Eugene’s City Council is currently undertaking a crucially important task for our clean energy future — determining how to decrease emissions from “natural” gas use in fair and cost-effective ways. This is vital because gas use produces 28 percent of our total greenhouse gas emissions from energy, transportation, waste and refrigerants. Electricity accounts for 2.5 percent.
350 Eugene recommends that the City Council adopt the following options:
Transition from gas to electric as heaters and appliances need replacement.
Accelerate efficiency and conservation efforts for homes and businesses (electricity and gas). This would allow EWEB to partly increase demand from other solutions.
A moratorium on new gas customer accounts when the new Franchise Agreement is put in place in 2019, making a definitive move away from fossil fuel energy that doesn’t impact existing gas customers.
Require NW Natural customers to purchase offsets, beginning when the new FA is put in place. NWN’s SmartEnergy program costs about $5.50 a month per residential customer. The proceeds could go to local climate solutions programs for weatherization upgrades and rate payment support, prioritizing needs of low-income rate-payers.
Biogas is not recommended for pipeline; better as a vehicle fuel because of expense to pipe it in.