More About Natural Gas
Why is natural gas considered the clean fuel?
Of all fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas), natural gas burns the cleanest. This means that it produces very few pollutants (smoke) when it is used as fuel, keeping the air and our environment clean. In the near future, for example, as more cars, trucks and buses run on compressed natural gas, these vehicles will produce only one-half of one percent of the carbon monoxide that gasoline-powered engines now produce.
Natural gas is cost-efficient and reliable too.
Natural gas is a cost-efficient energy source because it converts most of the fuel as it burns (about 90 percent) directly into energy that can be used to heat homes or operate appliances. And, because most of the pipes that deliver natural gas are buried underground, they are extremely reliable and unlikely to lose their ability to work during any type of weather.
How does natural gas get to my home or business?
Gas companies use huge pipelines to transfer natural gas to communities nationwide. Around 2 million miles of underground pipes are used for this amazing delivery system. Once harvested, cleaned and processed, natural gas travels under pressure through these pipelines at about 15 miles per hour.
After the natural gas reaches a gate station, the pressure is reduced and mercaptan is added (giving it that all-too-familiar rotten egg smell). The gas then moves through plastic and steel pipes to neighborhoods and flows into narrow service lines for homes and businesses.
How does my gas provider know how much gas I use?
You’ll have to look around outside your home or building to find your gas meter. It has a row of four dials on its face and two additional dials underneath those four. The pointers on the dials record the amount of energy you’re using in hundreds of cubic feet. Your gas provider charges you for the “therms” you use, based on the cubic feet your meter is recording. “Therms” represent the amount of heat that the gas can produce, or its BTU (British thermal unit). To put it simply, the fewer therms that you use each month, the lower your gas bill will be—and vice versa.
IT’S BEST TO BE SAFE: If you smell gas RIGHT NOW—don't touch or turn off your computer—leave the area! After you go someplace away from the odor, call your natural gas provider. If you don't know that number, dial emergency services, 9-1-1.