel your Reliant EcoShareSM Program level at anytime.
You also have the flexibility to change contribution levels at anytime. However, it can take up to two billing cycles the change to be reflected on your monthly billing.
Q: What if I am on a 100% Wind Plan, or a Secure Plan with 20% Wind, can I participate in the Reliant EcoShareSM Program?
A: You are still eligible to participate in the Reliant EcoShareSM Program.
Q: If I am enrolled on a 100% Wind Plan, or a Secure Plan with 20% Wind, why would I want to participate in the Reliant EcoShareSM Program?
A: Combining a 100% Wind Plan with Reliant EcoShareSM provides an excellent solution to support a cleaner environment by promoting renewable generation and by offsetting a potion of your carbon footprint.
Q: Are my EcoShareSM payments or EarthShare of Texas® donations through EcoShareSM tax deductible?
A: No, the donation is not tax deductible. If you have additional tax inquiries, please consult with your tax advisor.
Q: How can I see where my money is going? How can I track my carbon offset?
A: You can find more information on Reliant EcoShareSM by going to the Reliant Renewables® page on reliant.com. You will also receive communications on the program as well as an annual program summary including how much carbon was offset on your behalf.
Q: How much of the donation to EarthShare of Texas® reaches organizations?
A: Reliant pays for the program’s administrative costs to ensure that 100% of the $1 or $2 donation, depending on your participation level, is distributed across the EarthShare of Texas® member organizations to support environmental efforts in Texas.
Q: What type of organizations does my EarthShare of Texas® donation go to?
A: EarthShare of Texas® provides funding to more than 30 environmental organizations active in Texas, such as the Children’s Environmental Health Institute, Clean Water Fund of Texas, and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation. Other organizations can be found on the EarthShare of Texas® – Who We Support page (http://www.earthshare-texas.org/who-we-support.html).
Q: Why is Reliant offering ReliantEcoShareSM?
A: Reliant believes in offering customers a range of service options to fit their individual needs. Reliant EcoShareSM provides customers a new option to support the environment for a fixed monthly fee. Reliant also offers a variety of 100% Wind Plans and a Solar and Wind Buyback Program for customers with solar panels or wind turbines installed at their homes.
Q: How does Reliant select the types of carbon offsets to purchase and retire as part of the Reliant EcoShareSM Program?
Reliant purchases and retires carbon offsets approved by respected certification agencies such as the Climate Action Reserve and the Voluntary Carbon Standard. All carbon offsets are from sources that meet four criteria,
– Measurable: the emissions reductions are quantified by scientifically sound best practices
– Additional: reductions would not happen under business as usual, that is, as a part of normal economic activity or if mandated by law or statute
– Permanent: reductions are not subject to loss over time or easily reversed
– Real: the emission benefits have already occurred, not may occur in the future
Learn more about our carbon offsets and our calculations.
A carbon offset is the verified sequestration, avoidance of or reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gasses, made specifically for the purpose of compensating for an emission made elsewhere. Buying carbon offsets has the same effect on climate change as directly reducing the carbon emissions associated with your electricity supply, travel, and other activities. Carbon offsets may represent reductions in carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases, all measured as carbon-dioxide equivalents (CO2e) in terms of their contribution to climate change.
Renewable Energy Certificate (REC):
Renewable Energy Credits represent proof that 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity was generated from an eligible renewable energy resource (renewable electricity). These certificates can be sold or traded, and the renewable energy attributes of the energy are transferred from the REC seller to the buyer. Thus the buyer of a REC can legitimately claim to have purchased renewable energy.
A carbon footprint measures the amount of CO2 emissions produced, directly or indirectly, by households, businesses or other activities. Direct emissions include those from travel and natural gas use; indirect emissions include those created by producing electricity, clothing, food and other goods and services used by the household or business.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2):
Is naturally present in the atmosphere and is considered to be the primary contributor to climate change caused by human activities. Major amounts of CO2 are released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned.
Include coal, oil, natural gas, and other petroleum based fuels which are non-renewable energy supplies and have a finite supply. When consumed to produce energy or in a car as gasoline, CO2 is released into the atmosphere.
Energy generated from inexhaustible sources such as wind and solar, or replenished over a short time frame like biomass or hydro.
The following approaches and assumptions were used to calculate the equivalency comparisons for Reliant EcoShareSM Silver and Gold monthly levels of carbon offsets.
First we need to convert the carbon offset level to kilowatt hours. ERCOT, the Energy Reliability Council of Texas, publishes an annual report of the average green house gas emissions, including carbon, produced by the generation of one Megawatt of electricity in the ERCOT market. The most recent published figure from 2009 data is 1.231750 lbs of CO2 per kilowatt hour (kWh)
So, 500 lbs of CO2 is equal to 406 kWh and 1000 lbs of CO2 is equal to 812 kWh To get to a daily electricity consumption number, we assumed an average Texas household consuming 1,000kWh per month and used a 30 day month which equals 33 kWh per day. To get to the equivalency comparison, divide 406 kWh or 813 kWh by 33 kWh per day to get 12 and 24 days respectively.
Driving a mile produces .96 lbs of CO2 based on EPA estimates of average mileage per gallon of 20.3 for a car in America and a gallon of gasoline producing 19.4 lbs of CO2 for every gallon consumed. To determine a carbon equivalency for driving, we first used the EPA estimate that the average American drives 12,000 miles per year, or 1,000 miles per month. Next we multiply 1,000 miles by .96 lbs CO2 per mile and divide by 30 days to get 32lbs of CO2 produced on average each day. Finally we divide 500 lbs CO2 by 32lbs CO2 per day to get an equivalency of not driving 16 days per month and 31 days for 1000lbs of CO2.
More information on the conversion numbers can be found at the EPA website at