Direct Use

Abundant, Affordable, Clean

Natural gas is an efficient, abundant, clean, affordable and domestically produced energy resource, and the increased direct use of natural gas in homes and businesses will improve our nation’s energy efficiency and help to bring a cleaner environment. The term “Direct Use” in this instance refers to using natural gas directly in residential and commercial applications, rather than burning it as a generation fuel for electricity.

There is a big difference in energy efficiency and appliance efficiency. Energy efficiency takes into account the whole fuel cycle – what’s involved in getting the fuel to its final destination. For example, electricity has to be created, or generated, from a different fuel source. In some applications it’s more efficient to use natural gas directly than to use electricity, which has to be generated by natural gas. Water heating is an excellent example.

Did you know?
Electricity loses up to 70 percent of its usable energy in its journey to the final destination. Natural gas loses only 10 percent of its usuable energy to its final destination.


Appliance Performance and Cost Savings

Natural gas appliances are faster and use less energy than electric appliances.

  • Natural gas hot water heaters heat water twice as fast as electric water heaters.
  • Natural gas furnaces can last longer than electric heat pumps and deliver heat up to 25° F warmer. (A new high-efficiency natural gas furnace and cooling system can save up to $1,200 a year in operating costs.)
  • Natural gas dryers use less energy and can dry clothes faster than electric dryers.

Clean and Efficient

Natural gas is the cleanest and most efficient fossil fuel.

  • Domestic natural gas supplies are abundant.
  • The extensive 2.1 million-mile underground natural gas delivery system has an outstanding safety record.
  • Regardless of the weather, you can depend on your natural gas utility to bring you America’s best energy value.
  • Natural gas provides environmental benefits. Increased use of natural gas can help address several environmental concerns simultaneously, including smog, acid rain and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • 92% of the natural gas that enters the pipeline reaches you, the consumer. Only a mere 10% of the energy is lost in the process. Producing and delivering electricity is 2/3 less efficient. Only 27% of the energy used to generate electricity actually reaches your home. This means 73% of that energy is lost along the way. Part of it is lost while burning energy to create electricity. The rest is lost in the transmission and distribution of the electricity to your home.

Safe and Reliable

Environmentally-friendly and efficient

The natural gas industry operates an extensive system of 2.4 million miles of distribution and transmission pipelines that stretch across the country to provide service to more than 177 million Americans. The design, construction, operation, inspection and maintenance of all operating pipelines are subject to state and federal regulations and requirements. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, pipelines are the safest, most environmentally-friendly and most efficient and reliable mode of transporting natural gas.

The Safest Delivery System in the nation.

Safety is the core value for America’s natural gas utilities. The industry takes a number of steps to help maintain a longstanding record of safely and reliably delivering natural gas to homes and businesses across the nation.

• In the past decade, natural gas utilities have installed updated plastic lines at a rate of 30,000 miles per year.

• Continued work with regulators and key stakeholders to help enhance industry safety.

• Natural Gas utilities spend $22 billion annually to help enhance the safety of natural gas distribution and transmission systems. The dedicated efforts have led to a 40% decline in pipeline incidents over the past 10 years.

Customer involvement is key. While the industry has multiple safeguards in place to protect its customers, it is important that customers actively participate through the following methods.

  • Report the smell of natural gas immediately
  • Call 811 before embarking on any excavation project
  • Maintain natural gas appliances and fuel lines
  • Be attentive to safety communications by utility

The Safest Delivery System in the nation.

If you’ve lost power for any length of time due to severe weather such as a hurricane or other weather disruptions like an ice storm, you can understand the importance of backup power generation fueled by reliable natural gas. The increasing demands of home offices, security systems, food refrigeration, HVAC systems, water wells, etc., have moved backup power to the forefront of many homeowners’ minds. Because the consequences of a power outage can be significant, natural gas standby generators have become more common in residential neighborhoods and surrounding businesses.

Benefits of Natural Gas Standby Generators:

  • Convenience and peace of mind, as they are connected to your home or business’ natural gas service, to provide you with whole-house or partial power within seconds of detecting an outage.
  • Reliability, as natural gas lines are buried underground, making them less susceptible to service interruptions. Most generators automatically test themselves to ensure peak performance when needed. Once your electricity has been restored, the generator will automatically shut down.
  • Lower costs – natural gas is easily the least expensive of all modern fuels.
  • Convenience – at any time of need, a natural gas generator restores power to the house almost instantly so your life can go on without interruption.
  • Peace of mind – a natural gas generator simply runs. It is a reliable source of standby power for the home you can count on in any emergency.
  • Abundant supply – The U.S. now possesses enough natural gas to supply the country for hundreds of years, making it the safe and secure fuel source for America’s future.
  • Environmental friendliness – natural gas is by far the cleanest burning fuel there is, with extremely low levels of greenhouse gas emissions. With those kinds of added benefits, it’s no wonder natural gas generators continue to gain momentum among consumers as their choice for standby power.


Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Natural gas is a clean-burning fuel – twice as clean as coal, for example. Using natural gas to generate electricity can contribute dramatically to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that are currently fueled by coal. In addition, burning natural gas releases virtually none of the particulate matter that contributes to ground-level smog. And because natural gas requires minimal processing and can be efficiently delivered via pipelines, its production and delivery consume less energy than is used for many other fuel sources – another factor in evaluating environmental impact.