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Natural gas and propane offer significant opportunities for major reductions in carbon emissions compared to electric and oil equipment on a full fuel cycle ("source-to-site") basis.

Historically, this fact has not been generally recognized by policymakers, regulators, customers, and environmental groups. Large increases in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are being driven in the residential and commercial sectors by electricity usage.

The public perception is often that natural gas and propane are part of the carbon problem, rather than part of the solution. But natural gas and propane have the ability to provide source energy savings and carbon emissions reductions in addition to the savings that can be achieved by using renewable solar thermal and biogas energy solutions. Furthermore, natural gas has the potential to offer life cycle cost savings over comparable electric or oil systems.

  

The Carbon Management Information Center (CMIC) was established to:

  • Serve as a clearinghouse for relevant carbon management information.
  • Develop credible information products and functional tools to meet the needs of investors and their customers.
  • Help investors inform policymakers, public utility commissions, trade allies, codes and standards bodies, and customers about the significant environmental and energy efficiency advantages of direct natural gas and propane use.
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    The Carbon Management Information Center (CMIC) serves the gas industry, its customers, and other stakeholders by developing resources and analytical tools that:

  • Clearly evaluate opportunities for natural gas and propane to improve total energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Identify opportunities to capture financial value through carbon emission reductions and energy efficiency programs
  • Promote the direct use of natural gas where it can provide an opportunity to achieve life cycle cost savings.
  • Provide a clear, concise, and technically-defensible message to policymakers, regulatory authorities, public interest groups and others in reducing the nation's energy consumption and carbon emissions.​
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    A central factor that has prevented the acknowledgment of the environmental and energy efficiency benefits of natural gas and propane is the persistent use of site energy and carbon emissions measurements rather than total source-to-site energy and emissions. Existing site-based methods fail to capture the total societal benefits of direct gas and propane use.

    Since CMIC began work in 2007, building codes and standards have begun to incorporate full fuel cycle ("source-to-site") metrics. This is a significant departure from past trends of relying on site-based metrics. Organizations and programs that have begun to utilize a full fuel cycle approach include:

  • National Academy of Sciences recommendation for use of full fuel cycle measurements
  • ASHRAE Building Labeling Program
  • Department of Energy Notice of Proposed Rulemakings to incorporate full fuel cycle energy use and emissions in multiple standards
  • Environmental Protection Agency's Portfolio Manager, Target Finder, and ENERGY STAR for Buildings programs
  • U.S. Green Building Council LEED for Existing Buildings
  • International Green Construction Code