GHG Accounting for Common Carrier Energy Infrastructure: The Electric Grid and Natural Gas Pipelines

June 18, 2024, by Alissa Benchimol
Electric Towers during Golden Hour

GHGMI and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) hosted a series of webinars and published accompanying technical briefing papers focused on GHG accounting of scope 3 emission sources for a group of EPRI-member electric power companies over 2023-2024. The request for this technical report titled “GHG Accounting for Common Carrier Energy Infrastructure: Electricity Transmission and Distribution Systems and Natural Gas Pipelines” arose from this scope 3 accounting body of work and has been published as a standalone report. Funding for the work was generously provided by EPRI.

To download the full report, click here to access the published document for free.


“Electric companies and combined electric and natural gas utilities emit greenhouse gases (GHG) from a wide range of activities. A myriad of voluntary and mandatory GHG accounting frameworks exist in the United States and internationally that a company may use to account for and report their GHG emissions. These frameworks use different GHG accounting methods, estimation techniques, and reporting guidelines and are often ambiguous. The major existing GHG accounting frameworks and guidance are intentionally generic and non-sector-specific, resulting in technical gaps for specific economic sectors. One of the areas lacking technical guidance in the energy sector relates to accounting for GHG emissions associated with “common carrier” energy infrastructure, such as natural gas pipeline and electric system transmission and distribution infrastructure.

This EPRI technical update report summarizes existing GHG accounting guidance from the perspective of entities that own common carrier energy infrastructure, both for voluntary and mandatory GHG accounting and reporting purposes. The report provides an overview of GHG accounting, emission sources associated with common carrier energy infrastructure, the setting of emissions reporting boundaries, and explores the different interpretations of existing voluntary GHG emissions accounting guidance relevant to reporting GHG emissions from common carrier natural gas and electricity infrastructure.”

Citation: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accounting for Common Carrier Energy Infrastructure: Electricity Transmission and Distribution Systems and Natural Gas Pipelines. EPRI, Palo Alto, CA: 2024. 3002029197.

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