SIMPLY RIGHT. Natural Gas. Part of the Viridian portfolio of responsible energy solutions. The responsible choice for today

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1 SIMPLY RIGHT Natural Gas The responsible choice for today Part of the Viridian portfolio of responsible energy solutions

2 Charting our way to a more sustainable future The green energy sector is growing at a rapid clip a positive trend that Viridian is proud to have played a role in creating. But even with that encouraging growth, we have years to go before renewables become the norm. Right now, America relies on non-renewable sources for more than 85% of its electricity generation needs, with the largest portion coming from coal, the dirtiest-burning fossil fuel of all. 1 Clearly something has to change, and the sooner the better. With the understanding that a stopgap measure is seldom the ideal one, we do have a practical, short-term solution: natural gas. The cleanest burning of all fossil fuels, natural gas can help us reduce carbon emissions for now while we work toward a sustainable green energy future. A cleaner-burning solution Natural gas Home heating/ diesel fuel Coal Natural gas emits 45% less CO2 than conventional electricity generated from coal, and nearly 30% less CO2 than fuel oil. 5 Natural gas is already a popular and affordable choice. Across the country, more and more Americans are relying on it to heat their homes and places of business, power their clothes dryers and stoves and fuel their fireplaces. In 2013, the most recent data year, there were slightly more than 66 million natural gas customers in our country. 2 The EIA predicts that America s use of natural gas will continue to rise through It s a trend that is significantly helping to reduce carbon emissions. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2012 CO2 emissions related to energy consumption dropped to their lowest point since The EIA attributes a large part of that decline to Americans using less coal-supported electricity and more natural gas. In fact, carbon emissions from electricity fell by 6.1% in 2012 alone, as natural gas began to replace coal as our nation s fuel of choice. 4 But there s no getting away from the fact that the use of natural gas raises some important questions. First and foremost, natural gas is not renewable. And although it creates significantly fewer emissions than coal and oil, it does create emissions, which contribute to climate change. Additionally, there is debate on extraction methods. To give those who use natural gas a more environmentally conscious option, we created our Simply Right natural gas products. It was simply the right thing to do EIA 12/12/13 Number of Natural Gas Consumers 3 Annual Energy Outlook Forbes.com 10/23/ EIA 2013 Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Fuel 2 Simply Right TM Natural Gas

3 U.S. energy consumption by source Petroleum Renewables Natural gas Nuclear Coal At present, natural gas accounts for 26% of all energy used in the U.S., while renewable sources account for just 9%6. The use of renewables and the use of natural gas are both expected to grow in the near future. We hope that the time will soon come when the use of all fossil fuels, natural gas included, is eclipsed by the use of clean, green renewable energy. Energy Information Association (EIA) 2011 Annual Energy Review 6 Imagine a low carbon future Right now fossil fuels dominate as America s energy source. But as we move toward a future driven primarily by renewables, there will come a time when natural gas is uniquely positioned to play an important transitional role. Working together, renewable technology and natural gas have the potential to limit or even eventually eliminate our use of fossil fuels, as illustrated by the concept graph above. including coal, nuclear, petroleum and other gases including wind, hydro, solar and biomass Simply Right TM Natural Gas 3

4 Simply Right Natural Gas A uniquely Viridian product in two important ways At Viridian, we consider all of our customers and Associates to be part of our sustainability-minded community, regardless of where they currently sit on the environmental spectrum. That s why we give them more value and more opportunities to engage than our competitors do. In order to give our natural gas customers the opportunity to enjoy cleaner-burning, affordable energy and be part of a responsible solution, we purchase carbon offsets to mitigate their natural gas usage. We are delighted to welcome all of our natural gas customers to our mission of individual choice, collective impact, and we look forward to the positive difference they will make. Just as we offer our electricity customers a choice of plans, allowing them to select the one that best suits their budget and environmental goals, we offer our natural gas customers a choice: Our Simply Right product provides 25% carbon offsets, enabling the average customer to help avoid 2,676 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually. For customers interested in further minimizing their carbon footprint, we offer Simply Right 100, which is 100% carbon offset. The average Simply Right 100 customer helps avoid 10,707 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually. In addition, to move us closer to a better future, we established the Simply Right Natural Gas Fund which makes donations on behalf of all of our natural gas customers. The fund allows us to extend our reach beyond simple mitigation to problem-solving and resolution. So many of us use natural gas every day. Now Viridian makes it easy to use it responsibly. See what a difference the Simply Right choice can make Based solely on our existing customer base, we can mitigate more than 100 million pounds of CO2 (45,359 metric tons) within the first year of our Simply Right customers usage. That has the same environmental impact as: Removing 9,450 passenger vehicles from the road for one year Not using any electricity in 6,241 homes for one year Planting 1,163,057 tree seedlings that grow for 10 years Average emissions based on using 76 therms per month. Emissions data calculated using EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator 4 Simply Right TM Natural Gas

5 The Simply Right Natural Gas Fund Supporting and promoting best practices in the natural gas industry A voice for change When we introduced our natural gas product in 2012, we had two clearly stated goals: to allow our customers to reduce the impact of their usage and to be a force for positive change. In order to bring those to life, however, we needed a broad enough customer base to give us a real voice in the industry. Thanks to our Associates and customers, our natural gas markets have grown to the point where we can act on our intentions. Every customer enrolled brings us closer to meaningful critical mass. As a natural part of our commitment to sustainability, Viridian allocates a percentage of our revenue from natural gas customers into our Simply Right Natural Gas Fund, with the goal of promoting innovation, transparency, responsibility and accountability in natural gas extraction and delivery. Working with select organizations whose values we share and whose expertise we trust, we support a range of projects that look at how Americans use natural gas, address the potential impact of natural gas extraction on water supplies and create best management practices with an eye to environmental conservation. As our customer base grows, so will our fund and its influence. The more customers we reach, the stronger our role will be in helping to drive demand for responsible solutions. For more complete information, be sure to check out our annual Sustainability Report, where we will account for our customers usage, the carbon offsets we purchased to mitigate that usage and the organizations we are supporting through our Simply Right Natural Gas Fund. Simply Right TM Natural Gas 5

6 Reduce what you can... What is a carbon offset? Simply put, a carbon offset allows people to balance a negative action releasing carbon emissions with a positive one such as planting trees by supporting companies who create the positive action. Carbon offsets are important because, just as we leave footprints when we walk barefoot in the sand, participating in today s world means that we will leave a carbon footprint on the Earth. There s no way around it, even for those of us who have wholeheartedly embraced a more sustainable lifestyle. The simple acts of heating our homes or commuting to work causes the release of greenhouse gases, which contribute to both climate change and pollution. These greenhouse gases mix quickly into the air and spread around the planet. But carbon offsets allow us to mitigate the effects. They are not an excuse to pollute, but are rather an acknowledgment that while we can t completely control how our actions affect the environment, we can try to make up for it in positive ways. When Viridian purchases a carbon offset, we fund on your behalf projects that either absorb carbon, reduce the amount of carbon that is released or avoid the creation of carbon emissions altogether. The projects might, for example, help restore forests, update power plants and factories to be more environmentally friendly, help build and run landfill gas recovery systems, extend working capital to wind farms or solar energy companies or increase the energy efficiency of buildings and transportation. It doesn t really matter where the greenhouse gas reductions take place; what s important is that fewer emissions are entering the atmosphere overall. How do carbon offsets help Simply Right customers make a difference? Viridian calculates the CO2 emissions for all of our natural gas customers. Viridian purchases quality carbon offsets from Sterling Planet to mitigate customers emissions. 6 Simply Right TM Natural Gas

7 offset what you can t. About Sterling Planet In other words, by investing in things that reduce pollution, we offset the amount of pollution produced by our customers consumption. The carbon offset is represented by a certificate that states that one metric ton of CO2 has been captured, absorbed or, through careful planning and design, wasn t created at all. Purchasing offsets from well-accredited companies such as Sterling Planet is an efficient and effective way to help reduce overall carbon footprints and counteract climate change. The recipient of four U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Power Leadership Awards, our preferred carbon offset supplier Sterling Planet was recognized again, as the 2013 EPA Green Power Supplier of the Year, for its outstanding environmental efforts, initiatives and programs. All projects that Sterling Planet supports are validated and verified by independent, third parties and meet the highest standards. For more information, visit Carbon offsets are a hedge against the atmospheric buildup of heat-trapping gases. Offsetting your carbon footprint allows you to become part of the solution to climate change. Sterling Planet The carbon offsets help finance projects that reduce, absorb or avoid carbon emissions. A carbon offset certifies the reduction of one metric ton of carbon dioxide or its equivalent in greenhouse gases. Simply Right TM Natural Gas 7

8 Frequently asked questions I understand that natural gas creates fewer carbon emissions than coal or heating oil. But does it also create less smog- and illness-causing particulate pollution than those sources? Yes. Natural gas emits just a fraction of particulates compared with carbon and oil. In fact, natural gas emits 7 pounds of particles per billion BTU, while heating oil emits 84 pounds and coal emits 2,744 pounds. 7 Does natural gas release greenhouse gases besides CO2? Yes. Natural gas is almost entirely methane, which is a greenhouse gas, and some methane is released when natural gas is extracted. That is why we go the extra mile to purchase carbon offsets from landfill gas facilities, which actively avoid methane release, for our Simply Right TM products and why we established the Simply Right Natural Gas Fund TM. How does natural gas compare to renewable energy? Natural gas is a fossil fuel that releases emissions which contribute to global warming, making it a less attractive climate solution than lower- and zero-carbon alternatives such as energy efficiency and renewable energy. But for customers who already have natural gas furnaces and appliances in their homes, our Simply Right products offer a unique and compelling balance of affordability and responsibility. Fracking has been in the news a lot recently. What is fracking exactly, and what is Viridian s position on it? A vast amount of natural gas in North America is trapped deep underground in shale formations or coal beds. Hydraulic fracturing (generally known as fracking ) is a means of extracting that gas by injecting treated, pressurized water into the ground. The force of the water creates cracks in the rocks, allowing the gas to escape. The use of fracking has made more natural gas available for use, but there are concerns about fracking s impact on the land, groundwater and air. As environmental advocates, Viridian s position is that each of those concerns should be carefully and thoughtfully analyzed, with an eye to establishing and enforcing best practices in the industry. Addressing the impact of natural gas extraction by all methods is one of the many reasons Viridian created the Simply Right Natural Gas Fund. 7 EIA Natural Gas Issues and Trends Switching to a competitive third-party supplier is not mandatory and you, the Customer, have the option of remaining with your utility for basic generation service. Viridian Energy is licensed to serve residential and commercial electricity customers in Connecticut (Docket # ), Delaware (Order # 8178), Illinois (Case # ) and Massachusetts (License # CS-076); and residential and commercial natural gas customers in Virginia (License # G-33). Viridian is licensed to serve both electricity and natural gas customers in Maryland (License # IR-1840 for Electricity Service and License # IR-2837 for Natural Gas Service), New Jersey (License # ESL-0084 for Electricity Service and License # GSL-0108 for Natural Gas Service), New York (ESCO Code VRID for Electricity Service and ESCO Code VRPA for Natural Gas Service), Pennsylvania (Docket # A for Electricity Service and Docket # A for Natural Gas Service), and Washington, DC (Order # for Electricity Service and Order# for Natural Gas Service). Viridian may offer two rate plans: variable rates, which are subject to change based on several factors including market conditions and fixed rates which are fixed for an agreed upon number of billing cycles. Current rates should not be construed as a guarantee of future rates or savings VIRIDIAN ENERGY. All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying or reproduction of this product, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited. NaturalGasTraining_ Simply Right TM Natural Gas

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