Renewable natural gas will help British Columbia fight climate change
SURREY, BC, June 23, 2011 /CNW/ - FortisBC announced today it has
launched its renewable natural gas product offering for residential
customers in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Interior and the
Kootenays. Eligible customers now have the option of designating 10 per
cent of their household's natural gas usage as renewable natural gas.
FortisBC will then inject an equivalent amount of renewable natural gas
into its distribution system from local renewable natural gas projects.
Customers will be subscribed on a first-come, first-served basis, for
about an additional $4 per month, based on an average annual
consumption of 95 gigajoules (GJs).
"I want to encourage our customers to sign up for renewable natural gas.
By signing up, customers are helping create a more sustainable future
for our province, reducing their carbon footprint and supporting a
carbon-neutral B.C.-made product," said Doug Stout, vice president,
energy solutions and external relations, FortisBC.
The only portion of the bill that would change for customers who
subscribe to renewable natural gas is the cost of gas. Their cost of
gas will now be made up of 10 per cent of the renewable natural gas
cost and 90 per cent of the standard cost of gas. Subscribers will not
be locked into a contract and can opt-out at any time at no cost.
"FortisBC is making it easy for families to choose a greener, more
sustainable way to heat and power their homes and take action on
climate change," said Rich Coleman, minister of energy and mines. "This
renewable fuel of the future will also help the Province to reduce
harmful greenhouse gas emissions."
As renewable natural gas is also considered carbon neutral in B.C.,
subscribers' carbon tax will be credited by 10 per cent. FortisBC's
renewable natural gas offering was recently granted Carbon Neutral
Product status by Offsetters in B.C., Canada's leading carbon
management solutions provider, after assessing the expected lifecycle
emissions savings of the program.
"I commend FortisBC for being the first utility in North America to
offer renewable natural gas to residential customers," said James
Tansey, CEO of Offsetters. "It's an innovative approach that allows
their customers to take action on climate change in a simple and
Renewable natural gas is created by capturing biogas from sources such
as landfills and agricultural waste, and then upgrading it to
pipeline-quality gas, before being added to FortisBC's distribution
system. Renewable natural gas is also interchangeable with conventional
natural gas, so FortisBC can use its existing pipelines and changes are
not required to customers' appliances. FortisBC estimates that the
total greenhouse gas savings in the program's first year will be about
5,000 tonnes, equal to removing almost 1,000 cars off the road each
year or keeping 3.8 million pounds of waste out of landfills, based on
delivering 100,000 GJ of renewable natural gas to the FortisBC
As additional supply becomes available later this year, FortisBC expects
to be able to expand the offering to more residential customers. The
company also hopes to be in a position to make the product offering
available to commercial customers in 2012 throughout the Lower
Mainland, Fraser Valley, Interior and the Kootenays. As a demonstration
of potential commercial use of renewable natural gas, Central Heat
Distribution Limited (CHDL) recently began purchasing the first 1,000
GJs of their commitment to designate 10,000 GJs of the natural gas in
their operations as renewable natural gas from FortisBC. CHDL's
district energy system serves downtown Vancouver businesses and
residents, relying on natural gas to generate thermal energy through
its natural gas boilers.
For more information about FortisBC's renewable natural gas offering,
FortisBC is an integrated energy solutions provider focused on providing
safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity, propane
and alternative energy solutions, at the lowest reasonable cost.
FortisBC employs more than 2,000 British Columbians and serves
approximately 1.1 million customers in more than 135 B.C. communities.
FortisBC is indirectly wholly owned by Fortis Inc., the largest
investor-owned distribution utility in Canada. FortisBC owns and
operates four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately
7,000 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines and
approximately 46,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission and
distribution pipelines. FortisBC Inc., FortisBC Energy Inc., FortisBC
Energy (Vancouver Island) Inc., and FortisBC Energy (Whistler) Inc. do
business as FortisBC. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the Toronto
Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information
can be accessed at www.fortisinc.com or www.sedar.com.
SOURCE FortisBC Inc.
For further information:
Corporate Communications Manager