As Minnesota’s largest natural gas utility, CenterPoint Energy delivers reliable, affordable energy to more than 860,000 customers in 260 communities. As a good corporate citizen and environmental steward, we also focus on innovative clean energy initiatives and partnerships to limit the climate impact of our business by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Let me highlight a few examples:
Conservation Improvement Program. Because the cleanest energy is the energy we never consume in the first place, we have long partnered with our residential and business customers to help them reduce their energy use—and save money—through our nation-leading Conservation Improvement Program (CIP). Since 1994, thanks to these energy efficiency efforts, our customers have avoided an estimated total of 11.3 million tons in carbon dioxide emissions—equal to the annual energy use of 1.35 million homes.
Methane Challenge. As a founding member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s voluntary Methane Challenge Program, we are significantly reducing methane emissions from of our own distribution system. With improved leak detection and the permanent replacement of cast-iron and bare steel pipelines, we have lowered methane emissions attributable to our Minnesota operations by 18 percent since 2013.
Renewable Natural Gas. Over the past year we have been working with stakeholders to bring Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) to our customers, using renewable waste gas obtained from landfills, wastewater facilities, dairy farms and other agricultural operations. We are currently developing an interconnection plan to allow RNG producers to access our distribution system, diversifying our fuel supply while also benefiting local economies, especially in rural areas.
Carbon Capture & Reuse. We are testing innovative clean carbon capture technology to allow our customers to take carbon dioxide released by burning natural gas and convert it into carbonate, which can be reused in products such as soap and glass. During the next year, we plan to install 10 of these units with business and institutional customers in the Twin Cities area.
[Photos: CenterPoint Energy is introducing technology that captures and converts CO2 emissions into powder that can be used to make soap, among other products.]
Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership. Since 2014, we have been an active partner in the Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership, working with the City of Minneapolis and Xcel Energy to help the city reach its ambitious climate action and clean energy goals.
With these and other initiatives, CenterPoint Energy is committed to being an environmentally-responsible leader in our industry as we continue to provide reliable, affordable energy to the customers and communities we serve.