DTE Energy works through renewable energy programs to make 2024 NFL Draft carbon neutral

Published on April 24, 2024 by Chris Galford

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Working with the National Football League (NFL) and a local tourism nonprofit, DTE Energy intends to use its MIGreenPower and Natural Gas Balance programs to offset emissions linked to the production and operation of this year’s NFL Draft in Detroit.

The annual draft is a massive undertaking, with an accompanying slew of event production and operation needs, food and beverage preparation and consumption, merchandise sales, and the air and ground transportation required for NFL employees and vendors. Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to descend on Detroit over a matter of days for the event. It runs from April 25-27, and this year, the NFL will turn to Michigan’s DTE to offset the carbon footprint of the energy it will require.

For its part, DTE already has a system of carbon offsets in place – the voluntary Natural Gas Balance program – which it uses to reduce the carbon footprints of customers. 

“DTE is excited to leverage the benefits of our voluntary renewable energy programs to create a cleaner environment for the NFL Draft and Visit Detroit,” Tony Tomczak, vice president – Electric Sales and Marketing at DTE Energy, said. “We’re thrilled that everyone involved shares DTE’s vision for a cleaner energy future. Reducing the carbon footprint of the event is in perfect alignment with our own plans to help keep Michigan a great place for our future generations to call home.” 

Efforts will be further backed by MIGreenPower, a voluntary renewable energy program DTE uses to support development of wind and solar parks in the state. Customers enrolled in its pilot attribute 100 percent of their electricity use to renewable energy. As part of the Draft, enrollment of 40 local, income-qualified households to the program will be funded – a fact that local tourism nonprofit Visit Detroit lauded.

“Detroit and the state of Michigan are sustainability innovation leaders, from building the first electric vehicle charging road to ensuring that events like the NFL Draft promote environmental stewardship for our community,” Claude Molinari, president and CEO of Visit Detroit, said. “Visit Detroit is grateful to the NFL, DTE, and other community partners for their work to make this year’s Draft a model for sustainable events.” 

To date, Natural Gas Balance has been used by more than 13,000 households and nearly 60 organizations to balance natural gas usage by protecting trees in northern Michigan, while also supporting use and development of natural gas. MIGreenPower now has nearly 100,000 residential customer enrollees and more than 1,600 organizations attributing power to renewable sources.