The largest utility in the US by the number of gas and electric customers, Exelon Utilities, has announced its plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 compared to 2015 levels.
In a statement, Exelon Utilities says it has developed programmes that will enable subsidiaries Atlantic City Electric, BGE, ComEd, Delmarva Power, PECO and PEPCO to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2050.
The programmes include expanding portfolios of electric vehicles, renewable energy and consumer energy efficiency. In addition, Exelon Utilities plans to increase its investments in grid modernisation and smart grid technologies.
Today the company has installed 8.8 million smart electric meters and 1.3 million smart gas meters as part of its digital transformation programme. Smart meters have helped Exelon Utilities avoid 410,000 service truck trips to consumer homes, thereby reducing emissions and saving labour hours.
The energy company says it will convert 30% of its vehicle fleet to electric by 2025 and 50% by 2030. In so doing, Exelon Utilities recognises the impact emissions from transportation have on the environment.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, in 2019 greenhouse gas emissions from transportation accounted for about 29% of total gas emissions, making it the largest contributor of US greenhouse gas emissions.
Exelon Utilities will also embark on projects aimed at encouraging the adoption of smart mobility in the 48 states the utility has operations in.
The six subsidiaries of Exelon will be investing $26.7 billion in the modernisation of gas and electric infrastructure between 2021 and 2024. The measures are expected to help reduce methane leaks within the gas infrastructure and carbon emissions from power generation. This follows the parent company’s $6.6 billion investment in grid modernisation in 2020.
Energy efficiency has proved to be a vital tool to reduce consumer energy usage and reduce the need to build new power plants to meet demand. Through energy efficiency projects, Exelon has saved 22.3 million MWh or the equivalent energy use of 932,000 average homes for a year. This has, in turn, helped the utility to avoid the high costs associated with building new generation assets.
Energy efficiency has proved to be a vital tool to reduce consumer energy usage and reduce the need to build new power plants to meet demand. However, ensuring greater efficiency will cost the utility more, with customers of Exelon Utilities reducing energy usage by 22.3 million MWh or the equivalent energy use of 932,000 average homes for a year.
Calvin Butler, CEO of Exelon Utilities, said: “Our customers have made it clear that climate change is important to them and they want us to continue being part of the solution and pushing ourselves to do more.
“These aggressive goals seek to eliminate emissions from our utility operations, provide needed support to state and local climate goals and give customers expanded access to clean and affordable energy solutions.”
The energy company also plans to work with startups and communities to address climate change through the deployment of renewable energy projects and research and development of innovative green technologies. For instance, Atlantic City Electric will work with stakeholders in New Jersey to help the state to achieve its goal of producing 35% of total energy from renewables by 2025 and 50% by 2030.