Natural gas is an abundant, domestic, efficient fuel that provides about one-fourth of all the energy used in the United States. The use of natural gas increased by 35 percent in the United States during the last decade and is expected to continue to grow by another 60 percent by 2020. Natural gas is the cleanest and most efficient fossil fuel. In fact, increased use of natural gas can help address several environmental concerns simultaneously, including smog, acid rain and greenhouse gas emissions. Natural gas is increasingly viewed as the ideal fuel to create a "bridge" to an economy that uses more renewable energy, such as solar power and fuel cells.
Natural gas is safe and reliable. Year after year, the gas industry builds on its record of operating one of the safest, most reliable pipeline delivery systems in the world. An estimated $6.4 billion is spent each year to ensure that natural gas is delivered safely and efficiently throughout the United States.
Source: American Gas Association. For more information, visit http://www.aga.org
There are several things you can do around your home to lower your gas bill. Below are some tips for reducing the amount of energy used by your gas furnace and water heater:
- Set your thermostat to 70º or lower during the day, and lower it to 68º or less at night.
- Open drapes and shades during the day to let in the sun. Close at night to keep out the cold.
- Avoid changing the thermostat setting frequently.
- Hot air and return ducts in the attic or crawl space should be covered with at least two inches of insulation and should be as airtight as possible.
- To reduce heat loss up the chimney, install glass doors on fireplace and close dampers when the fireplace is not in use.
- Make sure your wood-burning fireplace is properly vented. Wood-burning fireplaces require a great deal of oxygen. If you do not have an outside air intake vent, your fireplace will draw air from inside your house, including the air you have paid to heat.
- Set your water heater thermostat dial at mid-range. Extremely hot water can lead to scalding accidents and also higher energy costs.
- Repair any leaky faucets.
- Make sure your hot water pipes are insulated where they pass through unheated areas.