Volume 15, Issue 51 | February 5, 2018

How Do I Get to Net Zero?

Develop an effective plan to manage and reduce your energy consumption and emissions


Net Zero, in the context of this article, is when the net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from an organization’s activities are equal to zero. To achieve Net Zero, it is important to measure emissions, reduce and eliminate emissions as much as possible through activities such as energy-efficiency or renewable energy, and to counterbalance remaining emissions with carbon offsets.

The benefits of Net Zero extend beyond energy cost savings. Developing an effective plan to manage and reduce your energy consumption and emissions can help improve your bottom line while simultaneously achieving your sustainability goals. But how do you get your business on a path to achieving Net Zero emissions?

First, it is important to understand the different scopes of emissions to measure per standard reporting practices, like the Greenhouse Gas Protocol:

Scope 1: Focuses on all direct GHG emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by your organization (e.g., company vehicles, on-site co-generation)

Scope 2: Focuses on indirect GHG emissions from consumption of purchased electricity, heat or steam (e.g., purchased electricity for own use)

Scope 3: Focuses on all other indirect emissions not covered under Scope 2 that are a consequence of the activities of the reporting company, but occur at sources owned or controlled by another entity (e.g., employee commuting, business travel and purchased goods)

There are several short- and long-term energy solutions to help your organization reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions in each scope. The difference between short- or long-term solutions is implementation time.

Scope 1: Reduce or eliminate all direct GHG emissions from sources owned or controlled by your organization in the short-term by purchasing carbon offsets and investing in efficient fleet vehicles. On-site renewables, energy efficiency improvements to facilities, co-generation and fuel cells are some long-term solution options.

Scope 2: Reduce or eliminate indirect GHG emissions from consumption in the short term through Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and off-site renewable alternatives. On-site renewables, energy efficiency improvements to facilities, co-generation and fuel cells are some long-term solution options.

Scope 3: Reduce or eliminate all other indirect emissions not covered under Scope 2 in the short term through the purchase of carbon offsets. Another suggestion is “greening” conferences to counterbalance the environmental impact of events.

The path to achieving Net Zero is an evolutionary one and includes energy efficiency, renewable energy and carbon offsets. Your customer type, the type of building you occupy, whether you are in a regulated or non-regulated market, the types of emissions and the percent of emissions in each scope will determine your path towards achieving Net Zero.

Find out more about how WGL Energy Systems and Services, Inc. can help you create a path to achieve Net Zero by contacting Richard Walsh via email or phone at 917-310-1610.


About Greenhouse Gas Protocol
GHG Protocol establishes comprehensive global standardized frameworks to measure and manage greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from private- and public-sector operations, value chains and mitigation actions. http://www.ghgprotocol.org/

Editor's Note

Forecasts Impact Prices

Weekly review for January 28 February 3, 2018


On Thursday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that working gas in storage as of Friday, January 26, 2018, was 2,197 BCF. This was a decrease of 99 BCF from the previous week near market expectations. Inventories are now 526 BCF, which is 19% lower than last year at this time and 425 BCF (or 16%) below the 5-year average. Levels are near the 5-year minimum.

Cold weather during the week led to some volatility in spot prices with Tetco M3 ranging from $3.13/MMBTU over the delivery period of Saturday, January 27 through Monday, January 29, 2018, to $7.315/MMBTU on Friday, February 2, 2018. However, forecasts of warmer temperatures for next week and beyond led to decreases in the forward markets. This week the NYMEX natural gas 12-month strip (March 2018 to February 2019) fell 2.6%, and the PJM West Hub 12-month forward curve was down 2.9%. 


This past week's market information is provided as a courtesy to our customers and is not indicative of, nor should be relied upon, as representative of future transactions.

Upcoming Events

Find Us at These Upcoming Events

Connect with us for Energy Answers


Bridge to 2030: Indoor Air & Environmental Quality (Green Building Alliance)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
February 13, 2018

Washington Advanced Energy Stakeholder Breakfast: Resiliency & Critical Infrastructure
Washington, DC
February 22, 2018

Ocean City Spring Trade Expo (OCHMR)
Ocean City, Maryland
March 4-5, 2018

CampusEnergy2018: Sharing Solutions, Sustaining Our Future (International District Energy Association)
Baltimore, Maryland
March 5-9, 2018

Maryland Multi-Housing Association (MMHA) 2018 Industry Development Day and Exposition
Baltimore, Maryland
March 15, 2018

Building Operating Management's NFMT2018/Smart Building Innovations Conference
Baltimore, Maryland
March 20-22, 2018

EEI Spring National Key Accounts Workshop (Edison Electric Institute)
Orlando, Florida
March 25-28, 2018

For more information about upcoming events, visit our events page.


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**Heating degree days are calculated by comparing the day’s average temperature to a 65 degree baseline. If the day’s average temperature is above 65, there are no heating degree days that day. If the day's average temperature is less than 65 degrees, subtract the average temperature from 65 to find the number of heating degree days for that day.