SURREY, B.C. – Starting this month, FortisBC customers on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and in Whistler will have access to renewable natural gas – a carbon-neutral energy source produced from landfill gas and other organic waste. It’s an extension of FortisBC’s existing program, which is the only one of its kind in North America.
Biogas is naturally created when organic materials decay. FortisBC’s renewable natural gas suppliers take advantage of this by capturing biogas from sources such as landfills and agricultural waste, purifying it and injecting the gas into FortisBC’s system.
“We’re taking the next step in extending the choice of renewable natural gas to the 111,000 customers in this region who use natural gas to fuel their homes and businesses,” said Roger Dall’Antonia, executive vice-president of customer service and regulatory affairs. “This product is an innovative, made-in-B.C. solution for our customers.”
At current rates, average residential customers choosing to offset their home natural gas use by five per cent would spend slightly less than $2 more per month, about the price of a cup of coffee. By opting in to the program customers can also designate five, 10, 25, 50 or 100 per cent of their natural gas use as coming from a renewable source.
Businesses across the Island are already taking advantage of the new program. The Vancouver Island Health Authority has committed to designating 13,680 gigajoules of their natural gas use as renewable, the equivalent of taking almost 145 cars off the road.
“As a public sector organization, remaining carbon neutral is top of mind,” said Deanna Fourt, Director, Energy Efficiency and Conservation, Vancouver Island Health Authority. “Signing up for renewable natural gas and completing energy-efficient upgrades to our facilities are examples of steps we’ve taken to innovatively meet our long-term sustainability goals.”
Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre, owned and operated by one of Canada’s largest commercial real estate companies, Ivanhoe Cambridge, has also committed to switching to 10 per cent renewable natural gas, the first shopping centre in British Columbia to do so.
“We’re dedicated to providing our shoppers with an eco-friendly shopping experience,” said Rod Mayo, Woodgrove Centre’s Operations Manager. “We’re proud to sign up for renewable natural gas and support B.C.’s sustainable economy.”
Because renewable natural gas is designated as carbon neutral in B.C. by Offsetters, customers receive a B.C. carbon tax credit on their FortisBC bill equivalent to their selected blend. For example, a 10 per cent blend customer receives a 10 per cent credit on the carbon tax. A customer who chooses a 100 per cent blend would not pay any carbon tax.
Customers looking to learn more about renewable natural gas in B.C. can contact FortisBC at 1-888-224-2710 or visit fortisbc.com/rng.