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Provision Retail Energy Sustainability Report

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Sustainability Reports

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Sustainability Reports

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Download the Full Provision Sustainability Report

Provision helps customers make a positive environmental impact by delivering 100% clean energy to their homes, and planting trees on their behalf. Learn more about this innovative business model by downloading the full report.

Empowering consumers to neutralize their energy emissions while restoring the environment through reforestation aligns with UN Sustainable Development Goals 7 and 13.

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Certified CarbonBetter energy plans allow customers to use their energy for good.

By Nicole Sullivan

Provision is a retail energy supplier, providing natural gas and electricity to customers in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Operating within a deregulated energy market, Provision has carved out a niche in providing its customers with certified CarbonBetter energy plans, which provide a unique opportunity for their customers to reduce their carbon footprint without impacting their wallets or significantly changing their lifestyles. Provision’s CarbonBetter plans include a commitment to 100% clean energy by automatically offsetting their customer’s natural gas consumption through carbon offsets, investing in clean energy through renewable energy certificates (RECs), and planting trees. Provision has a goal of planting at least 100,000 trees on behalf of its customers.

An graphic showing the difference between Provision and traditional energy companies.

Provision’s Shift to Energy for Good

Leveraging its unique position in the energy value chain, Provision began offering CarbonBetter plans in the fall of 2020 as a means to enhance its service offerings by driving long-term environmentally beneficial changes at scale while maintaining competitive rates.

Benefits associated with CarbonBetter plans are automatically incorporated into every plan with no additional charge to the customer. Competitive forces in the deregulated market allow Provision to be at the forefront of change without additional red tape within existing regulated markets. Provision sees the benefits and opportunities to drive real impacts on their customers’ behalf as essential, even when their competitors may view these items as unnecessary costs.

As Provision purchases offsets and RECs, plants trees, and works with more than twenty-two utility partners, they have committed to transparency in every step of the process by highlighting their partners and sharing projects on their website’s blog. They are eager and excited to make local impacts toward cleaner energy for their customer base and invest in the future of energy.

In Provision’s effort to supply customers with 100% clean energy, they are aligning and directly supporting two of the UN’s seventeen Sustainable Development Goals, which were published as calls-to-action to meet the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Provision’s initiatives directly support SDG 7 to “Ensure Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable and Modern Energy for All,” and SDG 13 to, “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.” 

Provision’s 2020 Carbon Footprint

Provision is not a human capital-intensive business. They do not have their own generating fleet, nor do they own or maintain transmission, distribution, or pipeline infrastructure for the delivery of the gas and electricity they sell.

In evaluating their environmental impacts, Provision has focused on the volumes of natural gas and electricity sold to their customers for 2020. They have excluded their shared office space from their impact assessment, but additional details on their office building have been documented by their parent company, CarbonBetter.

Carbon emissions were calculated based on Provision’s customers’ total consumption. These emission calculations were used to evaluate the number of offsets and RECs to purchase on behalf of their customers through their CarbonBetter plans.

Provision is proud to go above and beyond traditional Scope 2 emissions (indirect emissions associated with generated energy) by quantifying the emissions of their customer base. Because Provision shares its office space with CarbonBetter, Provision does not generate any indirect emissions; rather, these emissions are accounted for by CarbonBetter. Moving forward, Provision intends to seek additional opportunities to find impactful offsets while reducing their impact and the impact of their customers. 

RECs vs Offsets – What’s the Difference?

Offsets and RECs are sometimes used interchangeably; however, they are different instruments and are used and applied differently.

A chart comparing carbon offsets and renewable energy credits (RECs).

The purchase of RECs aids in the long-term sustainability of clean energy projects, and Provision is firmly committed to doing so for the foreseeable future. Additionally, Provision has purchased carbon offsets in the form of a no-till agriculture project. 

Provision Invests in Ohio’s Renewable Energy Supply Through RECs

Some highlights of RECs that Provision has purchased to improve their impacts locally include:

  • University of Cincinnati (UC) Power Plant: The UC power plant powers the UC main campus and six hospitals with efficient and reduced greenhouse gas power from their natural gas-fired turbines and waste heat steam generators.
  • Greenup Hydro Project: A 70.2 MW hydroelectric dam located on the Ohio River at the Greenup Locks and Dam.
  • City of Akron Water Pollution Control Station: The Water Reclamation Facility harvests biosolids to be utilized in a high-solids anaerobic digestion process. This efficient process feeds microorganisms living in the digesters, where biogas is generated and used to fuel three 600kW combined heat and power units, supplying 100% of the power needs for the biogas facility and roughly 40% of the power needs for the Water Reclamation Facility. 

Making a Difference Through Carbon Offsets

Offset purchases act as investments in the future development of carbon reduction, storage of carbon, or enhanced GHG emissions removal from the atmosphere. By purchasing no-till agricultural land management carbon credits, Provision acknowledges the importance of carbon removal alongside the need for clean energy resources. Provision has previously invested in reforestation and landfill gas carbon credits. Moving forward, Provision is focused on identifying and purchasing carbon credits based in the United States or credits with secondary impacts that align well with their mission and values.

Planting 100,000 trees

Provision is focused on their initial goal of planting 100,000 trees on behalf of their customers. To further their impact, planting trees is in addition to their purchase of offsets and RECs to sell cleaner energy to their customers.

OKO logo.

Provision has invested directly in OKO Forests, a reforestation carbon offset project in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The project is still in its initial stages and has recently completed two planting phases, a pilot phase and phase 1a. Provision has made direct investments in OKO through the purchase of tree seedlings. 

National Forest Foundation logo.

The National Fores Foundation was created by the U.S. Congress to restore and enhance U.S. National Forests and Grasslands. Provision has chosen to plant trees in U.S. forests to make an impact close to home to supplement their tree-planting efforts in Ghana.

Provision case study cover.

Download the Full Provision Case Study

Download the full report now to learn more about how Provision helps their customers use their energy for good with certified CarbonBetter energy.