BCUC Completes its Inquiry into the Acquisition of Renewable Natural Gas – Press Release


VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 13, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) released its Final Report for Phase 2 of its Inquiry into the Acquisition of Renewable Natural Gas by Public Utilities in BC (RNG Inquiry).

The BCUC established its RNG Inquiry in 2021 to examine several issues related to BC public utilities’ acquisition of RNG. The RNG Inquiry set out to determine a definition for RNG, how it can be acquired by public utilities, and how it can be delivered to utility customers, among other items.

The RNG Inquiry Phase 1 Final Report was released in July 2022 with the following key findings:

How is RNG acquired?
  • RNG is acquired in each of these scenarios:
    • when biomethane is acquired with its associated environmental attributes; and
    • when conventional natural gas is acquired and an appropriate quantum of environmental attributes that are associated with the production of biomethane are acquired separately.
Environmental Attributes
  • Environmental attributes can be contractually transferred between parties, either together with the gas or separately.
Notional Delivery
  • It is not practical for a public utility to physically deliver RNG to customers because once it is injected into the gas pipeline system it mixes with natural gas from other sources and becomes indistinguishable.
  • Instead, RNG is notionally delivered to utility customers. Customers who purchase RNG receive physical units of natural gas + environmental attributes associated with the production of biomethane.

In Phase 2 of the RNG Inquiry, the BCUC further explored notional delivery, the role of environmental attributes, and other matters. Some of the BCUC’s key findings from the Phase 2 Final Report include:

Definition of RNG
  • Bundling conventional natural gas + environmental attributes that arise from anything other than the production of biomethane does not satisfy the definition of RNG for the purpose of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Regulation (GGRR).