When it comes to features that make a home more comfortable and livable, natural gas is often the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, there are few things that can change the overall feeling of a home like natural gas. But natural gas is more than the preferred energy option for businesses and homeowners who want reliable heating, hot water and cooking. Natural gas is also the cleanest energy option currently available to reliably and affordably meet our region’s energy needs.
For example, NW Natural provides more energy in Oregon than any other utility, yet our customers’ use of natural gas represents 6% of Oregon’s total greenhouse gas emissions. And in Washington, our customers’ natural gas use amounts to only one half of one percent of the state’s total greenhouse gas emissions. While those numbers are good, they need to be better. That’s why NW Natural and other organizations are continually working to make the future cleaner and healthier. And part of that future is renewable natural gas.
Turning waste into clean energy.
In North America, we have 19,000 farms, 17,000 wastewater facilities and 4,400 landfills all generating greenhouse gases. Add to that the gases created by the 140 million tons of food thrown away each year and we have a challenge. Renewable natural gas takes that challenge and turns it into an opportunity, capturing those greenhouse gasses that normally would be released into the atmosphere and transforming them into net-zero carbon energy.
In fact, you don’t have to look far to see the impact renewable natural gas is having. For example, NW Natural is already partnering with the City of Portland to put renewable natural gas that’s been converted from the city’s wastewater treatment plant into their pipeline for use in vehicles. The project will cut greenhouse emissions by 21,000 tons a year, making it Portland’s largest climate action project to date. Imagine the results on a wider scale, around the country or around the world.
Making tomorrow better today.
Renewable natural gas isn’t just a dream made for tomorrow. It’s here today, with more than 300 renewable production facilities operating or under development, and made using existing technologies. Once produced, it can be blended into the existing natural gas pipeline and delivered to customers for use in existing appliances.
Change without changing a thing.
At NW Natural, we believe becoming carbon-neutral isn’t just a dream, it’s a destination. And it’s a destination we must reach together because we need to create the energy system our world – and our children – demand. That’s why we became a founding member of EPA’s Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge.
However, renewable natural gas is only one step. NW Natural is currently working with other like-minded organizations to develop the new technologies, renewables and policies needed to achieve a carbon neutral energy system by 2050. And perhaps one of the most encouraging outcomes of the energy you already rely on becoming renewable is that you can make a positive change without changing a thing.
If you’d like to know more about the capabilities and advancements of renewable natural gas –– visit lesswecan.com.