CSR Charter ⅡHarmonizing with the Environment and Contributing to Realizing a Sustainable Society
Helping Customers' Efforts for Realizing a Low-Carbon Society
- Principle and Outline
- Benefits of Energy Saving and Reductions of CO2 Emissions
- Approaches at Customer Sites (Households)
- TOPIC: The “ENE-FARM type S,” a household-use solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), received environmental and CSR-related awards.
- Reduction of CO2 Emissions at Customer Sites (Business / Industrial Use)
- Efforts in Renewable Energy
Principle and Outline
To help create a low-carbon society in light of global trends to stem climate change, the Daigas Group believes it important not only to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated in its business activities, but also to have customers reduce their CO2 emissions as well. The Daigas Group is seeking to assist customers in reducing their CO2 emissions by popularizing natural gas as clean energy and developing / proposing high-efficiency equipment. The Group is also working hand-in-hand with business partners and affiliate companies to curb CO2 emissions in logistics.
Benefits of Energy Saving and Reductions of CO2 Emissions
CO2 emissions reduced by 1,122,000 tons at customer sites
CO2 reductions at customers' sites represent the reduced emissions of those sites where particular systems are installed compared to the emissions of FY2009. Those particular systems include “ENE-FARM”, “ECOWILL”, and “Eco-Jozu” for residential customers, gas cogeneration systems, gas absorption chiller, gas engine heat pump (GHP), natural gas vehicle (NGV) for industrial/commercial customers. CO2 emissions in FY2017 declined by 98,000 tons from the previous year, representing a cut of 1,122,000 tons from the base year of FY2009.
Curbed CO2 Emissions at Customer Sites (vs. FY2009)
Approaches at Customer Sites (Households)
Household cogeneration systems
To help realize a low-carbon society, Osaka Gas is striving to sell and disseminate two types of fuel-cell systems that generates electricity through chemical reactions between the hydrogen extracted from city gas and oxygen in the air, which are polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) sold as “ENE-FARM” and “ENE-FARM type S,” respectively as co-generation systems for household use that help conserve energy and reduce CO2 emissions. These are high-efficiency energy systems that make effective use of the heat generated alongside electricity to supply hot water.
As of the end of March 2017, a cumulative total of about 64,000 “ENE-FARM” and “ENE-FARM type S” units had been sold, helping to cut CO2 emissions by about 94,000 tons per year.
Cumulative Sales Total of the Fuel Cell Systems
“ECOWILL” Use in Osaka Gas Business Area (Cumulative Total)
The “ENE-FARM type S,” a household-use solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), received environmental and CSR-related awards.
ENE-FARM type S, a home-use solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) launched by Osaka Gas in April 2016, won high acclaim from consumers in various quarters and received many environmental-related awards.
ENE-FARM type S achieved the world's highest*1 power generation efficiency*2 of 52%, and at the same time features the world's smallest*3 size for its main components. The compactness of the model has made installation easier in condominiums, being less spacious than ordinary houses. The installation of power generation units using existing hot water-supply appliances has also been made easier, resulting in a broader base of customers being able to receive services. Furthermore, Osaka Gas has been able to purchase redundant electricity from its customers*4 . By continuing to make efforts to diffuse ENE-FARM type S, Osaka Gas will contribute to CO2 emission reductions on the customer side, while supporting the central government's policy of diversifying power sources and promoting the distribution of power sources, and easing peak power demand.
Main awards given to ENE-FARM type S in fiscal 2017
- Grand award given by the head of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy for contribution to energy saving, sponsored by the Energy Conservation Center (product and business model category)
- Award given by the Environment Minister for contribution to curbing global warming, sponsored by the Environment Ministry (technological development and commercialization category)
- Grand award given by the Chairman of the Advanced Cogeneration and Energy Utilization Center Japan (ACEJ) for the promotion of cogeneration systems, sponsored by ACEJ (technological development category)
- *1 The world's highest power generation efficiency
- The world's highest power generation efficiency among household-use fuel cells with a rated output capacity of 1 kW or less (based on data compiled by Osaka Gas as of Feb. 24, 2016)
- Calculated based on a Lower heating value (LHV), which is the calorific value calculated by subtracting the latent heat of vaporization of the water vapor that is generated when complete fuel gas combustion occurs.
- The world's smallest size among household-use SOFCs, including systems supplying heat and hot water using exhaust heat (based on data compiled by Osaka Gas as of Feb. 24, 2016)
- Customers from whom we can buy their redundant electricity are those who use our new ENE-FARM models (192-AS05 type, 192-AS06 type) and have concluded gas contracts with us. However, we are not allowed to buy redundant electricity from those who have installed solar power generation systems using the renewable energy purchase system at a fixed rate set by the government. This ban, put in place in line with relevant laws, is not applicable in the case of total purchase of electricity generated at solar power systems with an output capacity of 10 kW or higher. The rate at which redundant electricity is bought is calculated based on the formula shown below. The rate varies monthly and takes into account the adjustment made every month in accordance with material procurement costs used to set the gas charge of Osaka Gas. Formula: purchase rate (yen/kWh) = 13.00 ± monthly adjustment x 0.133 (rounded up to two decimal places and inclusive of consumption tax)
“Eco-Jozu” high-efficiency water heater
The “Eco-Jozu” high-efficiency water heater is able to recover the exhaust heat produced during combustion that is ordinarily lost and utilize it to heat water or room spaces; this saves considerable energy and helps mitigate global warming by reducing CO2 emissions.
A cumulative total of about 791,000 “Eco-Jozu” units had been sold as of the end of March 2017, helping cut CO2 emissions by 190,000 tons per year.
Cumulative Spread of “Eco-Jozu” in Osaka Gas Supply Area
Participation in Blue & Green Project to create forests
Osaka Gas and 23 other gas companies and gas appliance manufacturers have taken part in the Blue & Green Project since June 2006. The project's aim is to spread the use of high-efficiency gas appliances while making a greener world for future generations.
In this project, trees are planted in Vietnam in accordance with the number of gas appliance units sold. Until FY2009, the numbers of units sold of the “ECOWILL” residential gas cogeneration system and the “Eco-Jozu” residential high-efficiency water heater were counted, but from FY2010, the number of units sold of the “ENE-FARM” residential fuel cell cogeneration system has been included in the calculation. Through this project, Osaka Gas supported the forestation program in Vietnam for the first period ended in March 2014. For the second period of the project, Osaka Gas supports regrowth of pine groves in Iwate prefecture.
As of 2009, cumulative sales of these appliances since the project started in June 2006 exceeded 1.0 million units, the initial target, and as of March 2017, the number had reached 6.34 million units. Total CO2 reductions as a result of absorption by trees planted and use of these energy-saving gas appliances have been about 1.88 million t-CO2 a year. Osaka Gas had sold about 0.88 million units as of March 2017.
Solar power generation
Growing interest in the feed-in tariff for reusable energy and in energy security since the Great East Japan Earthquake has encouraged an expanding number of customers to introduce solar power generation systems. Responding such needs, Osaka Gas prepared a series of equipment for home generation including gas co-generation systems and solar power generation systems for residential use. A cumulative total of about 20,000 units had been sold as of the end of March 2017, helping reduce CO2 emissions by 47,000 tons per year.
We are also recommending “Double Power Generation” that combines a solar power generation system with “ECOWILL” or “ENE-FARM.” We have sold customers a cumulative total of about 33,000 units as of the end of March 2017.
High-Efficiency gas cookers
Easy-to-use cookers comply with Japan's Energy Conservation Law
The Daigas Group pursues gas stoves that perform better in cooking, and are easier to use, easier to maintain, and more energy efficient. We are constantly introducing products with optimal burner shapes, pan supporter height, and grill construction.
Currently, all of the table-top and built-in cookers made by Osaka Gas comply with FY2007 standards for burners and the FY2009 standards for grills under Japan's Energy Conservation Law.
Provision of energy-saving information
The Daigas Group helps customers use energy wisely and efficiently by providing energy know-how and helpful energy-saving tips via a variety of media.
For example, the monthly statement of gas use we provide at the time of the meter reading shows not only gas use for that month but also the previous month and the same month of the previous year, allowing customers to compare their gas use over time.
On the Osaka Gas Web site, customers can also read “Energy-saving tips to become a wise energy consumer6rdquo; on which examples of energy-saving measures consumers can take at home and effects of such measures are shown. On regular visits to check the safety of customers' gas appliances, we hand out a gas safety manual and other safety booklets, which give ideas for saving energy and maintaining gas appliances.
Reduction of CO2 Emissions at Customer Sites (Business / Industrial Use)
Technological development and the spread of gas co-generation systems
Distributed energy systems generate power at the site where power is consumed and utilize waste heat from the power generation process for hot water supply and air conditioning. Thus distributed energy systems are highly economic and environmentally friendly. The Daigas Group is striving to popularize and technically develop gas co-generation systems that use eco-friendly gas as fuel for business/industrial use in factories, offices, and commercial facilities.
Since releasing the first commercial-use micro-cogeneration system in 1998, we have expanded our lineup of cogeneration systems with power outage response capability. Due to their superior power-saving capabilities, these systems have been widely used in factories, hospitals, public welfare facilities, hotels, spas and restaurants. As of the end of March 2017, there were 4,463 cogeneration systems under operation in the Osaka Gas service area with a combined output capacity of 1,589,000 kW.
In order to meet the diverse needs of customers, we are developing technology to further improve energy efficiency, reliability and capacity value. In FY2017, we worked with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engine & Turbocharger, Ltd. to develop a highly energy efficient gas engine cogeneration system with an output capacity of 1,200 kW. We also focused on evaluating and commercializing a small-size solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) for business use. A business-use SOFC with an output capacity of 3 kW, made by KYOCERA Corp., achieved 52% in power-generation efficiency and 90% in overall efficiency. With its large electricity output, the product features specifications that suit the needs of customers from whom heat demand is relatively low. Osaka Gas began selling the product in FY2018. We will step up our efforts to promote energy saving and contribute to environmental conservation by expanding sales of the product.
Commercial and Industrial Cogeneration Systems: Cumulative Total of Installed Capacity and No. of Units
Development of high-efficiency gas air conditioning systems
There are two types of gas air conditioning systems that help cut power use and conserve energy: gas absorption-type chillers for central air conditioning in large buildings and commercial facilities; and gas engine heat pumps (GHPs), which can control individual rooms and offices separately.
Gas absorption-type chillers are an air conditioning system running on natural gas and providing cold water for space cooling and warm water for space heating; they use no refrigerants, only water. For this system is particularly environmentally friendly, we are promoting the introduction of the system at customer sites.
GHPs have a gas engine driving a compressor. Heat is drawn from the air outside and brought inside for heating. For cooling, heat is taken from the air inside and sent outside.
In April 2017, we started selling the Smart Multi hybrid air-conditioning system, which remotely controls the operation of GHPs and electric heat pumps (EHPs) in an optimal manner. We expect the product to promote energy saving and cost reductions at customers.
Development of energy-saving gas boilers
Simplified once-through boilers are characteristically small and lightweight and, not requiring any qualifications to operate, they are used by a wide range of customers, including dry-cleaning shops and food / textile / chemical plants requiring large volumes of steam.
Osaka Gas is working with a variety of manufacturers and gas companies to develop, propose, and sell new simplified once-through steam / heating medium boilers.
The products achieve combustion with a lower load than earlier models, recover about 15% more heat from the exhaust gas released during combustion, and have a higher rated boiler efficiency, helping improve boiler operation efficiency and reduce air blower power consumption.
Development of Regenerative Burner System for energy-efficient industrial furnaces
Osaka Gas has developed 1,700 models of industrial burners as well as heat exchangers. With high burner energy efficiency provided by the high-performance control system we have developed, these burners are helping customers in a variety of industries and fields reduce their CO2 emissions.
An outstanding example is the “Regenerative Burner System” we have developed and sold that can efficiently recover waste heat in industrial furnaces. In the “Regenerative Burner System,” two burners, each containing a heat storage vessel, alternate in combustion in intervals of less than a minute. When one burner is combusting, its exhaust goes out through the other burner's heat storage vessel. When the other burner combusts, for combustion air it uses the waste heat warmed up in the heat storage vessel. This allows it to save 35%-50% energy.
We are also developing natural gas burners for glass melting furnaces for manufacturing glass for bottles, automobiles, and construction materials, and more and more customers are adopting these burners as a way to dramatically reduce CO2 emissions at their own sites.
Reduction of CO2 emissions from logistics operations
Although trucks account for less than 20% of all vehicles in Japan, the logistics sector is responsible for as much as 33% of CO2 emissions. And because large trucks in particular produce large amount of emissions per vehicle, the introduction of large natural gas trucks can be expected to have a significant CO2 emission reduction effect. Osaka Gas therefore intends to work to expand the use of large natural gas trucks for long-haul intercity transportation and small and medium-sized natural gas trucks for transportation within cities.
Osaka Gas started LNG shipment using a tanker exclusively powered by compressed natural gas in November 2016 for the first time in Japan. An LNG tanker emits 7% less CO2 than a gas oil-powered tanker.
Working together with customers to save energy
The Daigas Group is united in supporting customers using gas for industrial and business purposes in their energy saving activities and promoting energy conservation to contribute to global environmental protection.
Experts from Osaka Gas take heat and other measurements at the facilities of customers, such as factories, hospitals, and other commercial establishments, and use the results to recommend appropriate ways customers can save energy.
Our energy-saving activities with our customers help deepen the relationship of mutual trust. We are also holding in-house training and educational sessions on energy saving on a regular basis based on the results of energy-saving efforts. These sessions are designed to accumulate energy-conservation technologies and promote the shared use of these technologies while developing human resources with expertise in the field of energy-saving technologies.
Part of efforts to encourage local companies in the Kansai region to introduce natural gas equipment, Osaka Gas is promoting the “Try! Carbon Offset” project, which envisages using the central government's J-Credit system to reduce the amount of CO2 emitted at various events held in Kansai region to effectively zero.
Under the government's J-Credit system, CO2 emission reductions achieved by customer companies when they introduce high-efficiency gas equipment such as natural gas-fueled boilers, cogeneration systems, and gas engine-driven heat pump air-conditioning systems are converted into credits, which are acquired by us. We then use the credits as carbon offsets for local sports events, local-government-organized events, and so on, which means that the CO2 emissions from such events are offset to the zero level. As a result of this initiative, we are promoting so-called “local consumption,” whereby credits earned by local companies are used for local events.
In FY2017, CO2 emissions dropped by 3,150 tons*1 , equal to the sum of CO2 emitted from about 788 ordinary households*2
List of Major Events in which Carbon Emissions are Offset in FY2017
|Event||Host||CO2 emissions (t-CO2)*1|
|Support for the carbon offset project through the G-7 Ise-Shima Summit||J-Credit Secretariat||100|
|43rd Sakai Festival||Sakai Tourism and Convention Bureau||255|
|Events in Nara Prefecture (multiple occasions)||Nara Prefecture||39|
|Hirakata Eco Forum||Hirakata City||28|
|Events in Neyagawa City (multiple occasions)||Neyagawa City||14|
|Higashiosaka Green Festa||Higashiosaka City||4|
|Tree-planting fair in Takatsuki City||Takatsuki City||2|
|Environmental Festival||Kumatori City||1|
|Suita Environmental Education Festa||Suita City||1|
|Ikoma environmental symposium||Ikoma City||1|
|St. Agnes Illumination 2016||Heian Jogakuin St. Agnes||1|
|42nd Japan Amateur Baseball Championship||The Mainichi Newspapers Co., Ltd.||1,167|
|Mitsubishi Electric Cup 71st Mainichi Koshien Bowl|
|96th National High School Rugby Football Tournament|
|Cerezo Osaka home games||Osaka Soccer Club Co., Ltd.||664*3|
|Takarazuka Revue Cosmos Troupe (Takarazuka Grand Theater)||Hankyu Corporation||543|
|Carbon offset cooperation for the 87th inter-corporate baseball tournament||Japan Amateur Baseball Association||250|
- *1 Calculation of CO2 emissions to be offset
- The amount of CO2 emissions to be offset is calculated based on the concept of a marginal factor. Specifically, the amount is calculated using the marginal factor for electric sources (0.569 kg-CO2/kWh), adopted under the J-Credit system.
- The average amount of CO2 emitted by a general household is set at about 4 tons a year, calculated by Osaka Gas based on data used on the Website of the Japan Center for Climate Change Actions.
- The 1,328 t-CO2 of CO2 emission was offset by several partner companies.
Energy-saving ICT service “Eneflex”
Remote monitoring systems provide integrated control of energy use by all gas equipment and informs customers via the Internet or e-mail of things like time of operation and temperature settings. One such system is Osaka Gas' “Eneflex” energy-saving service utilizing information and communication technology (ICT) that supports the ongoing energy-saving efforts of customers using high-efficiency gas equipment by making energy use status available in a visible form.
We have also developed a service called “Eneflex Premium,” which offers a menu of functions in addition to the previous “Eneflex” functions, including a patrol function for automatic energy-saving in gas engine heat pumps (GHPs), an energy-saving control function, a thinning function, and a charge allocation function, and 320 customers are currently utilizing the service for about 5,000 GHPs (as of the end of FY 2017).
In FY2017, we developed the “ekul” real-time data measurement device that can be inexpensively and easily installed even in small buildings to further improve convenience and economy for customers.
Efforts in Renewable Energy
Solar power generation business
Utilization of solar heat
Osaka Gas teamed up with Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., Toho Gas Co., Ltd., Kawasaki Thermal Engineering Co., Ltd., Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd., and Hitachi Appliances, Inc. to jointly develop a solar natural chiller, a commercial air conditioner that uses solar heat for cooling. The product primarily uses solar heat, and makes up for shortages on rainy days with gas backup power for a system that enables maintained performance. The solar cooling system, which is a commercial air conditioning system, is composed of a solar heat collecting device and a solar natural chiller. When used in a building with floor space of 4,000 m² (3-4 story building), this system requires 24% less primary energy a year for cooling and heating, and it emits 21% fewer CO2 emissions (approximately 34 tons-CO2) compared to a system that does not incorporate solar heat.*
- * Calculation of primary energy consumption and CO2 emissions
- Calculation based on a 4,000 m² tenant building equipped with a solar heat collecting device of 240 m² and a solar natural chiller; compared to a conventional gas absorption-type water cooling / heating device with a coefficient of performance (COP) of 1.0 (Higher heating value (HHV)). Note that the results for energy efficiency and CO2 emission reductions stated here for this system may differ from actual results due to the size of surface of the solar heat collecting device and the air conditioning load in the customer's building.
Conceptual Image of a Natural Solar Chiller
Efficient use of biogas
A main component of biogas is methane, as in the case of natural gas. Biogas is a renewable energy source and is seen as an effective tool to combat global warming. Osaka Gas began purchasing biogas in September 2010 on behalf of customers who are to receive the gas from us through our pipelines, in line with our “Biogas Procurement Guidelines” — a set of conditions we apply when we buy biogas for customers.
It is a pilot project Osaka Gas launched jointly with Kobe City and Kobelco Eco-Solutions Co., Ltd., in which biogas produced at the processing plant in Kobe City is provided as our city gas to customers via gas pipelines operated by the Company. The amount of biogas we accept into our pipelines — whose brand name is “Kobe Biogas” — is about 800,000 m³ per year (equal to the gas consumed annually by about 2,000 households).
OGTCS Co., Ltd., an Daigas Group company, began operating the “Power Generation Business Using Digester gas at Sewage Plants in Osaka City” in April 2017 in partnership with the Osaka City municipality, Tsukishima Kikai Co., Ltd., and Tsukishima Technology Maintenance Service Co., Ltd., Having combined power generation capacity of about 4,090 kW, the four power plants will generate electricity of about 25.8 million kWh annually, which is equal to the sum used at about 7,100 general household in a year. The project is one of the largest of its kind to be launched in Japan under the feed-in-tariff (FIT) power purchasing system, introduced in line with the Act on Special Measures Concerning the Procurement of Electricity from Renewable Energy Sources by Electricity Utilities.
Trial Project for Supplying Biogas via Gas Pipes