Tumwater’s net greenhouse gas emissions down 71% since 2015, city says


Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Tumwater’s city operations decreased in 2022 by 3% compared to 2015 levels, which totaled an equivalent of 3,736 metric tons of CO₂, the city’s annual sustainability report shows.

Net emissions, calculated by the total emissions minus the GHG emissions removed from the atmosphere, continued to improve, dropping to an equivalent of 1,092 metric tons of CO₂  — down by 71% — since 2015.

Tumwater’s Sustainability Coordinator Alyssa Jones Wood presented the findings of the report to the city council on Tuesday, September 12.

The report noted that the city’s population has grown around 33% since 2015. Taking population growth into account, the city operations’ carbon footprint per capita went down 26% compared to 2015.

The city’s water and sewer infrastructures accounted for 49% of GHG emissions and have increased 11% since 2015. Other significant contributors include the city’s vehicle fleet which was responsible for 20% of GHG emissions, buildings and facilities at 19%, streetlights at 7%, and solid waste at 3%.

Electricity consumption of city buildings and facilities amounted to 5,687,286 kWh, equating to a 5.3% increase since 2019. The city’s water and sewer infrastructures accounted for 64% of electricity consumption, followed by buildings and facilities at 25%, then street lights and traffic signals at 11%.

In 2022, the solar panels at Tumwater City Hall produced 21,690 kWh of energy, but the panels only represented less than 1% of the building’s electricity consumption.

It was through Puget Sound Energy’s Green Power Program that the city has brought its net emissions down for the past years. Through the program, the city receives electricity from the Skookumchuck Wind Project and Lund Hill Solar Project, allowing the city to earn Renewable Energy Certificates for 5,600 MWh of electricity, which is enough to cover the city government’s electricity needs.

Meanwhile, the city’s natural gas consumption has increased by 7% since 2015.

GHG emissions from city fleet

GHG emissions from the city fleet have increased by 8% since 2015, but gasoline and diesel consumption have actually decreased by 9% as the city adopts more electric and hybrid vehicles.

As of 2022, Tumwater has one battery-electric vehicle and 14 hybrids, plus 10 electric trucks that have not yet been delivered. The majority of the city's vehicle fleet still consists of 121 gasoline-powered vehicles, followed by 32 that run on diesel.

The city also has eight Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charge ports to support the fleet, which prevented the combustion of 130.45 gallons of fuel.

The police department was the largest consumer of gasoline, accounting for 47% of gasoline used, while the water resources and sustainability department was the largest consumer of diesel at 48%.

Wood reminded the council that the city aims to bring down GHG emissions by 45% before 2030 and by 80% before 2050.


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  • 2theroots

    I find this a confusing report. How can one decrease consumption of vehicle fuel but still have increased emissions. In general it seems like there is more of every category of emissions but that we are "winning" because our population is bigger. That does not strike me as actual reductions because the planet is still having more emissions.

    Thursday, September 14, 2023 Report this

  • 2theroots

    Also it is down to 71% not down by 71%. This needs to be clearly stated.

    Thursday, September 14, 2023 Report this

  • Southsoundguy

    All they did was offset emissions with credits from “using” renewables. But, those renewables hardly meet our energy demand, so the utilities purchases the credits in the fake carbon market ad an “offset” and then we pay higher prices. It’s a scam.

    Thursday, September 14, 2023 Report this