Southern California Gas Co. Wednesday announced plans to replace 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas by 2030.
SoCalGas officials said they will pursue regulatory authority to implement a broad renewable natural gas procurement program with an initial goal of replacing 5 percent of its natural gas supply with RNG by 2022. The utility also recently filed a request with the California Public Utilities Commission to allow customers to purchase renewable natural gas for their homes.
SoCalGas hopes to have CPUC approval of its voluntary program by the end of the year.
Renewable natural gas is a clean fuel produced from sewer and food waste, as well as dairy and agriculture waste, and can be used like traditional natural gas to heat homes and businesses, for cooking, and to fuel trucks and buses. RNG reduces greenhouse gas emissions because it can take more GHG emissions out of the air than it emits as an energy source.
“Our vision is to become the cleanest natural gas utility in North America, delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to our customers,” said SoCalGas CEO Bret Lane. “Californians deserve clean, safe and reliable energy that every family can afford. Today’s announcement is an important step toward delivering a clean energy future that works for every family and business in our state.”
Joe Lyou, president and CEO of the Coalition for Clean Air, welcomed the announcement, as did Maria Salinas, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
“What a great goal! California needs more renewable energy, and we need all the renewable natural gas we can put into the pipeline,” Lyou said. “We welcome SoCalGas’ announcement and look forward to the day renewable natural gas is available to all customers.”
Salinas said the utility “is taking a bold step in the fight against climate change. Businesses are often looking for ways to be both cost efficient and environmentally responsible. SoCalGas strikes the right balance with their vision for 2030, becoming the largest and cleanest natural gas utility in the country and helping Los Angeles continue to be a leader in environmental standards.”
SoCalGas is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the country, with 21.8 million customers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California.