Thank Natural Gas for Your Vacation
Did you know that natural gas helps to keep your vacations and restaurant visits affordable?
A recent study by AGA, “Advancing America’s Hospitality: The Value of Natural Gas to the U.S. Hospitality Sector” finds that natural gas is critically important to the U.S. hospitality sector. The hospitality sector and its supply chain consume 294.1 Bcf of natural gas each year – more than the entire consumption of the state of Maryland. Because natural gas is 3.3 times as affordable as other sources of energy like electricity, this equates to massive savings for hotels, restaurants, and other areas of the hospitality sector –savings that is passed through to customers.
How significant are these savings? Over the past decade, commercial and industrial customers have saved more than half a trillion dollars by using natural gas. This translates directly to lower costs for customers. Without the availability of natural gas in the hospitality sector, a family of four would see additional costs of about $500 per year. That means fewer vacations and less eating out for the average family.
And for businesses, this cost savings can be the difference between staying open or not. The hospitality sector has always faced slim profit margins. Most restaurants operate at profit margins of approximately five percent. For hotels and entertainment, the margins are even slimmer, at 1.1 percent and 0.9 percent respectively. Lower fuel and appliance costs help keep those vital establishments, collectively responsible for $1.8 trillion in GDP and 13.5 percent of U.S. jobs, in business.
While these are major impacts, it is important to remember that this study only scratches the surface of the direct impact that the availability of natural gas has on the daily lives of all Americans – even those who might not realize how reliant they are on it. A previous AGA study, “Advancing America’s Agriculture: The Value of Natural Gas to U.S. Agriculture and Agrochemicals” lays out the critical importance of natural gas to agriculture, with just five of the many agricultural subsectors consuming 2.06 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2021, nearly equivalent to the total consumption of California. You can thank natural gas not only for how good the food at your favorite restaurant tastes, but also for the fact it’s there at all.
Customers are not the only ones who benefit from natural gas in the hospitality industry. The hospitality sector supports 17.6 million direct jobs, four million indirect jobs, and 5.2 million induced jobs. These vital workers are predominantly Black, Asian and Hispanic/Latino, meaning that the potential job losses imposed by any government-mandated electrification could fall heaviest on minority populations.
The United States is fortunate to benefit from massive reserves of natural gas that provide energy at a fraction of the price other countries are forced to pay. The hospitality sector, and the customers who enjoy it, both benefit from this vital lower-emissions fuel.