Over the past several years the natural gas industry has faced several changes. From innovative technologies in extraction, resulting in lower pricing to new technologies in appliances our industry as a whole has faced both accolades and opposition. The Natural Gas Association of Georgia believes it’s important to stand together as an industry and make sure consumers, businesses and elected leaders are educated and know the benefits of the direct use of natural gas. We hope to keep you updated and informed here.
The Natural Gas Association of Georgia Advocacy Positions
- The direct use of natural gas offers many benefits for Georgia consumers and businesses.
- Improving and advancing natural gas pipeline infrastructure provides consumers reliable energy service along with security and resilience during disruptive events.
- Natural gas provides immediate and impactful solutions for safeguarding Georgia’s environment.
- Abundant supplies of natural gas are available through a robust, responsible natural gas drilling and production program in the United States. Meeting Georgia’s growing energy needs depends on these efforts.
- Innovation, research and development, and new natural gas technologies provide critical pathways to ensure continued environmental improvement, consumer options and sustainability.
- A balanced and inclusive approach in meeting present and future energy demand is necessary to offering consumer energy choice and avoiding excessively high energy costs.
- The affordability of natural gas enhances the lives of Georgians through low household energy costs and attracting jobs and industry in the state of Georgia.
Direct Use of Natural Gas
The term “direct use” refers to the direct use of natural gas in residential and commercial applications like heating and cooking, rather than burning it as a generation fuel for electricity.
- There is a concern that national policies have been moving the market towards an all-electric society. This has created a huge demand for centralized power plants, which fails to recognize the environmental and economic benefit of natural gas for end uses.
- The most common end uses of natural gas include water heating, space heating, cooking, and clothes drying. In most cases these natural gas appliances are less expensive to operate than the same electric appliances.
- One of the best ways to maximize the potential environmental and consumer benefits of natural gas is to support and strengthen the promotion of end uses.
Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program
LIHEAP (Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program) is a federal social services program established in 1981 and funded annually through Congressional appropriations. LIHEAP’s mission is to assist low-income households, particularly those with the lowest incomes that pay a high proportion of household income for home energy. LIHEAP assists eligible households with their heating and cooling energy costs through bill payment assistance, energy crisis assistance, weatherization and energy-related home repairs.
Each year Congress authorizes spending nationwide but also allocates dollars to each state. Typically, the northeastern states get a higher proportion of dollars as they are the hardest hit with winter weather.
Discussions are currently underway on federal funding for fiscal year 2017 which could total $4.7 billion. We support full LIHEAP funding of $5.1 billon.
In Georgia, LIHEAP provided 154,956 households with financial assistance in 2014. The average award was $345 in 2013. Georgia families receiving LIHEAP assistance have incomes below 170% of the federal poverty level.
Energy assistance to the less fortunate
The nation’s first statewide fuel fund, H.E.A.T. provides energy assistance to the less fortunate as a joint effort among concerned citizens, businesses and state government. H.E.A.T., Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides energy assistance statewide to Georgians in need, regardless of the energy used – natural gas, propane, electricity, oil, wood, coal, or other type of energy source. During the past 32 years, more than $22 million in energy assistance has been donated and disbursed to more than 95,000 families. During the 2014/2015 winter, H.E.A.T. provided $567,000 to 1,642 families.
For additional information about H.E.A.T., log on to www.heatga.org or call 678-406-0212.