– Households that use natural gas appliances for heating, water heating, cooking, and clothes-drying spend an average of $518 less per year than homes using electricity for those applications. The American Gas Association (AGA) has completed a comprehensive report detailing the opportunities and challenges of the direct use of natural gas in residential and commercial markets. The study, Squeezing Every Btu: Natural Gas Direct Use Opportunities and Challenges
, explores the market and policy related issues surrounding the direct use of natural gas.
“The direct use of natural gas provides three times more useful energy to consumers than electricity,” said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of AGA. “In order to realize the full potential of direct use, we must remove the barriers preventing customer access to natural gas. AGA and our member companies support energy policies that provide consumers with a holistic approach to choosing the best energy option. When you compare cost, energy efficiency and the effects on the environment, natural gas comes out on top.”
Direct use refers to natural gas consumed directly in appliances for heat, water heating, cooking, and clothes-drying. AGA analysis shows that a household with natural gas versus all-electric appliances produces 37 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2012, natural gas will serve more than 40 percent of the direct energy needs of the nation’s homes and buildings. Natural gas will fuel almost one quarter of electricity generation. Converting a household to natural gas heat can provide short and long term benefits. Consumers can immediately save on their monthly utility bills. Over longer periods, as the electric and natural gas systems evolve, the integration of natural gas appliances into a smart energy grid offers new pathways to increase efficiency.
Some building codes and standards designed to improve energy consumption do not take into account the efficiencies of the natural gas delivery system. Consumers also tend to incur higher upfront costs when purchasing and installing natural gas appliances, thereby limiting natural gas as a consumer option. Still other consumers do not have access to natural gas in areas where it is financially prohibitive for utilities to extend service to them.
Squeezing Every BTU is about the benefits of the direct use of natural gas, and how we can utilize this domestic resource productively and efficiently to provide value to consumers, create jobs here at home, and spur the economy.
You can find the executive summary here
You can find the study here