Washington Gas Shares a Roadmap to DC’s Low Carbon Future

Blue Jenkins, President of Washington Gas

Washington Gas has grown together with the District of Columbia for more than 170 years as an essential energy provider. We are entering a new chapter in our hometown’s ambitious journey toward a clean energy future.   

In December 2017, Mayor Bowser announced the District’s Commitment to reduce carbon emissions 50 percent by 2032 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. 

Last year, Washington Gas filed an innovative, comprehensive Climate Business Plan to do our part to reduce carbon equivalent emissions associated with natural gas use in line with DC’s targets. The Environmental Defense Fund praised the plan, stating in a regulatory filing, “this broad, system-wide thinking is critical to maximize emissions reductions.” 

Today, we’re focusing on modernizing our infrastructure, increasing energy efficiency in our customer’s homes and offices, and including carbon neutral fuels like renewable natural gas (RNG) and hydrogen in our energy mix.

Hear Blue Jenkins on WTOP

Washington Gas continues to invest in our infrastructure and expand our capability to meet the needs of our region. Through accelerated pipeline replacement programs, we maintain a safe, reliable and modern energy delivery system while also delivering environmental benefits. So far approximately 400,000 metric tons of greenhouse (GHG) gas emissions have been reduced with this work. And we have more to do. Investment in critical pipeline infrastructure enables us to reduce emissions today and prepare the system to deliver tomorrow’s lower/no carbon gaseous fuels like hydrogen.   

The natural gas infrastructure has unmatched reliability – it is less vulnerable to interruptions, especially during the winter when heating can be a matter of health and safety. In addition, it comes with “built-in” energy storage. Unlike electricity, which cannot be easily stored without big, expensive batteries, the natural gas system stores energy for days, weeks, months, and years with on-demand delivery. 

We’re also building on our already successful energy efficiency programs and continuing to empower customers to save energy, as well as deploying new technologies like super-efficient and ‘smart’ appliances. It’s important to empower our customers to make smart energy choices that meet their needs and their budgets.   

Finally, our plans include harnessing new and emerging fuels. Our system is remarkably versatile. Our existing infrastructure can deliver low-to-no carbon fuels such as clean-certified gas, renewable natural gas (RNG) and green hydrogen, to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

We can meet DC’s climate goals and still save money. For the Climate Business Plan, the widely respected consulting firm ICF determined our plan saves an estimated $2.7 billion compared to approaches to decarbonization that rely solely on electrification, saving District ratepayers thousands of dollars per household.

As part of our commitment to our plan, twice a year we hold community meetings to provide updates, report on our progress, listen to the community and present new ideas with the help of industry experts. We encourage the public to join us and learn about the latest developments on our plan as we all work together to achieve a cleaner energy future. Our next virtual meeting will be on July 14 and will explore RNG.   

To learn more about our plan and to participate in our community meetings, visit  www.WashingtonGasCBP.com.