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Carbon Offset Policy


As stated in Article 1, Section 2 of the bylaws, one of POWER’s main purposes is to:

foster the reduction of carbon emissions through providing Oberlin residents and others the opportunity to offset their carbon emissions by supporting projects that increase efficiency and thereby reduce energy use and its attendant carbon pollution.


Therefore, POWER maintains a Carbon Offset Program governed by the following guidelines:


  • Carbon offsets can be purchased any time and individual or organization makes a donation and also indicates that they wish the funds to be used solely for offsetting carbon.  Donors may indicate that they are contributing to the carbon fund by checking a box on our donation form (enclosed), by writing “carbon fund” on the subject line of their check, or by stating so in an accompanying letter. If the donation is not so designated, it goes into the general fund (which can be used for any activities of the organization). 

  • Funds designated for offsetting carbon are only used to pay for expenses that directly reduce carbon emissions.  This includes, but is not limited to: paying for the insulation and weatherization of a home; purchasing a high-efficiency appliance, furnace, or water heater; the staff time required to arrange for the aforementioned installations.  Carbon Fund monies are not used to pay overhead expenses, for publicity and fundraising, or for education outreach.

  • All of the funds contributed to POWER for the purpose of carbon offsetting will remain under the control of POWER, and will be dispersed by POWER directly to contractors, retail establishments, or POWER staff who provide carbon-reducing goods and services.

  • POWER does not purchase and resell carbon offsets, nor does POWER transfer the offsets it generates to any other entity.  POWER only accepts donations to create and retire carbon offsets on behalf of donors through POWER’s own work insulating and weatherizing homes, purchasing high-efficiency appliances, or any other future energy-efficiency endeavor initiated by POWER.

  • Because donors neither take ownership over nor title to the carbon offsets, donors accrue no financial benefit.  Therefore donations to the carbon fund are tax deductible.

  • POWER does not offer third-party verification of its carbon offsets.  However, POWER collects data to verify the amount of carbon offset. These records are available and open to the public upon request.

Do you want to purchase carbon offsets and make a direct impact in your community? Learn how you can donate to POWER here.

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