Eversource says it plans to become carbon neutral by 2030 – but the move won't change the kind of energy that's delivered to customers.
The utility, which is the largest in New England and New Hampshire, says it’s the first investor-owned utility in the U.S. to make this move.
Eversource's vice president of sustainability Catherine Finneran says the utility eliminated 95% of their operations' planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions in recent years after they were required to sell off their fossil fuel-fired power plants.
The remaining 5% of emissions comes from tens of thousands of miles of utility wires, transformers and gas pipelines that the company still controls, plus offices and vehicles.
Finneran says they'll focus on eliminating leaks from that gas distribution system, making offices and transmission infrastructure more efficient, and electrifying their vehicle fleet.
"We're driving down our emissions over the next ten years from our own operations, our own footprint, as close to zero as possible,” she says.
This will not affect the fuels used to generate energy for Eversource customers. The largest share of that power comes from burning natural gas, and sometimes coal or oil.
The electricity generated is sold on a regional marketplace – which Finneran says Eversource can't control.
"This is for our own operations that we directly control and manage, but we are working with state leaders to reduce emissions from energy supply generally,” Finneran says. One way to do that, she says, is with the large offshore wind projects Eversource is developing in Southern New England.
They’re also pursuing grid modernization and other clean technology in New Hampshire and elsewhere.