Vermont Gas launches bio-methane pilot program

Vermont Gas Systems Inc., is distributing bio-methane to the equivalent of 350 residential homes in Franklin and Chittenden counties. The renewable gas is being used to supplement the natural gas the company distributes to customers in northern Vermont.

The bio-methane, which is derived from the decomposition of manure and organic materials in landfills, comes from Quebec.

Don Gilbert, president and CEO of Vermont Gas, which is a subsidiary of Montreal-based Gaz Metro, said the company plans to expand the use of bio-methane in order to help reduce the state’s carbon footprint and reliance on fossil fuels. Under the state’s comprehensive energy plan, 90 percent of the state’s energy must come from renewable energy sources by 2050.

“Renewable natural gas has tremendous advantages,” Gilbert said in a statement. “It produces a heating fuel that reduces lifecycle emissions by more than 90 percent compared to other sources, reduces phosphorous runoff into waterways like Lake Champlain and can contribute to Vermont’s renewable energy goals. Vermont Gas is pleased to make this first foray toward bringing renewable natural gas into its system.”

Vermont Gas is also supporting a renewable natural gas production facility in Vermont that will help farmers turn waste products into a cash crop and produce compost and animal bedding as byproducts.

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Anne Galloway

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  • Jane Palmer

    Wow! .008% of the gas Gaz Metro/Vermont Gas is importing in from Canada is renewable…and this is BIG NEWS! Yes, it’s a step in the right direction…but this is a very, very, very, tiny step. ( and judging by the way VGS does math, it’s probably a BIG exaggeration as well) If anyone were to dig into the bowels of the source of this “bio-methane” they would find that there is no way there will ever be enough generated in the region to replace the methane brought here from other NON-renewable and environmentally destructive sources (think fracking). This is just an example of “green washing” so those who are thinking they might still be able to save money by switching to burning “natural” gas won’t feel guilty about it and will support VGS’ effort to build an insanely expensive transmission pipeline through Vermont.
    Nice try. (not)

    • Reginald Birgantz

      I for one am fed up with all of the PR stunts that VT Gas is pulling. (The fact that a Canadian company owns VT gas is another rant for another day)

      What can we, as concerned citizens of Vermont do to combat this money hungry, environmentally unfriendly, energy conglomerate?

      • Jane Palmer

        I so appreciate other concerned citizens asking what they can do to combat the utility dilemma we Vermonters find ourselves in right now. One thing you could try, is to contact your state senators and representatives and ask them to join with Addison County Senators Chris Bray and Claire Ayer and Representative Willem Jewett in condemning Phase 2 of the pipeline project that will serve International Paper. Here is the letter as printed in the Addison Independent yesterday:
        A year ago I would have responded that our elected officials are not interested in this issue…but Addison County has been relentless in their call for action and our officials have heard us and are now stepping up to the plate. We are grateful to them for taking a stand against what we feel is the wrong choice for Vermont.

  • Wayne Andrews

    So Ms. Palmer where is your negative comment about CVPS now GMP about their electricity that come from methane gas? Or is only your axe to grind against VT Gas?

    • Reginald Birgantz

      I don’t know about you Mr. Andrews, but I haven’t seen CVPS or GMP put out ‘Green-Washing’ press releases. Mrs. Palmer’s comment is not a response to methane gas. If anything it is supporting renewable energy. Her comment is saying that this PR release is a deliberate attempt to paint VT Gas as an environmentally friendly organization when in fact it is just the opposite!

    • Seth Jensen

      Gaz Metro is the parent company for both CVPS/GMP and VTGas.

  • Wayne Andrews

    For years CVPS along with their monthly bill had a flyer in the mailing envelopes. This is nothing new.

  • Just in case anyone missed it, when the press release said that the biomethane gas “reduces lifecycle emissions by more than 90 percent compared to other sources” what that really tells me is that Gaz Metro’s expansion Phase I and II pipelines will be carrying 99.992 percent fracked gas, one of the “other sources” the gas company just said was 90 % worse than the bio-methane.
    Folks we’re not talking just about burning 99.992 percent fracked natural gas the so called “cleaner” fossil fuel, we’re talking about dirty fracked natural gas pouring out tons of methane, a much nastier greenhouse gas pollutant, from the open wellheads and uncounted leaks. And don’t forget that so called natural gas also contains two potent lung carcinogens, toluene and benzine. Sweet, just what you want your family to be breathing in, right?

  • Kim Fried Newark, Vermont

    Please remember this is the same GMP/out of state/country owned corporation that destroyed the lives of many Vermont citizens when they blasted off the tops of Lowell Mountain for their industrial ridge line wind development. Forget about the neighbors, wildlife and environment. Mitigate by playing politics and spreading a little cash around. Good luck folks, this big money, big corporation approach in Vermont politics can’t be stopped.

  • ray giroux

    Yep, everyone is concerned about BIG corporations taking advantage of Vermont but the same faces keep showing up in Montpelier after every election. When will we wake up and change the faces in Montpelier, change the ideology? The corporations do not run our State, this is happening because of the people we keep voting for.