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  • SoCalGas Seeks to Offer Renewable Natural Gas to Customers

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    February 28, 2019

    2018 study shows replacing less than 20% of traditional natural gas supply can reduce emissions equal to electrifying all of California’s building stock, at 1/3 the cost

    According to the University of California Davis, renewable natural gas can replace up to 20% of the fossil natural gas in California, from the state’s existing organic waste supply

    Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced it has filed a request with the California Public Utilities Commission seeking to offer renewable natural gas to its 21 million customers in Central and Southern California. Renewable natural gas is a fuel produced from waste and agriculture that can be used to heat homes and businesses, for cooking, and to fuel trucks and buses. The fuel assists in helping California reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions because it is carbon-neutral or carbon-negative, meaning that it can take more GHG emissions out of the air than it emits as an energy source. Under the proposed program, millions of Californians would have the option to purchase a portion of their natural gas from renewable sources, just as many today can opt to purchase renewable electricity. The program is expected to create increased demand for renewable natural gas, which should help increase supply and lower its cost over time, similar to what has happened with renewable electricity created from wind and solar power. Photos of renewable natural gas projects in California are available here.

    “Renewable natural gas is an important component in California’s efforts to reduce GHG emissions” said Sharon Tomkins, SoCalGas vice president of customer solutions and strategy. “Using renewable natural gas in homes and commercial buildings will cut greenhouse gas emissions just as much as mandating all-electric appliances, but 2 to 3 times more cost-effectively. This solution not only preserves consumer choice, it can achieve climate goals at a lower cost.”

    As California seeks to reduce GHG emissions from homes and commercial buildings, renewable natural gas has emerged as a viable and cost-effective solution. A study last year showed that replacing less than 20 percent of SoCalGas’ traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas by 2030 can achieve the same greenhouse gas reductions as converting all homes and commercial buildings to electric-only energy. That same study also found that using a mix of both in- and out-of-state renewable gas resources is up to 2 to 3 times more cost effective in reducing greenhouse gases than an electrification scenario. Read More