Puget Sound Energy has set an aspirational goal to be a Beyond Net Zero Carbon company by 2045: PSE will target reducing its own carbon emissions to net zero and go beyond by helping other sectors to enable carbon reduction across the state of Washington.
“Climate change is an existential threat that cannot be ignored, and we are doing our part to move further and faster to save our planet,” said PSE President and CEO Mary Kipp. “Our customers have been asking for cleaner energy; and by setting this aspirational goal, we are putting our stake in the ground. We will work with our customers, as well as our lawmakers and regulators, to push a path forward, based on data and facts, which will drive significant and meaningful change.”
PSE has set a collection of commitments and aspirational goals to reach Beyond Net Zero Carbon by 2045:
PSE operations and electric supply carbon emissions:
- Our commitment to reducing emissions from PSE electric and gas operations and electric supply to net zero by 2030. By 2045, PSE will have a 100% carbon-free electric supply.
PSE natural gas sales for customer end use carbon emissions:
- Our aspirational goal to reach net zero carbon emissions for natural gas sales by 2045—customer use in homes and businesses—with an interim target of a 30% emissions reduction by 2030.
Beyond PSE-reported carbon emissions:
- Our goal to partner with customers and industry to identify programs and products that cost-effectively reduce carbon across sectors and across our region and state. Examples include transportation through EV implementation and the support of low carbon fuels, upstream methane emission reduction, and RNG projects for municipal solid waste, agricultural waste and forestry sources.
“This effort will require accountability and partnership,” said Kipp. “The deep sense of urgency to address our climate crisis is felt on many levels. There are numerous areas where PSE will lead but equally as many that need outside support–from stakeholders and our customers to enablers like policy and regulatory changes.”
PSE will take steps that include:
- Eliminate coal power and increase our use of alternative fuels for power generation.
- Modify tariffs and incentives to mitigate natural gas load growth including changes to the line extension policy and appliance incentives.
- Expand customer programs, such as energy efficiency and demand response, paired with increasing utility-scale renewables (solar and wind) and local, distributed renewables, and associated electric transmission.
- Electrify most of our fleet vehicles by 2030 and use lower carbon fuels for fleet vehicles that cannot be electrified and offset remaining emissions by 2030.
Key support measures include the following (for a comprehensive discussion of PSE’s actions plus support needed, see PSE’s Beyond Net Zero Carbon white paper):
- Efficient siting and permitting of renewable transmission lines and generation.
- Link to other Western jurisdictions for cap and trade program to maximize efficiency for carbon and energy markets, and one consistent regional system that recognizes equity and reliability issues associated with localized carbon regulations.
- A shift in the regulatory paradigm to support a forward-looking environment where utilities can focus on cost-effectively meeting the state’s ambitious energy policy objectives, as well as the utilities’ evolving customer needs while staying financially viable.
A critical component will be balancing clean energy goals with customer expectations for uncompromised reliability, safety and affordability. PSE is also committed to ensuring that all customers and communities have access to and benefit from the transition to a clean energy future. The challenge to protect the most vulnerable and remain sustainable will necessitate healthy and complementary electric and natural gas energy systems, as well as other technologies that may not yet be commercially feasible, to maintain both affordability and reliability.
Knowing the complexity of the issues involved and the need to meet many different interests, PSE will be convening an external advisory committee with representation from a diverse set of community members, partners, technical experts and others.