Renewable Natural Gas
Toutes les réponses à vos questions sur le gaz naturel renouvelable
Renewable Natural Gas
What is renewable energy?
Renewable energy is any source of energy that can be renewed naturally fast enough to be considered inexhaustible within the human time scale.
What are the sources of renewable energy?
- Biogas (RNG)
- Solar power
- Wind power
- Geothermal power
- Tidal power
What is renewable natural gas?
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.
How does RNG supply work?
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.
What are the advantages of RNG for the planet?
- Completely renewable
- Replaces fossil energy with renewable energy
- Avoids methane emissions from buried organic waste
What are the advantages of RNG specifically for consumers?
- 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!
Is RNG production considered carbon neutral?
- 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.
How much renewable natural gas is injected into the Gazifère system?
From 2020 to 2022, Gazifère injected 1% of RNG into its network, then 2% in 2023 to gradually reach 5% from 2025. This percentage is a provincial obligation, which does not prevent us from increasing it more quickly if demand is strong and supply is available.
What percentage of RNG is right for me?
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 2% of RNG in 2023, and that the costs associated with that obligation may be allocated to all customers if the 2% 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 2% monthly, which comes to 24% 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 2% at the RNG rate (the equivalent of 24% annually). The Régie de l’énergie has approved the exemption of customers who, in 2023, purchased the equivalent of 2% RNG monthly, from RNG-related rate adjustment for 2023.
 Règlement concernant la quantité de gaz naturel renouvelable devant être livrée par un distributeur : https://www.legisquebec.gouv.qc.ca/fr/document/rc/R-6.01,%20r.%204.3
How is the price of RNG set? Can it fluctuate?
Given that no injectable RNG production project for the distribution system was available for Gazifère’s territory when it purchased RNG for 2023, the company intends to conclude a contract with a green energy producer for all of its requirements at the best possible price for meeting its new obligation to inject 2% of RNG into its distribution system.
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 this year because Gazifère intends to conclude an annual supply contract 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.
What is www.energy-inspired.com?
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.
Adjustement of the cost of renewable natural gas (RNG)
Why does Gazifère not assume the additional cost of RNG for all customers?
The charges associated with the acquisition of RNG are derived from the Government of Québec Regulation regarding the minimum quantity of renewable natural gas to be delivered by a distributor and aims to make Québec a leader in the field of renewable energy by placing the consumer at the centre of initiatives. Gazifère, like all natural gas distributors, is required to deliver annually a quantity of renewable natural gas to meet this obligation and the costs associated with this must subsequently be recovered from customers.*
*Regulatory Impact Analysis – Draft Regulation Regarding the Quantity of Renewable Natural Gas to be Delivered by a Distributor – Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (August 2018 and February 2019).
Why was the additional cost of RNG not imposed on all Gazifère customers from the outset?
Since 2020, we offer our customers to contribute to a better environment by adhering to the RNG tarif. By agreeing to subject a share of your consumption to the RNG tarif, you are encouraging the RNG sector in Quebec and helping to reduce the province’s GHG and methane emissions. We are confident that over time, recognition of the environmental benefits of renewable natural gas will allow enough customers to voluntarily join and that cost-sharing will no longer be necessary.
Do all Gazifère customers have to pay these fees?
Yes. All residential, commercial, institutional and industrial customers are subject to this adjustment approved by the Régie de l’énergie. However, those customers who voluntarily opted to pay the RNG rate for 1% or more of their 2021 consumption are exempted.
If I opted to pay the RNG rate for 1% of my 2022 consumption, do I still have to pay that adjustment?
Given that this adjustment pertains to 2021 unsold volumes, if you did not voluntarily opt to pay the RNG rate for 1% of your consumption from January to December 2021, you will have an adjustment on your monthly bill in 2023.
Will I have this adjustment every year?
At the end of every year, we will assess the % sold based on our obligation, and will proceed with the adjustment, if necessary, a year later. For example, if there is an unsold balance at the end of 2022, we will adjust the rates effective January 1, 2024. However, if the inventory is fully sold, cost-sharing will not be necessary.
How much do I have to opt in for to avoid future socialization?
The Government of Quebec has asked Gazifère to deliver 2% RNG in 2023. By opting for at least 2% monthly, effective January 2023, you will be exempted from any future RNG rate adjustment in 2023.
How do you calculate the RNG adjustment?
Customers who did not opt for the RNG rate in 2021 will be billed according to their monthly consumption in 2022 multiplied by the socialization rate, which is $0.0074/m³. That rate2 represents the difference between the volume of RNG purchased to meet our obligation and the volume sold in 2021.
Rate adjustments effective July 1st, 2023
The Régie de l’Énergie approved an adjustment to natural gas rates effective July 1, 2023. Every three months, we carefully review market prices and compare them with current rates. We adjust the rate upwards or downwards as called for. The rate adjustment effective July 1, 2023 will result in some changes.
What impact will this adjustment in natural gas prices have on the invoice?
The natural gas bill consists of five elements: a minimum monthly obligation, the distribution charge, the transportation charge, the supply charge and the carbon tax. The April 1, 2023 adjustment announces a decrease in the price per molecule of natural gas and a decrease in the price of transportation as well as a slight decrease in the price of balancing (included in the distribution tariffs).
For a residential customer
For the residential rate (Rate 2), based on annual volumes of 2,000m3, that represented a decrease of -13.14% including the adjustment in the cost of gas, for an annual decrease of $205.
Based on monthly volumes of 160m3, that represented a decrease of 18.96% including the adjustment in the cost of gas, for a total monthly decrease of $16.
For a commercial customer
For the commercial rate (Rate 1), based on annual volumes of 22,749m3, that represented a decrease of 18.96% including the adjustment in the cost of gas, for an annual reduction of $2 284.
Based on monthly volumes of 1,500m3, that represented a decrease of 18,70% , including the adjustment for the cost of gas, for a total monthly decrease of $151.
Recap of the January 1, 2023 rate adjustment
The rate adjustment that came into effect on January 1, 2023 led to an increase in some components as well as the previous year’s adjustment.
Why did the cost of natural gas increase as of January 1, 2023
In North American markets, the price of natural gas varies throughout the year. The price of natural gas is influenced by several factors including supply and demand, weather and the price of other energy sources. The price of fossil fuels is rising sharply, driven by an increase in demand for this type of energy.
What is the Previous year ajustement on the invoice?
Regarding the merchandise (the commodity price of natural gas and the transportation charge from western Canada to Gatineau), Gazifère is supplied and then billed by Enbridge.
Any difference between what Gazifère paid Enbridge for those services throughout the year and what it charged you during the year is recorded in an account and then liquidated in the following year. For our customers, depending on the year, that difference amounts to a charge or a credit.
Currently, the Previous year adjustment appearing on the customer’s bill stems from the liquidation of that account for the period from January 1 to December 31, 2021, amounting to a charge for residential and commercial customers.
For a residential customer
The adjustment is 0.38 ¢/m3, and is based on total consumption for 2021. For a residential customer (Rate 2) with annual average consumption of 2,000 m3, that adjustment amounts to a charge of $7.60 (2,000 m3 X $0.0038 = charge of $7.60)
For a commercial customer
The adjustment is 0.37 ¢/m3, and is based on total consumption for 2021. For a commercial customer (Rate 1) with annual average consumption of 22,749 m3, that adjustment amounts to a charge of $84.17 (22,749 m3 X $0.0037 = charge of $84.17)
What impact did this ajustment in the cost of natural gas have on the invoice?
The natural gas bill consists of five elements: a minimum monthly obligation, the distribution charge, the transportation charge, the supply charge and the carbon tax. The October 1, 2022 adjustment affected most of the elements, but mainly the natural gas supply charge.
On your bill, the impact of this increase was directly linked to your consumption. Considering that 60% of the annual consumption of natural gas occurs in winter, your consumption should be significantly less in spring and summer.
For a residential customer
For the residential rate (Rate 2), based on annual volumes of 2,000m3, that represented a 4.16% increase, including the adjustment in the cost of gas, for an annual increase of $62.
Based on monthly volumes of 160m3, that represented a 4.13% increase, including the adjustment in the cost of gas, for a monthly increase of $5.
For a commercial customer
For the commercial rate (Rate 1), based on annual volumes of 22,749m3, that represented a 5.69% increase, including the adjustment for the cost of natural gas, for an annual increase of $689.
Based on monthly volumes of 1,500m3, that represented a 5.62% increase, including the adjustment for the cost of gas, for a monthly increase of $45.
Will natural gas remain an excellent energy choice?
Absolutely! Natural gas is still approximately 18% less expensive than electricity, and 30% less expensive than fuel oil.
As well, natural gas offers unmatched comfort compared to the other energy sources.
What can I do to reduce my energy consumption?
Gazifère suggests simple, efficient and practical solutions to reduce your energy consumption, such as the installation of a smart thermostat. As well, Gazifère offers its customers a $100 cash incentive when they purchase and install one. Click here for additional information.
Never shut off your thermostat, instead program it and set a 3-degree Celsius difference between the temperature you want when you’re home and the temperature when you go out or go to bed.
For additional information about our energy efficiency programs, check our guide on cash incentives.
Are there options to help me deal with this situation?
Gazifère offers its customers a free budget management tool, the Budget Billing Plan (BBP). The BBP spreads the total cost of your annual natural gas consumption over twelve monthly bills, from September to August. However, in order to take into account your consumption and fluctuations in the price of natural gas, your monthly payments are revised twice a year. Enrolment in BBP is free and can be cancelled at no charge at any time.
Gazifère offers its customers cash incentives, some of which are designed to introduce energy-saving measures. For additional information consult our guide.
Gazifère is always prepared to offer payment agreements. Do not hesitate to contact us to discuss this. You can reach us at 819-771-8321.