DIGGING SAFELY THIS SPRING MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER

April heralds the advent of spring, including warmer weather and sunshine in the Pacific Northwest. Spring means more construction as well as tending to and planting gardens and other vegetation. Both activities involve digging.

That is why April is National Safe Digging Month. Before digging a hole more than 12 inches deep for any purpose, it is critical to “know what’s below”. Here is a guest blog from NW Natural that includes a terrific checklist to use before digging, whether you are a contractor or a homeowner. Most importantly, always call 811 before you dig.

DIGGING SAFELY THIS SPRING MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER

News Release from NW Natural
Posted on FlashAlert: April 15th, 2020 9:48 AM

With more people at home doing yard projects, NW Natural reminds customers and contractors to call before digging

PORTLAND, Ore. — April marks National Safe Digging Month, a time to remember to call 811 to have underground utility lines located before digging in your yard, garden and beyond. This spring, that reminder is even more important with so many people in the Northwest staying home to stay healthy and potentially doing more yardwork than normal.

“If you or a contractor will be digging in your yard, make sure you call 811 at least two days ahead of time. Locate crews are still working during this time and abiding by all COVID-19 safety recommendations,” said Scott Gallegos, NW Natural’s damage prevention supervisor. “It’s a free service, and it’s the law.”

Nationally, the most common cause of a natural gas pipeline damage is someone accidentally digging into the pipe. Accidentally hitting an underground utility line can interrupt service to entire neighborhoods and lead to serious injuries, fines and costly repairs.

A helpful checklist to get started:

  • Regardless of digging depth or familiarity with the property, make your request at least two business days before you plan to dig.
  • Call 811 or use the free NW Natural Safety App.
  • When you call 811, the Oregon Utility Notification Center notifies local utility companies of the intent to dig. Then a professional locator visits the site to mark the location of underground utility lines. The OUNC says the contractors who come out to mark buried lines will follow COVID-19 health safety precautions.
  • Confirm with 811 that all lines have been marked.
  • Consider moving your project location if it’s near utility line markings.
  • If working with a contractor, confirm a call to 811 has been made. Don’t allow work to begin if lines aren’t marked.

If while you’re digging, you accidentally hit a gas line, report it immediately by calling 911 or NW Natural’s 24-hour emergency line at 800-882-3377. No damage is too small to report, even a small dent could weaken a natural gas line.

Always remember: Smell. Go. Let us know. If you smell natural gas, leave the area immediately, then call us at 800-882-3377 and we will come over to check things out. During COVID-19, NW Natural’s crews are following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines regarding social distancing, face covering and sanitizing protocols.

For more information, visit https://www.nwnatural.com/Residential/Safety/811CallBeforeYouDig.

2020 Gas Outlook Released

On April 16, Dan Kirschner will present the 2020 Gas Outlook on a live webinar. Register now by clicking here.

 

The Outlook continues to include current data and narrative on supply and prices, but more as background information because North American natural gas is projected to be an ample, low-priced commodity for the foreseeable future. However, the true value of the Outlook – aggregating and analyzing regional demand and delivery infrastructure data to inform policymakers and other stakeholders throughout the Northwest – remains the report’s core focus. Updated numbers and our forecast are presented in the Demand section and an expanded Capacity section, and in the appendices. We’ve also added two deeper dive articles exploring renewable natural gases and upstream methane emissions. The 2020 Gas Outlook is now available by clicking here.

 

POSTPONED- Annual Energy Conference

The NWGA and AWEC have postponed the 17th Annual Energy Conference to November 4-5, 2020 at the Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, WA. Originally scheduled for June 3-4, we made the difficult decision to postpone the event due to the Coronavirus pandemic. If you previously made a reservation at the Skamania Lodge it has been canceled. We will notify you when you are able to reserve a room in the new room block. *** Note: Skamania Lodge is closed for the next 60 days. ***

We remain grateful to all of our sponsors for their continued support of the Annual Energy Conference, including our dedicated Platinum sponsors BP/IGI Resources and Calpine Energy Solutions; gold sponsor United Energy Trading, LLC; silver sponsors Cost Management Services, Davison Van Cleve, NIPPC, Stoel Rives, and bronze sponsor Cable Huston. If you are interested in joining our sponsors, click here to find out more.

Cooking with Gas

The American Gas Association recently announced a partnership with Food Network star Amber Kelley to highlight natural gas as the tool of choice for chefs everywhere. 

The simple turn of a knob on a gas range gives chefs the control they need to make anything they can imagine. There is no other technology that allows the control and high heat content that natural gas offers, and chefs around the world rely on our resource as a critical tool in the cooking craft. 

The value of natural gas does not stop in professional kitchens. Homeowners across the world prefer natural gas as their go-to cooking resource. Aside from providing a superior cooking experience, a study by Market Strategies International showed that 90% of homebuyers say they’d pay $50,000 more for a home with natural gas appliances.

Sixteen-year-old Amber Kelley is a cookbook author, speaker, winner of Food Network Star Kids, and the host of her popular Youtube series Cook With Amber. From her appearances on The Disney Channel, E!, and the Today Show, to her endorsement from Jamie Oliver, Amber is inspiring a whole new generation of eaters to get in the kitchen and have fun. We are excited to hear from Amber on how natural gas supports her budding cooking career.

GUEST BLOG: The Growing Importance of Renewable Natural Gas

President Obama’s Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, makes the case in the recent study“Pathways for Deep Decarbonization in California: Summary for Policymakers.”

“Clean fuels (e.g., renewable natural gas [RNG], hydrogen, biofuels) are critical clean energy pathways due to the enormous value of fuels in providing flexibility and reliability for energy systems. Fuels that are durable, storable, and easily transportable play a fundamental role in ensuring that all sectors can operate at the scale, timing, frequency, and levels of reliability that are required to meet social, economic, and stakeholder needs.

“The development of RNG in California has multiple tangible benefits: RNG is a carbon-neutral fuel; RNG diverts methane from being released into the atmosphere, enabling major emissions reductions from the difficult-to-decarbonize Industry and Agriculture sectors; and it leverages existing carbon infrastructure, potentially avoiding the costly stranding of these established systems and their associated workforces, as well as their time-consuming and costly replacement.”

This blog was posted with express permission from Jon Switalski. For more information on how you can help, please contact C4BES Executive Director Jon Switalski at (310) 625-4072 or jswitalski@c4bes.org. To learn more about C4BES click here. To learn more renewable natural gas in the Pacific Northwest click here.

2019 Annual Energy Conference

Thank you for those who attended the 2019 Annual Energy Conference. Please take the survey located here to weigh in; your feedback helps shape future conferences. This year we had 178 attendees and a great speaker line up. We would like to thank our platinum sponsors, IGI Resources/BP, and Calpine Energy Solutions, gold sponsor United Energy Trading LLC, silver sponsors Cable Huston, CMS, Davison Van Cleve, NW Innovation Works, PacifiCorp, Rosen, Shell, and Stoel Rives, and Bronze sponsors Black & Veatch, PGE, Jordan Cover LNG, and NIPPC for their continued support of the event.

If you are interested in attending the 2020 Annual Energy Conference mark your calendar for June 3-4, 2020. If you are interested in sponsoring the conference, let us know.

 

Guest Blog: President Obama’s former Energy Secretary on Why Electricity is Not Enough

On April 11 a much-anticipated report was released by The Energy Futures Initiative that analyzes the ways California can meet its aggressive low-carbon energy goals. The report, which was authored by a team led by President Obama’s former Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest J. Moniz, outlines an innovation agenda needed for deep decarbonization by 2050

Cap and Trade Fact Sheet

The current HB 2020 proposal gives free credits to Oregon’s electric utilities in recognition of prior legislatively mandated green initiatives. It treats the more than two million Oregon residents and businesses who rely on natural gas for warmth, comfort and productive energy differently, ignoring the strides that Oregon LDCs and their customers have made in reducing emissions through system maintenance, modernization, and efficiency initiatives.

HB 2020 as currently composed is punitive to Oregon’s natural gas customers and unfair. The state is already seeing emissions reductions from the transition to and increasing reliance on natural gas as a cleaner, reliable fuel for generating electricity. The state is also seeing significant emissions-related benefits by virtue of the highly efficient direct use of natural gas for residential and commercial space and water heat. All natural gas utility customers should receive a fair share of allowances to mitigate rate impacts.

To download the NWGA Cap and Trade Fact Sheet, click here.

NWGA’s Climate Action Principles

Climate change is an important issue. States and provinces across the Pacific Northwest are developing policies to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Natural gas – a clean, low-cost and abundant energy resource – is already reducing GHGs across North America and the region. In short, Northwest Gas Association members (NWGA) are committed to addressing climate change and maintain that natural gas is a climate solution.

To download the NWGA Policy Principles for Climate Action, click here.

 

2018 Gas Outlook

NWGA’s 2018 Gas Outlook

To view the appendices click here and to watch the webinar presentation for the 2018 Gas Outlook Study, go to the Northwest Gas Association’s YouTube channel by clicking here or click the video link below.

In this study, we examine several dynamics affecting Pacific Northwest natural gas consumers. The Outlook relies primarily on external, publicly available resources for information on natural gas supply prospects and commodity prices. Regional demand and capacity data are drawn from NWGA member company planning processes, including the Integrated Resource Plans that our members are required to file with utility commissions.

The study provides a consensus industry perspective on the current and projected natural gas supply, prices, demand and delivery capabilities in the Pacific Northwest through the 2027/28 heating year (Nov–Oct). For purposes of this report, the Pacific Northwest includes British Columbia (BC), Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

 

Study Shows Natural Gas Is Key to Reaching Northwest Emission Reduction Goals

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Research by E3 Takes In-Depth Look at Decarbonization with Focus on Coldest Days

PORTLAND, Ore., Dec. 04, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A new study commissioned by NW Natural and conducted by independent consulting firm, Energy and Environmental Economics (E3), shows natural gas plays a pivotal role in helping the region meet dramatic emission reduction goals most affordably and reliably.

To date, all “deep decarbonization” studies agree that getting to an 80% carbon reduction goal by 2050 will be challenging and must involve using energy more efficiently, ramping up renewable resources, electrifying passenger vehicles, and aggressively developing biofuels, including renewable natural gas. But this is the first time a closer look has been taken at how energy needs can be met to serve homes and businesses on the coldest winter days in the Pacific Northwest.

The new research shows that by adding 25% renewable natural gas (RNG) into the existing natural gas system and delivering it to heat homes directly (versus using it to generate electricity), the region can achieve its climate goals without a substantial build-out of new power plants. A report released in September by the Oregon Department of Energy shows the total amount of RNG that can be produced from the state’s waste streams, (including wastewater, landfills, animal, food and wood waste), far exceeds that amount.

“Renewable natural gas takes waste streams that produce emissions and puts them to use as clean energy, dramatically reducing greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change,” said David H. Anderson, president and CEO of NW Natural. “The good news is that we already have plans in place to put RNG into our pipeline system, which is one of the most modern in the nation.”

NW Natural hired E3 to conduct an economy-wide deep decarbonization study for Oregon and Washington, based on E3’s experience pioneering this type of work in California and throughout the U.S. A key question addressed in this study is how NW Natural’s system can be used to ensure reliable energy on the coldest winter days while dramatically driving down greenhouse gas emissions over the next three decades.

“The natural gas system in the Pacific Northwest delivers more energy than the region’s entire hydroelectric system. It’s a critical asset to lowering emissions and it’s already in place,” added Anderson. “Today, natural gas sales to our residential and commercial customers account for about 5% of Oregon’s emissions. And with the innovations we’re already pursuing, like renewable natural gas, NW Natural is poised to play a vital role in helping the communities we serve meet their climate goals and achieve deep decarbonization.”

More information on the E3 study, “Pacific Northwest Pathways to 2050,” can be found at
https://www.ethree.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/E3_Pacific_Northwest_Pathways_to_2050.pdf. The Oregon Department of Energy 2018 Report to the Legislature, “Biogas and Renewable Natural Gas Inventory SB 334 (2017),” can be found at https://www.oregon.gov/energy/Data-and-Reports/Documents/2018-RNG-Inventory-Report.pdf. Additional information from NW Natural can be found at www.lesswecan.com.

About NW Natural
NW Natural provides natural gas service to approximately two million people in more than 140 communities through 740,000 meters in Oregon and Southwest Washington with one of the most modern pipeline systems in the nation. It consistently leads the industry with high J.D. Power & Associates customer satisfaction scores.

NW Natural is part of Northwest Natural Holding Company, (NYSE: NWN) (NW Natural Holdings), which is headquartered in Portland, Oregon and owns NW Natural, NW Natural Water Company, and other business interests and activities.

NW Natural is currently constructing a 2.5 Bcf regulated gas storage expansion of its 16 Bcf facility in Oregon to support renewables. NW Natural Holdings’ subsidiaries own and operate 31 Bcf of underground gas storage capacity.

NW Natural Water provides water distribution service to more than 17,000 people through 5,300 meters. To date, NW Natural Water has acquired four water distribution systems with one additional acquisition pending. Cumulatively, the company has committed approximately $67 million in the water and wastewater industry for nearly 16,700 connections in the Pacific Northwest.

Media Contact: Melissa Moore, 503-220-2436, melissa.moore@nwnatural.com

Source: NW Natural

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 15: 2018 NWGA Outlook Update

Dan Kirschner, NWGA Executive Director, will present the updates to the 2018 Outlook Study on the November 15 webinar.

The Outlook relies primarily on external, publicly available resources for information on natural gas supply prospects and commodity prices. Regional demand and capacity data are drawn from NWGA member company planning processes, including the Integrated Resource Plan that our members are required to file with utility commissions.

To register, click here.

October 18 Webinar: Natural Gas for Transporation

The October webinar focuses on natural gas for transportation.  Transportation is a leading source of climate change and air quality pollutants. Introducing cleaner medium and heavy-duty vehicles to the transportation sector offers the best path towards a cleaner future. Natural gas vehicles, especially those powered by renewable natural gas, is ready to step up and usher us into that future.

Did you know that “99% of the environmental benefit of switching from diesel city buses to electric vehicles can be achieved for a fraction of the cost by switching instead to natural gas vehicles powered by RNG.”

Join us by registering here.

Natural Gas Fleets 101

Natural Gas Fleets 101

Natural gas industry leaders invite you to attend a luncheon on September 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with presentations on the benefits of using natural gas for fleets.

Interested in natural gas vehicles and fleets? The NW Alliance for Clean Transportation will present the basics in the natural gas vehicles 101. Curious about how natural gas can improve your fleets? Trillium will dispel the myths around natural gas vehicles and give insight on how natural gas can benefit your fleets. Do you want to understand the basics of renewable natural gas (RNG) and how it will benefit your fleets? Join us for lunch and come away with a better understanding of how compressed natural gas and renewable natural gas work and can improve your fleet. Register here by August 29.

More information on the sponsors can be found at the following websites NW Alliance of Clean Transportation, Trillium and Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities.

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