DOE Funding Promotes Greater Innovation for End-Use Natural Gas Appliances
Washington, DC – The American Gas Association (AGA) praised the Department of Energy’s (DOE) announcement today of the Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) 2019 Funding Opportunity (FOA) for up to $47 million for flexible and energy-efficient technologies for residential and commercial buildings.
“These research and development investments are necessary for continued advancement of next-generation natural gas technologies to make them widely available to consumers,” said AGA’s President and CEO, Karen Harbert. “Advanced natural gas technologies in homes and businesses enable customers to save money and reduce their environmental footprint.”
Increased use of natural gas has contributed to U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions among the lowest levels in 25 years. This will continue as Americans use more natural gas and get more energy from it through the development of increasingly more efficient appliances, tighter-fitting windows and doors, better insulation and utility-sponsored energy efficiency programs.
DOE notes that, “residential and commercial buildings account for approximately 40% of the Nation’s total energy demand.” While natural gas utilities nationwide add one new customer every single minute, natural gas use per customer is declining. Since 1970, gas utilities have added 30 million more residential customers with virtually no increases in emissions.
AGA released a report last year that unveiled more than 100 innovative natural gas technologies for the residential/commercial market, with a greenhouse gas reduction potential of 25-40 percent on a customer basis through integration of these technologies and other efficiency practices.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2017 released earlier this month reveals that greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas distribution systems have decreased even as the size of the system has grown significantly. Methane emissions from distribution systems declined 73 percent from 1990 levels.
The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 75 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 95 percent — more than 71 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets more than three-tenths of the United States' energy needs.