Delivering on a Low Carbon Future

We are committed to supporting the District of Columbia’s efforts to create a low carbon energy future with our Climate Business Plan. Thousands of District residents and businesses depend on us to power their lives, and everyone deserves to live in a low carbon future. We all must do our part to build a cleaner future.

Message from
Randall L. Crawford

AltaGas President & CEO

The Climate Business Plan builds on our record of achievement and our companies’ collective determination to address climate change.

How We’ll Get There – Together

We spent the past year developing a comprehensive plan that will drive down GHG emissions related to natural gas by 50 percent in 2032 and 100 percent by 2050.

Maximize Energy Efficiency

We have already run successful programs to improve efficiency for our customers. We will build on those efforts, continuing to empower customers to use energy more efficiently, and deploying new technologies like super-efficient appliances.

Infrastructure Enhancements

We will invest in a more efficient infrastructure and expand our capability to meet the needs of a growing city. Through programs like PROJECTpipes, Washington Gas continues to modernize our infrastructure. Our investments help us maintain a modern, safe and reliable energy delivery system.

Harness New and Emerging Fuel Sources

We will use our existing infrastructure to deliver gas – and introduce carbon free fuels such as renewable natural gas and hydrogen – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This includes clean-certified gas and promising renewable fuels like biogas and hydrogen energy. We will leverage new and emerging technologies based on the best science and engineering available.

The Climate Business Plan is good for the environment, for District residents and visitors, and it puts in place a framework for smart growth in the region.

Climate Business Plan Presented Virtually at First Community Meeting

We were proud to host our first community meeting, virtually, on July 29 to present our Climate Business Plan. Thanks for those who attended. You can watch the Update here, and listen to the Panel Discussion. See player below.

We look forward to our next meeting later in the year. Details will be provided closer to the event. Stay safe.

Watch an Overview Video of Our Plan

The Climate Business Plan is good for the environment, for District residents and visitors, and it puts in place a framework for smart growth in the region.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

Why has Washington Gas introduced the Climate Business Plan?

At WGL, we recognize the scientific consensus that human activity — primarily greenhouse gas emissions from industrialization and the conversion of land for forestry and development — is driving global climate change. Washington Gas has worked for years to reduce our carbon emissions from our fleet and facilities. Our accelerated pipeline replacement programs, PROJECTpipes in the District, that maintain and improve system integrity also have the ancillary benefit of reducing emissions because the new, modern pipes are made from materials that have lower emissions factors. We have also worked with customers across the region to implement energy efficiency programming. The Climate Business Plan is the next step in our efforts and also fulfills a commitment we made as part of the merger between AltaGas and Washington Gas in 2018 when we agreed to create a plan showing how we could evolve our business model to support the District’s 2050 climate goals.

Mayor Bowser and the D.C. Council passed historic legislation in 2019 committing the District to a low carbon future. The legislation is bold but achievable. Leading environmental experts have hailed the legislation as “historic” and “one of the strongest climate bills in the country.”

As the oldest utility serving the District for more than 170 years, we fully support the District’s goals to combat climate change and will do our part to achieve a low carbon future.

As the nation’s capital, the District is uniquely positioned to lead the way to a low carbon future. From 2006 to 2017, emissions associated with natural gas use in the District were reduced by 26.6 percent. We have spent the past year developing a comprehensive plan that will further reduce emissions to 50 percent in 2032 and 100 percent by 2050.

Describe Washington Gas’ position on Climate Change?

We recognize the scientific consensus that human activity – primarily GHG emissions and the conversion of land for agriculture and development – is contributing to changes in the global climate including changing weather patterns, rising sea levels and more extreme weather events. We believe that actions must be taken now to stabilize and reduce emissions in line with the international goal of preventing temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius by the end of this century.

The District is well positioned to lead the way to a low carbon future.

What does carbon neutral mean?

Carbon neutrality is a term used to describe individuals, businesses and organizations taking action to remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as each put into it.
To become carbon neutral, we will invest in infrastructure and emerging technologies. This will promote greater energy efficiency for ratepayers and maintain our modern, safe and reliable infrastructure all while introducing carbon-free fuels like renewable natural gas and hydrogen.

How do you plan on achieving the goals of your Climate Business Plan?

We spent the past year developing a comprehensive plan that will drive down GHG emissions related to natural gas by 50 percent in 2032 and 100 percent by 2050. We will achieve those ambitious goals by implementing a three-pronged approach:

  • Maximize Energy Efficiency. We have already run successful programs to improve efficiency for our customers. We will build on those efforts, continuing to empower customers to use energy more efficiently, and deploying new technologies like super-efficient appliances.
  • Infrastructure Enhancements. We will invest in a more efficient infrastructure and enhance our capability to meet the needs of a growing city. Through programs like PROJECTpipes, Washington Gas continues to modernize our infrastructure. These programs help us maintain a modern, safe and reliable energy delivery system and have the additional benefit of reducing GHG emissions.
  • Harness New and Emerging Fuel Sources. We will use our existing infrastructure to deliver gas – and introduce carbon free fuels such as renewable natural gas and hydrogen– to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This includes clean-certified gas, promising renewable technologies like biogas, and hydrogen energy that we believe are part of the solution in the years to come. We will leverage new and emerging technologies based on the best science and engineering available.

How is natural gas part of a carbon neutral strategy?

Natural gas plays an essential part of our energy mix and is the preferred method of heating and cooking for 165,000 District residents and businesses today. By harnessing natural gas in our low carbon energy mix, along with other carbon neutral sources like biogas and hydrogen, we can work towards our goal of 100 percent emissions reduction by 2050. The approach enables city residents to use existing infrastructure and keep using their appliances and equipment. Utilizing current and proposed new fuel supplies lower GHG emissions at the source, improve air quality, and contribute to our carbon-neutral future.

Our infrastructure is 99 percent reliable and, due to its underground nature, not nearly as vulnerable to interruption as other energy delivery systems that can fail during extreme weather events especially during the winter when heating becomes a matter of health and well-being. Maintaining a diverse energy portfolio—rather than relying on a single source—is key to preserving energy resilience for our city.

2050 is far away. Why act now?

Scientists agree that the cumulative impact of emissions over time compels that we take action in the short term. This is why the Climate Business Plan focuses on short-, medium- and long-term efforts. The things that we can bring to bear in the next few years will therefore have positive benefits for years to come.

This Climate Business Plan provides a pathway to reduce Carbon over the next thirty years by focusing on GHG emissions, costs, impacts on reliability and resilience, in keeping with the DC Public Service Commission’s Vision for defining a modern energy delivery system for the future.

How will this plan affect customer bills?

The Climate Business Plan is good for the environment, for District residents and visitors, and it puts in place a framework for smart growth in the region. Our plan to promote energy efficiency measures will cost Washington Gas and customers at least $2.7 billion dollars less than some alternative approaches being considered such as full electrification. In addition, an affordable energy source like our natural gas costs a household an average of $879 less compared to those using electricity for their heating, hot water, cooking, laundry and more.

In these uncertain economic times, maintaining a diverse energy portfolio—rather than relying on a single source—also is key to preserving reliability and resilience for our city. This will ensure that energy is always available for residents when they need it.

Fact Sheets

  1. Quick Summary of the Plan

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  2. Certified Gas

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  3. Green Hydrogen

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  4. What is RNG?

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  5. RNG Benefits

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  6. The Potential for RNG in DC

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