Dominion Energy is offering the GreenTherm plan to its Utah customers. It is a voluntary program that provides an easy and convenient way to support the development of renewable energy by purchasing “green attributes.” To fully understand what GreenTherm is, there are a few terms to know.
Green Attributes: The term “green attributes” refers to renewable natural gas which is made up of two components: a gas molecule and a green attribute. A green attribute is a certificate that verifies the gas was produced from a renewable source. With the GreenTherm program, Dominion Energy purchases green attributes. The renewable natural gas molecule can be sold at the same price as conventional natural gas while the green attribute has an additional value for its environmental benefits.
Renewable Natural Gas: Renewable natural gas is pipeline-quality gas produced from existing waste streams and a variety of renewable and sustainable biomass sources. Sources may include waste water, landfills, agricultural waste or food waste.
Even though natural gas is already abundant and clean, GreenTherm was developed because Dominion Energy recognizes that customers have varying environmental and efficiency goals. Natural gas is considered the cleanest fossil fuel; still, many customers prefer their energy coming from renewable sources. Capturing methane generated from landfills, agricultural waste or food waste prevents it from being released into the atmosphere.
Make A Difference:
By participating in the GreenTherm program, it will make a difference in our air quality and environment. By capturing methane released from organic waste such as wastewater, food waste and animal waste and repurposing it as renewable natural gas, the GreenTherm program can help reduce the effects of climate change and may improve air quality. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the climate change impact of methane is 25 times greater than carbon dioxide. Also, depending on the source of renewable natural gas, air quality may be improved by eliminating the need of certain organic waste facilities to inefficiently burn raw methane, thus reducing NOx and other air quality particulate emissions.
It can also make a difference locally. The GreenTherm program seeks to purchase renewable natural gas attributes from local sources in the state of Utah. However, it is worth mentioning that if Dominion Energy is unable to find renewable natural gas attributes in Utah, they will be purchased where available.
Participation in the GreenTherm program is completely voluntary. Customers elect to pay a surcharge of $5 per block per month to improve the environment, and support the development and advancement of renewable natural gas. The $5-per-block cost includes the purchase of a half dekatherm* of renewable natural gas green attributes as well as program-related marketing and administration costs.
All Utah and Idaho customers connected to Dominion Energy’s distribution system are eligible to participate in the GreenTherm program. In addition to helping build demand for renewable energy, you will receive an annual participation report highlighting your support and the overall effect of the program.
* Dekatherm: a standard unit of measuring energy used primarily to measure natural gas. One dekatherm is equivalent to 10 therms or 1 million British thermal units. A typical residential customer consumes 80 dekatherms annually.
Renewable natural gas is currently more expensive to produce than conventional natural gas. While both conventional natural gas and renewable natural gas must be processed to satisfy pipeline safety and quality standards, the processing differs and costs more for renewable natural gas. Renewable natural gas is a promising alternative energy source, like solar and wind power, that can help satisfy a growing demand for renewable energy sources and lower greenhouse gas emissions. This demand could encourage improved technologies and lower prices over time.
If you would like to learn more about the GreenTherm program or participate, head over to Dominion Energy.