Summit Natural Gas of Maine is committed to strengthening the natural gas system’s contributions to a sustainable energy future. Since coming to Maine six years ago, the company has put a strong focus on investing in energy efficiency and converting homes, small businesses and industrial customers from oil and propane to cleaner burning natural gas to reduce carbon emissions. The company’s Renewable Natural Gas Program is the next step in our ongoing efforts to support our local economy and fight climate change.
For more information on landfill gas visit www.epa.gov
Last year, Summit matched 5 percent of its Maine residential gas demand for one year by purchasing renewable natural gas attributes (similar to carbon credits), all at no cost to customers.
Through its purchase of RNG attributes, SNGME deepened its commitment to a more sustainable energy future in Maine, and used its purchase to raise awareness and encourage other utilities and customers to support renewable natural gas.
When Renewable Natural Gas is produced, two products are created simultaneously; methane and renewable attributes. Methane is the physical, tangible commodity that is used in homes and businesses. Renewable attributes are the intangible benefits associated with the creation of methane from renewable materials. Renewable attributes are similar to Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), the intangible benefits created by the generation of electricity using renewable sources (solar, wind, hydro, etc.). Currently, the source of the RNG is not in Maine, and we are not purchasing the methane itself – we are simply purchasing the attributes, and matching them with the methane that we normally purchase here in Maine.
Summit wants to give its customers the opportunity to participate in the company’s renewable program, which is why, in addition to matching 5 percent of Summit’s residential gas demand for 2019 with RNG attributes, we launched a voluntary renewable program for our customers. This program allows Maine customers to help fund the purchase of additional RNG attributes to further reduce their carbon footprint.
Customers enrolling in the program may elect to match 10 to 100 percent of the average annual usage of similar customers with RNG attributes. The quantity of RNG attributes, and a flat rate monthly fee, will be added and shown on enrolled customers’ bills. The flat rate monthly fee is based on the percentage selection made at time of sign-up. There is no cost to any customer who does not choose to participate and it is entirely voluntary.
Renewable natural gas (RNG) is pipeline-quality biogas created from the decomposition of organic material through anaerobic digestion. The organic material includes things like animal waste, woody biomass, crop residuals, energy crops and food waste. It is sourced from waste streams and renewable biomass sources, such as farms, landfills, wastewater treatment plants and industrial sites. Renewable natural gas is interchangeable with traditional natural gas, and fully compatible with the U.S. pipeline infrastructure. Like traditional natural gas, RNG can be used in homes and businesses, in manufacturing and heavy industries, for electricity production and as transportation fuel. Renewable natural gas has the potential to play a significant role in the future energy mix. Renewable natural gas is one of the few options that can reduce greenhouse gas, create jobs and enhance America’s energy security, using proven and available technologies.
For more information, we encourage you to look at the AGA site here: https://www.aga.org/research/reports/renewable-natural-gas-rng/ and the recent report from National Grid here: https://www9.nationalgridus.com/non_html/NG_renewable_WP.pdf
Summit Natural Gas of Maine, Inc. (Summit) is committed to a sustainable energy future. Since coming to Maine six years ago, the company has put a strong focus on investing in energy efficiency and converting homes, small businesses and industrial customers from oil and propane to cleaner burning natural gas to reduce carbon emissions. We established our Renewable Natural Gas Attribute Program as the next step in our ongoing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and invest in innovative technologies that mitigate climate change. Renewable natural gas can help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase domestic energy production, improve waste management, and be an innovative source for new green jobs, all while using a gas infrastructure system that is already in place and safely supplying energy throughout the country today.
Renewable natural gas attributes are the environmental and social qualities associated with the production of RNG. When RNG is produced, RNG attributes are created. Money from the purchase of RNG attributes is used to support RNG projects.
Yes. With approval from the Maine Public Utilities Commission, we are offering the program to all of our customers. In addition, we matched 5 percent of residential gas demand for 2019 by purchasing – at no cost to customers – RNG attributes created at an RNG-producing landfill. Through our purchases of RNG attributes, we deepened our commitment to a more sustainable energy future, raising awareness of RNG and encouraging customers and other utilities to support RNG.
Customers can participate in the program by calling our customer service team at (800) 909-7642. Once you sign up, we will add an additional amount to your bill each month and use that money, along with the money contributed by other program participants, to purchase RNG attributes.
Residential and Small Commercial Customers may elect to fund RNG attribute purchases equivalent to a 10%, 25%, 50% or 100% of a typical customer’s natural gas usage. Large Commercial and Transportation customers should contact our customer service team for more information about their participation levels.
We purchase the attributes in bulk, and you pay what we pay. The Voluntary Renewable Natural Gas Attribute Program is being offered as a flat monthly charge, based on the percentage the participant chooses. The monthly charge will be added to each participant’s bill and based on a price of $10 per mmbtu times the amount of usage the participant elects to match. The monthly charge for each of the percentages available to Residential and Small Commercial Customers are shown:
|Monthly Usage Match (MMBtu)||0.744||1.860||3.720||7.440|
Small Commercial Customers
|Monthly Usage Match (MMBtu)||3.179||7.947||15.895||31.790|
Right now, we are not aware of any pipeline quality RNG being produced in Maine, so we have purchased RNG attributes associated with RNG produced at a landfill in Oklahoma. A report detailing the inspection of the facility can be found here.
Yes. Customers enrolled in the Voluntary Renewable Natural Gas Program can call our customer service team at any time to cancel their participation in the program or change their percentage.
No. Customers who do not participate in the Voluntary Renewable Natural Gas Program will not pay more for their natural gas because they are not participating..
Summit is not required to offer an RNG attribute program. We are choosing to offer the program because of our strong commitment to sustainability and belief that many of our customers will appreciate having the option to support RNG production through their participation in the program.