SBC is Thankful for Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions at the Truckee Donner PUD

Do you know what kind of progress your utility company has made towards reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions? Sierra Business Council’s Climate Planning program, drawing heavily on the stellar GHG inventory talents of SBC Project Manager Paul Ahrns, recently wrapped up a project for the Truckee Donner Public Utility District (TDPUD), Truckee’s local water and electric utility, where we asked just that question.

Under contract to the TDPUD, Sierra Business Council (SBC) inventoried GHG emissions from the year 2012 for the TDPUD’s electric and water department operations as well as electric power sector activities, including electricity deliveries and bulk transmission losses. All emissions estimations were conducted following protocols developed by the Climate Registry to help businesses and organizations keep track of and publicly report their GHG emissions. Additionally, we compared these emissions to their 2008 emissions, which SBC inventoried previously under a separate contract last year.

Results of the 2012 inventory showed a phenomenal 57% decrease in inventoried emissions since 2008, largely due to the increase in procurement of renewable sources of energy. You can read the TDPUD’s press release on this significant reduction here.

A major driver of GHG emissions reductions like the TDPUD’s is the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Under the RPS, investor-owned utilities, electric service providers like the TDPUD, and community choice aggregators are required to increase usage of eligible renewable energy resources to 33% of total procurement by 2020. The TDPUD’s near-term procurement target is “renewable energy resources equivalent to an average of at least twenty percent (20%) of retail sales” during the first compliance period of January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2013. In order to reach these goals, the TDPUD has taken significant action to source from more low-carbon and carbon-neutral sources of electricity, such as wind and hydropower, and has bought renewable energy credits (RECs) to offset more carbon-intensive sources of electricity.

The impact of these efforts on GHG emissions was hugely apparent in the results of the 2012 inventory as compared to 2008’s baseline emissions. You can read more about the exciting progress of the TDPUD and other utilities on the California Public Utilities Commission’s RPS webpage and the California Energy Commission’s RPS webpage.  This kind of progress really is something to be thankful for.