Environment / Featured / Industry News

Building a More Sustainable Energy Future

Southern Company Gas is taking a portfolio approach toward decarbonization, both in terms of the clean technologies we pursue and the value chain avenues
we impact.

 

Infrastructure Modernization

Southern Company Gas has led the industry in making proactive system improvements to minimize methane emissions. Between 1998 and 2018, we invested more than $2.2 billion in pipeline infrastructure replacements. These system improvements have reduced annual methane emissions from our distribution system by 50%, even as the system has grown.

Future fuels as a path to net zero

Southern Company’s goal is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions enterprise-wide by 50% from 2007 levels by 2030 and to make its operations net zero by 2050. This includes Southern Company Gas, where we are focused on reducing emissions from our own business and beyond.

Enabling an Economy-Wide Clean Future

Natural gas distribution companies can help facilitate an economy-wide net zero future. Natural gas utilities have played a critical role in reducing emissions for decades, and the enhanced efficient use of natural gas going forward can serve as a reliable energy carrier to both new and existing markets.

Over the past several decades, we have made significant progress to improve the sustainability of our system–and influenced others to make changes as well. Now, we
are exploring a portfolio of opportunities to address climate change while providing even greater value to our customers and stakeholders.

“As a natural gas company, we are in a unique position to support our society achieving economy-wide net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Looking to 2050 and beyond, our ongoing investment in research and development and innovative solutions will help us ensure that our emissions reduction efforts are implemented across the value chain and continue to meet customers’ needs and preferences.”

–Joanne Mello

Director of Sustainability and Energy Policy
Southern Company Gas

 

Next Generation Natural Gas

We are a founding member of Our Nation’s Energy (ONE) Future–a coalition of natural gas companies working to achieve a rate of methane emissions across the entire natural gas supply chain of less than
1% of total production.

Virginia Natural Gas is also raising the bar on lowering emissions by aspiring to provide its customers with Next Generation Natural Gas that is sourced, transported and distributed by companies that pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to less than 1% across the natural gas value chain.

Southern Company Gas also updated its natural gas bid selection process to offer a competitive edge to natural gas suppliers committed to greenhouse gas reductions.

Renewable Natural Gas and Hydrogen

RNG is a sustainable and alternative source of natural gas created by capturing and utilizing fugitive methane from non-utility sources like landfills and agricultural waste, food processing waste, municipal waste and water treatment facilities. Hydrogen generates no carbon dioxide when it burns–just water vapor–which means there is tremendous potential to reduce end-use emissions by using hydrogen as
a fuel.

We believe that there is tremendous opportunity to use our existing gas infrastructure to affordably support low-carbon fuels, with RNG today and the potential for hydrogen in the future.

Natural Gas Vehicles

Starting in the early 1990s, Atlanta Gas Light started a program to build stations for our customers, including the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), who began purchasing buses that run on clean burning, compressed natural gas. Since 2012, Atlanta Gas Light has built $30 million worth of public and private compressed natural gas fueling stations. There are now 55 compressed natural gas fueling stations owned by Atlanta Gas Light and others across Georgia.

Customer Empowerment and Energy Efficiency

Empowering our customers to reduce their footprint is vitally important, as it has significant potential to reduce emissions. Southern Company Gas empowers its customers through a variety of programs offered through our subsidiaries. These include carbon offsets, energy efficiency and more.

“To achieve true net zero greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide, we must work together–and Southern Company Gas remains committed to the core principles of providing clean, safe, reliable, affordable energy to our customers, now and in the future.”

–Bryan Batson

Executive Vice President of External Affairs
and Chief External and Public Affairs Officer
Southern Company Gas