Renewable Natural Gas for buildings and developments

Renewable Natural Gas1 (RNG) is a low-carbon energy2 compared to conventional natural gas—this means buildings can meet strict emissions guidelines without expensive retrofits or upgrades to existing appliances.

To reach the Province’s emissions reduction targets, we’re aiming to have nearly three quarters of the gas in our system be renewable or low carbon3 by 2050. And demand for low-carbon energy is continuing to grow, with nearly 11,600 BC homes and businesses already using RNG. We’re working closely with the building sector to support builders and developers. Our energy solutions managers are here to answer questions about your next project and how RNG can be a fit.

Common questions and answers about RNG

When organic waste like rotting food or cow manure decomposes, it releases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane, also known as biogas, into the atmosphere. That raw biogas can be captured and purified to create RNG, which can be used the same way as conventional natural gas.

North America’s natural gas systems are all interconnected, so when RNG is injected into the gas system, it mixes with conventional natural gas. This means that we’re unable to direct RNG to a specific location. However, the more RNG that is added to the gas system, the less conventional natural gas is needed, thereby reducing the use of fossil fuels. Find out how RNG is delivered.

No special infrastructure, equipment or appliances are needed from builders or customers to use RNG. 

We’re working harder than ever to meet the demand for this innovative, low-carbon energy.

We’re innovating beyond producing RNG from landfills and agricultural waste by becoming the first utility in North America to purchase RNG produced from wood waste – a potentially huge source of RNG. We’ve also entered into an agreement with Metro Vancouver to produce RNG from their wastewater facility and are looking for opportunities to replicate this with other municipalities.

As our supply of RNG grows, less conventional gas will be used

Our goal is for the majority of our natural gas supply to be renewable and low carbon by 2050, in line with provincial climate action targets. To meet this goal, we’ll need to include other renewable and low-carbon gas options, in addition to increasing our RNG supply. For example, we’re currently working with the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus to study how to safely integrate hydrogen into our natural gas system.

Amendments to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Regulation (GGRR) of the Clean Energy Act enables utilities, like FortisBC, to take a major role in establishing and growing the hydrogen sector in BC.

We’re here to help

To learn more about RNG, connect with an energy solutions manager in your region.

1Renewable Natural Gas is produced in a different manner than conventional natural gas. It’s 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).

2,3FortisBC 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 0.29gCO2e/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