June 11, 2018 - Press releases
Montréal, June 11, 2018 – Énergir, the new Gaz Métro, welcomes the Transition énergétique Québec (TEQ) master plan. Énergir shares TEQ’s vision as regards the plan’s main objectives, i.e. increase energy efficiency, reduce the consumption of oil products, and foster the production and use of renewable energy so as to contribute to a lower-carbon economy.
“By having the same objective as TEQ of significantly reducing our greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 2030, Énergir offers its full cooperation for the implementation of this first master plan. The vision outlined by TEQ echoes many of the solutions already implemented by Énergir; that is, to step up our energy efficiency initiatives to help our customers consume less and better, increase the renewable natural gas offer, and adopt natural gas, a cleaner energy, to replace coal and petroleum products where desirable.”—Sophie Brochu, President and Chief Executive Officer, Énergir.
Stepping up energy efficiency initiatives
The only truly green energy is the one we manage to do without, and in this respect, Énergir was the first energy distributor in Québec to set up a global energy efficiency program in 2001 to help its customers consume less and better. Since then, Énergir has helped a pool of 205,000 customers in Québec to carry out more than 120,500 energy efficiency projects, thereby reducing GHGs by close to one million tonnes. In fact, Énergir is the only energy distributor to achieve and even surpass the 2006–2015 Energy Policy target.
Over the next five years, Énergir will use its experience and expertise in energy efficiency to increase its historic efforts to achieve close to 1.5 million tonnes of cumulative GHG emission reductions. This is a concrete and realistic goal for making an effective contribution to Québec’s energy transition.
Increasing the renewable natural gas offering
The TEQ master plan recognizes the renewable natural gas (RNG) contribution as a key solution in energy transition to significantly reduce GHG emissions. The government must soon adopt a regulation to set a minimum RNG content in the gas network. Present from the outset of the natural gas industry, Énergir continues its efforts to develop this renewable energy, increase its offer and meet the growing needs expressed by its customers.
Using natural gas as a replacement for coal and petroleum
To speed up GHG emission reductions in the short term, one of the solutions put forward by TEQ is to encourage the use of natural gas as a fuel for heavy transport. The renewal of the Écocamionnage program to help carriers opt for an eco-friendly fuel without hampering their competitiveness, and to support the deployment of natural gas refuelling stations to increase the offer in Québec are among the measures announced. Knowing that the heavy transport sector alone accounts for 36.8% of GHGs emitted by the road transportation industry, the use of natural gas reduces GHG emissions by as much as 25% and close to 99% of air pollutants which are, among other things, responsible for health problems related to poor air quality. Furthermore, Énergir welcomes the idea of conducting a life cycle assessment of different forms of energy, including natural gas.
In a context of transitioning toward a lower-carbon economy, natural gas also enables industries to start moving away from petroleum products and coal, of which the latter represents 1% of Québec’s energy consumption and is responsible for 2% of GHG emissions.
Natural gas is still highly sought after by the regions that are not currently served, and Énergir will continue to meet the needs of communities across Québec that wish to use a cleaner form of energy to improve their environmental footprint while making their businesses more competitive.
Measuring the performance of new GHG reduction measures
In outlining the firm commitments to reaching GHG reduction targets by 2030, the TEQ master plan seems to fail to indicate the criteria that will lead to the development of performance and profitability analysis indicators for the programs to be put forward. In the spirit of transparency with its customers, and in their best interest, Énergir will make sure to stress to TEQ the importance of quickly establishing performance indicators to assess and prioritize the recommended measures.
Communications and Public Affairs
With more than $7 billion in assets, Énergir is a diversified energy company whose mission is to find increasingly sustainable ways to meet the energy needs of its 520,000 customers and the communities it serves. The leading natural gas distributor in Québec, Énergir also produces through its subsidiaries electricity from wind power. Through its subsidiaries in the United States, the company operates in 15 states where it produces electricity from hydraulic, wind and solar sources, while serving as the leading electricity distributor and the sole natural gas distributor in Vermont. Énergir values energy efficiency and invests both resources and efforts in innovative energy projects such as renewable natural gas and liquefied and compressed natural gas. Through its subsidiaries, it also provides a variety of energy services. Énergir aspires to become the partner of choice for those striving for a better energy future.