Small Business Energy Use Key to Boosting U.S. Economy, AGA Report Says
Washington, D.C. — Clean, affordable natural gas has led to $76 billion in savings for American businesses since 2009 according to a report the American Gas Association (AGA) released today. Uncovering the U.S. Natural Gas Commercial Market examines the commercial sector and its many benefits to the U.S. economy.
Businesses such as schools, hospitals, police and fire stations, offices, restaurants, grocery stores, retail outlets and public halls had an average monthly utility bill of $400 in 2015 - the lowest amount since AGA’s continuous collection of commercial sector data going back to 2003. Due to our nation’s abundance of natural gas, bills are expected to remain low and stable for decades.
“Greater use of natural gas in the commercial sector provides an incredible opportunity to boost the profitability of America’s small businesses which could have a profound effect on our economy,” said Richard Meyer, director, Energy Standards and Analysis at AGA. “We found that there are many buildings in the United States that generate electricity on-site with something other than natural gas, despite using natural gas for another application in the building such as space heating. This represents a key growth opportunity for expanding natural gas use in buildings where service is already present.”
The report highlights states that are incorporating natural gas infrastructure expansion into their economic development plans to extend this opportunity to more businesses, spur growth and create jobs. 39 states have adopted or considered innovative proposals to expand natural gas infrastructure so that more homes and businesses can have access to this domestic energy source.
Meyer and AGA Senior Energy Analyst Brendan O’Brien presented the findings on a conference call with media today. The commercial sector is comprised of more than 5.4 million customers, 99 percent of which are served by natural gas utilities.
“Commercial natural gas customers represent a diverse mix of energy users. They are essential to the U.S. energy economy and fundamental to our daily lives,” Meyer said.
You can see the report at www.aga.org/commercialsector.
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 73 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 95 percent — more than 69 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets more than one-fourth of the United States' energy needs.