Make emissions reduction goals a reality when you sign up for Renewable Natural Gas
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in BC is an important goal with no simple solution. However, there are effective and affordable ways that British Columbians can take advantage of today by utilizing the existing infrastructure that is already bought, paid for and available to deliver low-carbon energy to homes and businesses.
British Columbia has historically been among Canada’s most environmentally progressive jurisdictions and FortisBC is working to meet the expectations of its customers and local governments to make emissions reduction goals a reality.
Over the last few years, there has been a lot of conversation about the role of natural gas in a lower-carbon future in our province, especially when it comes to emissions from buildings. According to BC’s provincial government, approximately 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the province come from homes and buildings.1
In the last decade or so, new innovations have come onto the market to help drive down emissions from buildings, but complete decarbonization is still a long way away. One option available to British Columbians today that can make an immediate difference is the use of Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)2 which FortisBC first made available to customers in 2011.
Renewable Natural Gas is a “drop in fuel” that can help meet building greenhouse gas reduction targets while allowing you to continue enjoying the benefits of gas without having to change any equipment.
What is RNG anyway?
Renewable Natural Gas is produced in a different manner than conventional natural gas. It is derived from biogas, which is produced from decomposing organic waste from landfills, agricultural waste, and wastewater from treatment facilities.
The biogas is captured and cleaned to create low-carbon RNG — also called biomethane. When low-carbon RNG is mixed into the gas in our system, it displaces an equivalent volume of conventional natural gas that lowers greenhouse gas emissions from gas use.
RNG, the choice is yours
One customer, Martini Film Studios, has already made the choice to take action on reducing their emissions with renewable and low-carbon gases3. The Langley-based studio is the first film studio in British Columbia to sign up for 100% RNG. The film industry, like others, is working to decarbonize and work towards net zero operations. RNG can be an important part of that shift.
“Using RNG is the easiest way for studios to support production’s objectives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without the cost of having to change any equipment. It really is a no-brainer,” says President and CEO of Martini Film Studios Gemma Martini.
Over 11,000 British Columbian homes and businesses are already signed up for RNG. By 2030, FortisBC projects that it’ll have enough renewable and low-carbon gas in its system to take care of the annual natural gas needs of close to 345,000 BC homes.
Providing new and innovative energy for a better BC is a priority for the utility as they increase the supply of renewable and low-carbon gases. In fact, a report commissioned last year by the Province of British Columbia, FortisBC, and BC Bioenergy Network revealed that the province’s gas system could be completely supplied by made-in-BC renewable and low-carbon sources by 2050. As the study shows, RNG is a key part of FortisBC’s supply of low-carbon gases moving forward as well as other sources that the organization continues to explore, like hydrogen.
Renewable Natural Gas is a big step in the right direction, allowing BC to continue using a reliable, well-established system to move renewable energy rather than carbon energy. Check out some of the other work FortisBC is doing to decarbonize its gas system and help its customers lower their energy use.
2 Renewable Natural Gas is produced in a different manner than conventional natural gas. It is derived from biogas, which is produced from decomposing organic waste from landfills, agricultural waste and wastewater from treatment facilities. The biogas is captured and cleaned to create Renewable Natural Gas (also called biomethane).
3 FortisBC uses the term renewable and low-carbon gas to refer collectively to the low-carbon gases or fuels that the utility can acquire under the Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Clean Energy) Regulation, which are: Renewable Natural Gas (RNG or biomethane), hydrogen, synthesis gas (from wood waste) and lignin. Depending on their source, all of these gases have differing levels of lifecycle carbon intensity. All gases would meet the proposed B.C. carbon intensity threshold for low-carbon gases of 36.4 g CO2e per megajoule set out in the 2021 B.C. Hydrogen Strategy.