We’re building a clean energy future for our customers, communities and our own families here at Eversource. It’s why we’ve made one of the most ambitious goals of its kind – to have our operations be carbon neutral by 2030.
This goal is a testament to our vision of leading the industry in sustainability. We are supporting regional climate change goals by reducing our own emissions and enabling a cleaner grid. Our investments in renewable energy sources, like wind and solar power, will also play an important role in achieving the ambitious emission-reduction targets of our states.
Our Path to Carbon Neutrality:
We plan to achieve our goal of carbon neutrality by eliminating or reducing our emissions in five key areas.
Line loss refers to the loss of electricity as it travels across the grid, and is one of the electric industry's biggest sources of indirect emissions. We're improving the efficiency of our grid to reduce the amount of electricity lost, and partnering with states to incorporate more sources of clean energy, which will minimize emissions from line loss.
Methane emissions can leak out of aging natural gas pipes and release into the atmosphere. Since 2018, we have replaced more than 447 miles of this old pipe, and plan to replace 140 more miles in 2022. Plus, we're focused on long-term solutions to decarbonize our natural gas customers, and exploring the possibility of using our existing natural gas system to safely deliver clean fuels like hydrogen and renewable gas.
Our facilities are constantly undergoing upgrades to reduce electricity and fuel use. We're upgrading heating and cooling systems, installing LED lights, and implementing strategic changes to improve building envelopes, and integrating renewable energy when possible. In 2021, we sourced over 52,000 MWh of renewable energy for our facilities, and completed the installation of a rooftop solar system in Connecticut.
Our fleet is a key tool in keeping your power and gas running safely and reliably, and we're focused on reducing it's fuel consumption. In 2021, we continued to adopt hybrid vehicles, and replaced more than 36% of our fleet diesel with a biofuel blend. We have also partnered with experts who specialize in emissions reduction, and are exploring emerging fuel sources like renewable diesel and hydrogen.
Sulfur-hexafluoride (SF6) is a chemical we rely on to insulate high voltage switches in our transmission system, but it can leak into the atmosphere, where it acts as greenhouse gas. We're making great progress reducing our SF6 emissions through strong maintenance and improved internal tracking. We're also working with partners to research and test solutions that could replace SF6 in our system.
Where We Are Now
We've decreased our GHG emissions we directly control by 13% since 2018. Much of this success is attributed to projects associated with our carbon neutrality goal, which are driving reductions in our operational emissions.
Emissions we can't control
We're committed to achieving our carbon neutrality goal, however the extent to which we can directly influence these emissions varies.
One key example of this are emissions associated with line loss. These emissions are dependent on the carbon intensity of the grid—the more that fossil fuels are used to generate energy over cleaner sources like renewable energy, the higher the emission intensity becomes for electricity and line loss.
As demand grows in New England, fossil fuel use has increased to keep pace, which in turn added to our line loss emissions, which means we have seen a 5% increase in our GHG footprint from 2020 to 2021.
This upward trend in emissions may continue in the near term, but we are hopeful that our investments and programs that enable more solar and wind energy to be deployed in our region will reduce the emission intensity of the grid and subsequently, show a decline in emissions associated with our own energy use and line loss
As we look to 2030, we know there is still a lot of work to do. That's why we are continuing to test innovative technologies and explore all options to cut emissions.
We have a dedicated internal governance board to keep us on track, and employees across the company are rolling out emissions reductions plans, engaging external partners, and preparing to offset emissions that cannot be avoided with credible investement.
Our commitment to sustainability is more than just operations. It’s an opportunity to support the communities that we serve, have a positive impact and combat climate change.