Frequently Asked Questions
Renewable Natural Gas
Renewable energy is any source of energy that can be renewed naturally fast enough to be considered inexhaustible within the human time scale.
- Biogas (RNG)
- Solar power
- Wind power
- Geothermal power
- Tidal power
As defined in the Act respecting the Régie de l’énergie, “methane from renewable sources with interchangeability characteristics that allow it to be delivered by a natural gas distribution system”.
RNG is natural gas produced from organic waste (biomass) from farms, forests, landfill sites and water treatment plants. The gas is captured, cleaned and injected into the gas distribution system to be used for the same applications as conventional natural gas: heating, hot water, drying, BBQs, fireplaces, etc.
When a customer purchases a certain volume of RNG, that amount will be injected into the natural gas distribution system supplying that customer. Once injected, the RNG blends with the conventional natural gas in the distribution system supplying all of the customers. There is no separate distribution system for providing RNG directly to the customer’s address. Purchasing RNG means that the customer is buying the green attributes of that product.
- Completely renewable
- Produced in Quebec: in 2020, purchased RNG came from Saint-Thomas (EBI Énergie)
- Replaces fossil energy with renewable energy
- Avoids methane emissions from buried organic waste
- Voluntary and flexible: For now, anyone buying RNG does so on a voluntary basis. Customers can choose to take 1% to 100% of their natural gas consumption as RNG.
- Clean and eco-friendly: RNG enables customers to reduce their carbon footprint and to take action.
- No change in equipment! This energy source is distributed and used in the same way as conventional natural gas, but it’s green!
- Without the production of RNG, gas generated by our household waste would be released into the atmosphere as methane (which is 25 times more harmful than CO2 during combustion) or burned in biomethanization plants, with the same impact in terms of GHG as when the gas is consumed as natural gas.
- In order to avoid those two scenarios, we give that gas a second life by recovering, cleaning and injecting it into the natural gas system to replace fossil-derived natural gas. Thus, valorizing our waste is the perfect example of the circular economy because we use that gas as a source of energy. As a result, we can confirm that RNG is carbon neutral as it does not contribute to the increase in greenhouse gases.
In 2020, 1% of the natural gas Gazifère distributes is RNG, and it is aiming for 5% by 2025. This percentage is a provincial requirement, but there is nothing to prevent us from getting there sooner if demand is strong and the supply is available.
You can choose to attribute anywhere from 1 to 100% of your consumption to the RNG rate. Bear in mind that the Government of Quebec has asked  Gazifère to deliver 1% of RNG in 2020 and 2021, and that the costs associated with that obligation may be allocated to all customers if the 1% goal is not met through voluntary purchases.
By opting for the RNG rate, you are voluntarily contributing to the goal, and by agreeing to at least 1% monthly, which comes to 12% annually (the monthly percentage chosen by the customer (%) multiplied by the number of months), you will have paid off your part of that obligation.
If Gazifère is unable to sell enough RNG to its customers through voluntary purchases, it will have to bill them to meet its obligation, but you will be exempted because you opted for the monthly 1% at the RNG rate (the equivalent of 12% annually). The Régie de l’énergie has approved the exemption of customers who, in 2021, purchased the equivalent of 1% RNG monthly, from RNG-related rate adjustment for 2021.
 Règlement concernant la quantité de gaz naturel renouvelable devant être livrée par un distributeur : http://legisquebec.gouv.qc.ca/fr/ShowDoc/cr/R-6.01,%20r.%204.3
Given that no injectable RNG production project for the distribution system was available for Gazifère’s territory when it purchased RNG for 2020, the company signed a contract with a green energy producer for all of its requirements. It believes that it negotiated the best possible price for meeting its new obligation to inject 1% of RNG into its distribution system effective January 1, 2020.
Gazifère bills customers for their total monthly consumption, and uses a rate rider to calculate the extra cost related to RNG consumption. The rate rider represents the cost of RNG, which is then applied to the volume associated with the percentage of RNG chosen by the customer.
Thus, the price of RNG will not fluctuate in 2020 because Gazifère has signed an annual supply agreement at a fixed cost.
That being said, the RNG rate is billed based on a rate rider, which varies quarterly because it takes into account adjustments related to the cost of transportation, gas cost and carbon emission credits.
Eight rate riders have been created to accommodate Gazifère customers’ different situations based on the necessary adjustments related to the above cost and credits. In brief, Gazifère plans to proceed in much the same way as it does for carbon emission credits on customers’ bills.
A calculator is available on our Web site at www.gazifere.com to easily estimate the percentage point cost of RNG.
The Inspiring Energy initiative promoted by Gazifère aims to encourage the use of green energies such as renewable natural gas and hydrogen. It also aims to foster a culture of energy efficiency and greater awareness among individuals and communities about the positive environmental impact of those changes. The site will come online in the week of August 30, 2020.