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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.

Timeline

June 6, 2022 - Decarbonization Pathways Engagement Plan

June 1, 2023 - Final report due to the legislature 

Upcoming Events

  • June 10, 2022 - Deadline for Nominations for Decarbonization Advisory Group

    The Decarbonization Advisory Group will be composed of representatives of impacted communities who are interested in participating in a detailed analysis of decarbonization modeling, actions, and pathways. Participation will be capped at one representative per organization and include up to two members of the public. Advisory group meetings will last approximately two hours, and participants should commit to attending all four meetings from June-November.  

    To express interest, please email nora.hawkins@utc.wa.gov by Friday, June 10.  

  • June 29, 2022 - Energy Decarbonization Pathways First Technical Meeting - The UTC’s consultant, SSG, will hold the first technical meeting from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. to discuss and obtain feedback on baseline modeling assumptions. Please note that this meeting will not focus on the decarbonization scenarios that will be discussed at future meetings. To participate in the meeting using Zoom on a computer or mobile device, click here to join the meeting. Alternatively, listen to the meeting by calling 301-715-8592 and using Meeting ID 819 9132 1589 with the Passcode 448008.

Past Events

  • 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.