Rethinking BC’s lower carbon future

A family walking over a footbridge along a forest trail. (20-064.18)

 

How do we lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while meeting British Columbia’s growing energy needs? We’re rethinking our approach. By using multiple energy sources, we’re diversifying our pathway. And by exploring new technologies, we’re keeping energy costs affordable.

Partnering with our customers, communities and local governments, we’re helping to transform the future of energy for our province as we move towards reducing our customers’ emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.

30BY30: Reducing our customers’ GHG emissions

There’s an urgent need to reduce GHG emissions globally and our responsibility starts here at home. In 2018, we released our Clean Growth Pathway to 2050 that outlines our role in helping BC achieve its 2050 climate targets. Then, in 2019, we set one of the most ambitious targets to date in support of a lower-carbon energy future in BC. Our target is to help reduce our customers’ GHG emissions by 30 per cent by 2030. We call this 30BY30.

Our history of rethinking energy

We’ve developed innovative and progressive ways to meet climate challenges in the past, and 30BY30 is no different. And as our history shows, we’ve been at the forefront of rethinking energy, achieving many energy ‘firsts’.

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    Victoria Gas Company

    From our humble beginnings in 1860, the Victoria Gas Company offered British Columbians a new, cost-effective energy source, coal gas (also known as town gas).

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    West Kootenay Power and Light Company

    Founded in 1897, we began serving customers’ growing demand for electricity from our first hydroelectric generating plant and dam, the Lower Bonnington on the Kootenay River.

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    Inland Natural Gas

    In 1952, Inland Natural Gas was founded to meet the ever-expanding natural gas needs of communities throughout the Interior of BC.

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    Tilbury LNG storage facility

    When we built Tilbury in 1971, not only was it the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in western Canada, but its operations set in motion numerous first-in-the-world milestones for our company. And for nearly 50 years, it’s provided natural gas to our customers on the coldest days of the years.

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    PowerSense

    In 1989, we launched PowerSense, a program offering cost and energy savings initiatives for our electricity customers.

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    Growing our service

    In 2002, we began serving 75,000 additional natural gas customers on the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island, plus 2,000 piped propane customers in Whistler.

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    Whistler gets natural gas

    We completed a new 50-km natural gas pipeline from Squamish to Whistler and converted the resort municipality from propane to natural gas. This supported their sustainable energy plan and helped reduce GHG emissions by 15%.

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    Energy efficiency & conservation

    In 2009, we introduced a $41.5 million energy efficiency and conservation initiative to enhance our existing programs. This new era of rebates helped homeowners and businesses to conserve energy, reduce energy costs and lower GHG emissions.

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    Fuelling fleets

    Vedder Transport became the first fleet to fuel their tractor trailers with our LNG. Other fleets soon followed like BC Transit, TransLink, UPS couriers and waste haulers, each fuelled with LNG or compressed natural gas (CNG). With carbon emissions reduced by 30% compared to diesel, we were on the road to a lower carbon future.

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    Mt. Hayes LNG storage facility

    We built our second LNG facility in 2011 on Vancouver Island. It increased our LNG capacity and helped keep natural gas costs lower, even when demand was high. We now have two facilities including Tilbury in Delta, which allow LNG to be shipped to East Asia and along North America’s west coast.

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    Renewable energy

    We became the first utility in North America to offer a Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) program to customers. We teamed up with an innovative potato farmer who shared our vision and became our first RNG supplier. A carbon neutral energy source, RNG is made from decomposing organic waste.

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    An innovative solution

    In 2016, we worked with BC Ferries and Seaspan, to develop an innovative method of fuelling vessels with LNG. This truck-to-ship solution allows specially designed tanker trucks to fuel vessels while onboard.

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    Supporting CleanBC

    When the provincial government rolled out CleanBC, its plan to cut GHG emissions and increase energy efficiency, we were proud to support its development. Today, we continue to play a major role in helping BC reach its climate and energy goals.

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    Exporting LNG overseas

    In 2017, we became the first Canadian company to supply LNG overseas. As of today, we still supply the only LNG export deal in Canada, working with a partner to ship LNG overseas to help displace higher carbon fuels.

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    Clean Growth Pathway to 2050

    In 2018, we released our Clean Growth Pathway to 2050, as part of our consultation with the province’s CleanBC strategy. Our pathway identifies the key areas where we can make substantial reductions in British Columbians’ GHG emissions across the province by 2050.

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    Powering electric vehicles

    We were proud to work with many partners on Canada’s first regional and community strategy to increase electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in BC. As of today, we operate over two dozen direct current fast charging EV stations at numerous locations across the southern Interior.

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    Reducing customers’ emissions

    We set a new record for providing more than 77,000 natural gas rebates and 35,000 electricity rebates in one year to our customers, helping them to reduce their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

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    Cleanest LNG in the world

    Our LNG is about 30% less carbon intensive than LNG from other global producers because we use renewable hydroelectricity in its production. And with the expansion of our Tilbury LNG facility in 2019, we’re now able to increase production of some of the cleanest LNG in the world.

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    Setting 30BY30

    We set one of the most ambitious goals to date in support of a lower-carbon energy future in BC. Our 30BY30 target will help reduce our customers’ GHG emissions by 30% by the year 2030.

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    A global LNG fuelling hub

    The BC government joined us in our plan to establish the first ship-to-ship LNG marine refuelling service on the West Coast of North America, right here in the Port of Vancouver. Refuelling ships with our LNG would mean a 27% reduction in ship emissions – making our plan key to achieving our 30BY30 target.

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    REN Energy Wood Waste

    We continue to partner with local farms, landfills, wastewater facilities and others to create RNG. Like our partnership with the REN Energy Wood Waste project. The facility will be the first facility of its kind in North America, using waste from forestry operations and sawmills to create carbon neutral RNG.

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    First Nation opens first stations

    The Osoyoos Indian Band and FortisBC opened the first two publicly available, electric vehicle charging stations in a First Nation community in BC. Such a positive partnership supports cleaner transportation and our 30BY30 target.

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    Charging the future

    By the end of 2021, we plan to have at least 40 fast charging electric vehicle stations in service across 23 BC communities.

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    Helping customers reduce GHGs

    From 2019 to 2022, we expect to have invested more than $368 million in our conservation and energy management programs and rebates for British Columbians.

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    Ambitious, yet achievable

    Achieving our 30BY30 target will mean reducing our customers' GHG emissions by 30% by 2030 – an ambitious, yet we believe, achievable target. One way we'll get there is by having 15% of the gas moving through our existing infrastructure be renewable.

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    Rethinking energy and beyond

    The future of energy will continue to evolve. And while the energy needs of BC and the world constantly grow and change, we’ll continue the work of reducing GHG emissions. Our pathway does not end at 2030 and there will be many more ‘firsts’ along the way to a lower carbon 2050.

    Let’s rethink our energy future together.

Our low carbon pathway

In addition to releasing our pathway to 2050, we also commissioned a report by a leading energy and environmental consultancy to help us better understand different lower carbon pathways. According to the Guidehouse report, a diversified pathway requires $100 billion less investment than an electrification approach when considering all costs to British Columbia.1

More ways we’re producing Renewable Natural Gas

See how we're finding innovative ways to generate Renewable Natural Gas from landfills, wood waste, wastewater, household food scraps and other forms of organic waste.

30BY30 RNG progress

Energy efficiency today means a cleaner tomorrow

Discover how our innovative technologies and energy-efficient appliances help customers reduce GHG emissions for homes, business and industry.

30BY30 energy conservation progress

Driving towards a low-emission energy future

Find out how we’re building infrastructure and lowering greenhouse gas emissions, one low-carbon transportation alternative at a time.

30BY30 transportation progress

Liquefied natural gas fuels innovation in carbon reduction

Learn how fuelling ships with liquefied natural gas helps reduce global GHG emissions at port and at sea.

30BY30 LNG progress

Energy Pathways Report

Learn how BC can achieve a transition to a lower carbon energy system by leveraging both electric and natural gas infrastructure.

Energy Pathways Report