July 5, 2013 - Press releases
Montréal, July 4, 2013 – Gaz Métro is looking forward to the public consultation proposed by the Quebec government on the province's energy issues. As a major player in the energy industry, Gaz Métro, a Quebec company, has played a big part in the province's development in this field for almost 60 years.
“We are being collectively invited to participate in an essential reflection because much has changed in the energy sector since Quebec unveiled its last energy strategy in 2006. Our close ties with the customers and communities we serve have led us to develop innovative solutions to meet Quebec's energy needs. Gaz Métro will therefore be actively involved in the consultation so it can share its suggestions,” said Stéphanie Trudeau,
Gaz Métro's Vice-President, Strategy, Communications and Sustainable Development.
The format proposed for the consultation will allow socio-economic actors across the province to express their vision of the direction Quebec should take to become a leader in environmentally and economically sound energy use. Quebec must set clear consensus-building objectives so that all the partners can actively participate in the resulting action plan.
Gaz Métro believes that no single energy source can meet all of our society's needs while at the same time reconciling today's economic and environmental imperatives. Where energy is concerned, Quebec is fortunate to have access to diversified sources; it can therefore find the best solution for each of its challenges, be it in energy efficiency, renewable energy development or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). “Our energy sources must work in complement to one another so that Quebec can become a model of energy innovation, which in turn will allow the province to simultaneously realize its ambitious environmental objectives and economic aspirations,” continued Stéphanie Trudeau.
Adopting novel energy solutions to improve Quebec's environmental and economic performance
Natural gas is expected to play a pivotal role in helping Quebec reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. To this end, Gaz Métro's mission and efforts revolve around making natural gas an indispensable tool that will help further Quebec's economic and environmental performance.
From an economic perspective, natural gas users in the province have saved close to
$2 billion in the past four years thanks to a sharp drop in the price of natural gas in North America. As well, companies and institutions that switch from oil to natural gas reduce their GHG emissions by one third as well as significantly cut pollutant emissions that cause smog and acid rain. It also prepares them better to meet their obligations under the Cap-and-Trade System for Greenhouse Gas Emission Allowances (Cap and Trade).
These economic and environmental gains make the regions more competitive and offer a strong argument for making natural gas more widely available across the province.
Gaz Métro has long been working to offer novel energy solutions geared to customer needs and the community's objectives. In the energy sector, Gaz Métro was the first public utility to offer customers an energy efficiency plan in 2001. Since then, the 80,000 projects carried out under this plan have eliminated the equivalent of twice the consumption of the 46,500 new residential customers connected during that period. In so doing, 580,000 tonnes of GHG emissions were avoided. This outstanding performance is the foundation on which Gaz Métro plans to base its future efforts in order to remain a leader in energy efficiency and continue helping its customers to consume less and consume smarter.
Gaz Métro is also working on deploying new energy solutions to meet Quebec's needs. The development of biomethanization projects allow us to believe that Quebec's gas network could soon be supplied with renewable gas produced locally from organic matter, which may better serve Quebec's needs for green energy.
On the transportation front, natural gas can have a tremendous impact on Quebec's GHG emissions performance when combined with vehicle electrification. Technology already allows us to reduce heavy-duty freight emissions by 25% by using natural gas instead of diesel fuel in trucks and ships. “The transportation sector accounts for 43% of Quebec's total emissions, most of which are generated by heavy-duty freight. We therefore need to quickly shift over to electric cars and natural gas trucks. Substantial gains are within our reach because we already have the technology and the tools to make it happen,” added Stéphanie Trudeau.
Gaz Métro has also offered its expertise to the wind energy industry through its involvement in the development of the Seigneurie de Beaupré wind parks. The utility will continue to scout for similar opportunities in the future in an effort to foster the emergence of alternative energy industries to enable Quebec to diversify its energy sources.
The consultation will also provide an opportunity to discuss the energy sector's regulatory framework to ensure it is conducive to innovation and creativity.
Overview of Gaz MétroWith more than $5 billion in assets, Gaz Métro is a leading energy provider. It is the largest natural gas distribution company in Quebec, where its 10,000 km underground network of pipelines serves 300 municipalities and more than 185,000 customers. Gaz Métro is also present in Vermont, producing electricity and distributing electricity and natural gas to cater to the needs to some 300,000 customers. Gaz Métro is actively involved in the development of innovative, sustainability-oriented energy projects such as the production of wind power, the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel and the development of biomethane as a renewable energy source. Gaz Métro is committed to ensuring the satisfaction of its customers, providing support to businesses, local organizations, families and communities, and meeting the needs of its partners (Gaz Métro inc. and Valener) and employees.