The 'ClimateSmart' program was launched in 2007 by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to allow utility customers to voluntarily purchase carbon-offsets for the greenhouse gases produced by electric power plants.
Poor participation in ClimateSmart has resulted in its demise.
PG&E customers who joined the program pay a little extra on their monthly bills - about $3.30 for a typical homeowner. PG&E uses the money to fund projects that fight the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as preserving forests from logging or capturing methane from cow manure.According to PG&E spokeswoman Katie Romans, the ClimateSmart "demonstration" program has concluded after meeting its goal. I'd suggest ClimateSmart became a "demonstration" program after it was clearly a failure.
But the program attracted just a fraction of the roughly 168,000 customers that PG&E predicted. Enrollment peaked in 2008 at just under 31,000. By the end of last year, it had slipped to 29,623.
ClimateSmart was created as a three-year experiment, and California energy regulators extended it until the end of this year despite concerns about weak participation.
On the other hand, it is possible that the goal of ClimateSmart was to clearly demonstrate that ClimateSmart, despite being politically-correct, fashionable and trendy, was actually a pretty dumb idea.