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Investing in green technology helps bring greenhouse gas levels down. Mt. Lebanon will be getting carbon-free electricity for the next four years.

The municipality buys its electricity from Constellation Energy. With one more year left on our contract, Constellation forecast a steep increase in energy costs by the time the contract expires in November 2022.

“We were in a position to extend the agreement so that current costs would be locked in at much lower rates,” said Public Works Director Rudy Sukal.

During discussions with Constellation, Sukal asked about the possibility of carbon-free energy. Constellation Energy is retiring carbon credits from a nuclear power plant it owns.

A carbon credit is a certificate that permits the holder to emit one ton of carbon dioxide or some other greenhouse gas. The credit has to be purchased. The credit certificates can either be resold or retired. Retiring a carbon credit takes it off the market.

The idea is, if a company is not currently able to reduce its carbon footprint, it can pay money to a company that’s further ahead in its pollution control, and thus is able to reduce its carbon footprint by a ton. Since nuclear power doesn’t generate greenhouse gases, the power plants can collect money from companies that generate pollution. The bottom line is a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

“This is great news that we went with the carbon-free solution,” Ward 5 Commissioner Andrew Flynn said in an email. “I know it’s a small administrative change, but is extremely important win that marks the municipality as a leader.”


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