Our progress towards reducing GHG emissions

Jenelle De la Cour (right) and Mason Lau (centre) meets with George Dick of Dicklands Farms, our latest Renewable Natural Gas supplier
Jenelle De la Cour (right) and Mason Lau (centre) meet with George Dick of Dicklands Farms, our latest Renewable Natural Gas supplier.

We’re reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) emissions in B.C. by investing in a low-carbon energy future. Guided by our Clean Growth Pathway strategy, we’ve helped both our gas and electricity customers avoid emitting close to 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2e) in 2022. This represents a 34 per cent improvement from 2021.

We helped our customers avoid close to 800,000 tonnes of CO2e in 2022

We’re committed to continuing our progress with GHG emissions avoidance by growing our renewable and low-carbon gas1 supply, increasing access to low- and zero-emission transportation and infrastructure and prioritizing investment in conservation and energy efficiency.

We’re taking actions today that are making a difference in GHG emission reductions and providing British Columbians with new choices to decarbonize their homes and businesses.

Monic Pratch, vice president, general counsel, corporate secretary and sustainability 

Increasing our renewable and low-carbon gas supply

By increasing our supply of Renewable Natural Gas2 (RNG), a low-carbon energy3 made from purified biogas, we helped our customers avoid emitting approximately 208,000 tonnes of CO2e in 2022.

We have 13 suppliers providing us with RNG

We’re currently working with 13 RNG suppliers, with another 20 suppliers expected to come online by the end of 2024. These suppliers purify biogas from diverse sources, including landfills, farms and wastewater treatment facilities, providing low-carbon RNG for years to come.

Driving access to low- and zero-emission transportation

Our commitment to investing in sustainable transportation options helped our customers access low- and zero-emission vehicles and infrastructure that contributed almost 10 per cent of the emissions avoided in 2022. Major milestones included:

  • reaching 30,000 charges in April of this year
  • adding two new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in 2022 for a total of 42 direct current fast chargers throughout the Southern Interior
  • switching over 1,000 commercial vehicles in B.C. to compressed natural gas (CNG) from diesel or gasoline, thereby reducing GHG emissions in these vehicles by up to 30 per cent
We recently reached 30,000 EV charges in the southern interior.

Achieving cleaner marine transportation systems

International ships going to and from B.C.’s ports produce more GHG emissions than the entire province combined—they also contribute to smog and poor local air quality.

That’s why we’re working hard to achieve cleaner marine transportation systems. We’ve avoided a total of 43,400 tonnes of CO2e from the use of liquified natural gas (LNG) in marine bunkering. Six marine vessels from BC Ferries and four from Seaspan Ferry Corporation are now using LNG instead of higher-carbon fuels such as diesel.

Ferries using LNG as a marine fuel can reduce GHG emissions by 27 per cent.

This switch to LNG resulted in a GHG emissions reduction of 27 per cent and virtually eliminated other airborne contaminants like sulphur oxides and particulate matter.

Advancing high-efficiency technologies and energy management

We’re dedicated to increasing our customer's access to energy-efficient upgrades and innovative technologies that will help reduce GHG emissions as well as lower utility bills.

We helped save 1.2 million GJ of natural gas by encouraging energy efficiency in 2022.

Over half of the emissions avoided in 2022 were a result of enabling our customers to switch from high-carbon heating fuels to natural gas and/or encouraging them to adopt energy-efficient practices and technology with the help of our incentive and pilot programs, which covers everything from high-efficiency furnaces to deep energy retrofits.

As a result of helping customers adopt energy-efficient practices and technology, recorded annual natural gas savings totalled 1.2 million GJ. These energy savings resulted in carbon emission reductions of almost 70,000 tonnes of CO2e and total reductions of 646,480 tonnes of CO2e over the life of all measures installed or undertaken in 2022.4 Additionally, electricity savings from our conservation and energy management initiatives totaled 35.9 gigawatt hours (GWh) in 2022, an increase of 6.2 GWh compared to 2021.

We’re committed to sustainability in all we do. From increasing our supply of renewable and low-carbon gases to advancing energy efficiency in homes and businesses, we’re working hard to reduce GHG emissions across the province while delivering a diverse range of reliable energy solutions.

1,3FortisBC 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. FortisBC’s renewable and low-carbon portfolio currently includes only Renewable Natural Gas.  Other gases and fuels may be added to the program over time.  Depending on their source, all of these gases have differing levels of lifecycle carbon intensity.  However, all of these gases are low-carbon when compared to the lifecycle carbon intensity of conventional natural gas. The current burner tip carbon intensity of RNG is 0.29g/CO2e/MJ and the current RNG portfolio lifecycle emissions are -22gCO2e/MJ.  This is below B.C.’s carbon intensity threshold for low-carbon gases of 36.4 gCO2e/MJ set out in the 2021 B.C. Hydrogen Strategy.

2Renewable 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).

4Emission reduction value based on lifecycle (well to burner tip) emission factor of 0.0598 tonnes CO2e/GJ for natural gas. Annual emission reductions are those attributed to the first year following measure implementation. Lifetime reductions are the total reductions that occur over the life of all measures implemented (based on NPV of gas savings).