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Natural Gas Decarbonization

The 2021 legislature directed the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) to conduct a study on energy decarbonization impacts and pathways. This study will explore various scenarios for reducing emissions from Washington's electric and natural gas systems. The end result of this project will be a report due to the legislature by June 1, 2023. 

The UTC is committed to an open and transparent process throughout this project. Information about how to engage on this project and provide feedback will be posted to this webpage and the U-210553 docket page.

Decarbonization Survey

Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission has partnered with SSG (Sustainability Solutions Group) to explore approaches for decarbonizing, or reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in Washington’s energy system. We want your input! Take the survey to learn more about the decarbonization pathways project and provide your input to the project.

Take the Survey

Timeline

Upcoming Events

  • 1 p.m.-3 p.m., January 4, 2022 - Decarbonization Advisory Group Meeting 3 - Decarbonization Actions: SSG will inform the DAG about potential suites of decarbonization actions to model and discuss input on modeling assumptions and considerations, potential co-benefits and risks, and potential equity impacts. The input from the DAG will inform the decarbonization pathways and related implementation considerations.

  • 5 p.m.-7 p.m., January 5, 2022 - Public Technical Meeting 3 - Decarbonization Actions: SSG will inform the public participants about potential suites of decarbonization actions to model and related assumptions. They will discuss input on assumptions, other modeling considerations, potential equity impacts, potential co-benefits, and potential risks. The input from the public will inform the decarbonization pathways and related implementation considerations.

  • 1 p.m.-3 p.m., February 1, 2022 - Decarbonization Advisory Group Meeting 4 - Exploring Decarbonization Pathways: SSG will present and the DAG will review the final decarbonization pathways and have an opportunity to provide input on how the pathways might affect health, economic, and equity issues. The DAG will share their recommendations on how decarbonization actions could be implemented in a way that reduces negative impacts. The input will be used to finalize the analysis.

  • 5 p.m.-7 p.m., February 2, 2022 - Public Technical Meeting 4 - Exploring Decarbonization Pathways: SSG will present and the public participants will review the final decarbonization pathways and provide input on constraints, impacts, and potential legislative considerations. The public participant will have an opportunity to provide input into how the pathways might affect health, economic, and equity issues. The input will be used to finalize the analysis.

Past Events

  • October 5, 2022 - Public Technical Meeting 2 - The UTC held a meeting for the public to learn about what Washington’s emissions between now and 2050 look like under a business-as-planned scenario, as well as to provide feedback on potential decarbonization actions, equity implications, and opportunities for and barriers to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    Download Meeting Slides
    View Technical Meeting 2 Recording

  • September 7, 2022 - Decarbonization Advisory Group Meeting 2 - The UTC held a meeting for the Decarbonization Advisory Group to learn about what Washington’s emissions between now and 2050 look like under a business-as-planned scenario, as well as to provide feedback on potential decarbonization actions, equity implications, and opportunities for and barriers to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Participants provided feedback via a digital whiteboard.
    Download the meeting slides (PDF)

    View the meeting whiteboard

    View DAG Meeting 2 Recording

  • July 14, 2022 - Decarbonization Advisory Group Meeting 1 - The UTC held a meeting for the Decarbonization Advisory Group to review assumptions for a projection of expected emissions based on current trends and the implementation of existing policies. This projection is known as a business-as-usual scenario. Participants had an opportunity to review the assumptions and provide feedback orally and via an online whiteboard.
    Download the meeting slides (PDF)

    View the meeting whiteboard

    View the recording

  • June 29, 2022 - Public Technical Meeting 1 - The UTC held the first public meeting to review assumptions for a projection of expected emissions based on current trends and the implementation of existing policies. This projection is known as a business-as-usual scenario. Participants had an opportunity to review the assumptions and provide feedback orally and via an online whiteboard.
    Download Meeting Slides
    View Meeting Whiteboard
    View the Recording

  • May 27, 2022 - Energy Decarbonization Pathways Engagement Meeting - The UTC held a kick-off meeting to inform participants how to get involved and provide input. The meeting went over current energy use and emissions in the state, and the project timeline.
    Download the Agenda
    Download Meeting Slides
    View the Recording

Background

The UTC contracted with Sustainability Solutions Group (SSG) to support the UTC with examining decarbonization pathways with privately owned energy utilities in Washington state. 

Goals:

  • How natural gas utilities can decarbonize;
  • The impacts of increased electrification on the ability of electric utilities to deliver services to current natural gas customers reliably and affordably;
  • The ability of electric utilities to procure and deliver electric power to reliably meet that load;
  • The impact on regional electric system resource adequacy, and the transmission and distribution infrastructure requirements for such a transition;
  • The costs and benefits to residential and commercial customers, including environmental, health, and economic benefits;
  • Equity considerations and impacts to low-income customers and highly impacted communities; and
  • Potential regulatory policy changes to facilitate decarbonization of the services that gas companies provide while ensuring customer rates are fair, just, reasonable, and sufficient.