Championing Energy Efficiency
To ensure economic and environmental sustainability, we champion energy efficiency in our operations and offer assistance to our customers to help them conserve energy. Minimizing energy use reduces operating costs and emissions, and over the long term energy efficiency benefits North American energy security.
Operating efficiency and emission reductions
We continue to focus on reducing our energy use and associated GHG emissions. This effort extends throughout our organization and includes efficiency improvement measures in our offices and vehicle fleets, natural gas gathering and processing facilities and compressor stations.
In October 2009, Union Gas, our Canadian distribution business, opened its second and third new customer service centers built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards. These centers not only improve our energy usage by 50 percent compared to buildings designed and constructed to standard codes, but also showcase energy-efficient design for our customers.
In our pipeline operations, we are improving energy efficiency by upgrading compressor drivers on our main lines with more efficient, lower emission units. In western Canada, this process has resulted in reduced power consumption. In the United States, we adopted new operating procedures that allow us to test our emergency shutdown systems without creating a significant gas release in the testing process.
As a result of our focus on improving operating efficiency and reducing methane emissions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency named Spectra Energy its Natural Gas STAR Program 2009 Transmission Partner of the Year.
In British Columbia, we partnered with Enpower Corp. to create two waste heat recovery projects at our Savona and 150 Mile house compressor stations. The waste heat from our compressors will enable generators to produce enough clean electricity to power more than 10,000 homes and will offset approximately 25,000 metric tons of GHG emissions each year. We are participating in a voluntary program through the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) to facilitate the development of other similar projects.
Our 2010 priority is to develop measures of energy efficiency across Spectra Energy’s businesses. This initiative is already underway in Ontario, where Union Gas developed a comprehensive energy conservation plan in 2009 that encompasses 60 existing buildings, its 800-vehicle fleet, and compressor and station heaters.
Energy Services for our Customers
We also promote energy efficiency for retail, commercial and industrial customers within the Union Gas market. We offer incentive programs and support customers’ efforts to realize cost savings and environmental benefits by providing audits, training, new building construction advice, and building retrofit programs.
In 2009, Union Gas continued its highly successful Demand Side Management (DSM) programs, claiming a company-record $345 million in total resource cost savings (avoided use of natural gas and electricity) on behalf of its 1.3 million residential, commercial and industrial customers.
Since 1997, Union Gas has helped customers save an estimated $1.4 billion through its energy saving initiatives, including 712 million cubic meters of natural gas, and reducing CO2 emissions by 1.3 million metric tons -- the equivalent of taking more than 240,000 cars off North American roads.
The multifaceted environmental benefits from our DSM programs can be clearly seen in the work we did with building materials manufacturer Day & Campbell. The company has been producing autoclaved concrete and slag blocks for construction and landscaping in Hamilton, Ontario, for more than six decades. Union Gas provided ideas and incentives that helped Day & Campbell reduce its natural gas energy use by more than 250,000 cubic meters per year, reduce water usage and treatment charges, and meet compliance requirements. The project also reduced GHG emissions by 548 metric tons per year, and reduction of natural gas usage alone resulted in a 2.5-year project investment payback.