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January 17, 2012. Squeezing Every BTU Natural Gas Direct Use Opportunities and Challenges. Richard Meyer rmeyer@aga.org. Delivering natural gas that fuels America’s way of life.

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delivering natural gas that fuels america s way of life
Delivering natural gas thatfuels America’s way of life
  • The American Gas Association (AGA), founded in 1918, represents local natural gas companies that cleanly fuel the way of life of 175 million Americans nationwide
  • 2.4 million miles of pipeline
  • 92% of the residential and commercial U.S. natural gas consumption
the report
  • Advantages and Benefits

Consumer Costs

Greater Resource Efficiency

Greenhouse Gas / Pollutant Emissions Reductions

Abundant, Domestic, Stable Supply

First Cost

Builder vs. Consumer Interests

Perverse Incentives

Inconsistent Policy

Full Fuel Cycle

Appliance Labeling

Align Costs and Benefits

Research and Development

  • Constraints
  • Policy Recommendations
advantages and potential benefits
Advantages and Potential Benefits

Natural Gas Direct Use Advantages to Other Fuels

Checkmark given for each advantage an energy source provides.

and then there was abundance
AND THEN There Was Abundance

According to the Energy Information Administration andthe Potential Gas Committee, the U.S. has enough natural gas to meet America’s diverse energy needsfor more than 100 years

annual energy prices to residential consumers

Natural gas is the most cost-effective home heating fuel available.

Fuel oil and propane are tethered to crude oil prices, which continue to rise.

Expenditures for electricity for heating purposes are greater than natural gas on average.

consumers save estimated annual energy bill for typical new household
CONSUMERS SAVEEstimated Annual Energy Bill for Typical New Household

Customers will, on average, spend less for space heating, water heating, cooking, and clothes drying using natural gas than using any other energy source.

2010 Dollars

how are we using energy

Residential Energy Consumption History and Projection

Usable energy loss associated with electricity equals about half of the total energy consumed in the residential and commercial sectors

U.S. Energy Information Administration

full fuel cycle greenhouse gas emissions of a typical household
Full-fuel-cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of a Typical Household

Natural gas used in homes reduces greenhouse gas emissions

about half of all electric home use electric resistance furnaces for space heating
About half of all electric home use electric resistance furnaces for space heating.

EIA Residential Energy Consumption Survey 2009

40 of households with natural gas use electric heat
40% of households with natural gas use electric heat!

EIA Residential Energy Consumption Survey 2009

sizable number of natural gas heated homes with electric water heating
Sizable number of natural gas heated homes with electric water heating.

EIA Residential Energy Consumption Survey 2009


First cost purchase and installation of gas equipment and appliances.

Misaligned incentivesof building contractors and end-use consumers.

Economically perverse incentives from electric utilities to consumers and builders.

Inconsistent policies in regulatory and programmatic approaches.

builder decision and resistance to gas use
Builder Decision and Resistance to Gas Use
  • Higher first cost for gas appliances
  • Equipment requirements
  • Constraints from floor plans

The builder decision to install a natural gas appliance, or suite of applications, is primarily driven by three principal factors:

-Natural gas availability

-Economic impact on the builder

-Consumer preference

inconsistent approach to energy codes and standards
Inconsistent Approach to Energy Codes and Standards
  • Programs with Site-Energy Approach
    • DOE Appliance Codes and Standards
    • EPA Energy Star, National Energy Rating Program for Homes
    • National Association of Home Builders, National Green Building Program
    • Residential Green Build,, Green Building Initiative
    • U.S. Green Building Council, LEED Rating System
  • Programs with Source / FFC Approach
    • DOE, Residential Retrofit Guidelines
    • DOE, Federal Petroleum-Equivalent Fuel Economy Calculator
    • EPA Energy Star, Commercial Buildings Program
    • Green Building Initiative,Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings
    • International Green Construction Code
    • U.S. Green Building Council, LEED for Existing Building O&M Rating System
direct and distributed use of natural gas policy recommendations 1
Direct and Distributed Use of Natural GasPolicy Recommendations #1
  • Develop and incorporate full-fuel-cycle analysis into energy policy, regulations and energy efficiency metrics.
direct and distributed use of natural gas policy recommendations 2
Direct and Distributed Use of Natural GasPolicy Recommendations #2
  • Provide consumers with the best available information on comparable energy options through the use of enhanced appliance and equipment labeling, including carbon footprint information.
direct and distributed use of natural gas policy recommendations 3
Direct and Distributed Use of Natural GasPolicy Recommendations #3
  • Encourage government agencies, state public utility commissions, and utilities to jointly develop innovative policies and regulations that provide better alignment of costs and benefits over the life cycle of consumer equipment.
direct and distributed use of natural gas policy recommendations 4
Direct and Distributed Use of Natural GasPolicy Recommendations #4
  • Research and development programs and investment focus should include natural gas delivery and end-use technology to fully maximize the value of natural gas resources.
we rely on natural gas every day
We Rely on Natural Gas Every Day

Clothes Dryers

Hot Water




  • AGA Members



Capitol View

American Gas Magazine

Executive Summary Distribution

Hill Briefings


Federal Agencies


Construction Professionals

Energy and Environmental Advocates

  • Legislators, regulators, agencies
  • Third party

Find Us Online






Richard Meyer





The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents 201 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 70 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the United States, of which 91% — more than 64 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets almost one-fourth of the United States’ energy needs.

Defining Measures of Energy Consumption

Site (point-of-use) measure of energy consumption reflects the use of electricity, natural gas, propane, and/or fuel oil by an appliance at the site where the appliance is operated, based on specified test procedures.

Full-fuel-cycle measure of energy consumption includes, in addition to site energy use, the energy consumed in the extraction, processing, and transport of primary fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas; energy losses in thermal combustion in power-generation plants; and energy losses in transmission and distribution to homes and commercial buildings.

Source: National Academy of Science

direct use available here and now
Direct Use Available Here and Now

1/ - EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2011 Reference Case2/ EIA Analysis of American Power Act 2010.

energy value chain efficiencies
Energy Value Chain Efficiencies

Source: Gas Technology Institute

what is average household energy usage
What is average household energy usage?

Average Household Energy Usage per Year for a New Household (MMBtu)

Losses include energy used or lost in extraction, processing, conversion, transportation, and distribution of energyFull-fuel-cycle is sum of site use and energy losses


Combined Heat and Power Technologies generate electricity and capture useful heat simultaneously to increase the overall efficiency of an energy system

Natural gas is the primary fuel for CHP – Over 70 percent of CHP installations use natural gas

first cost space heating systems
First Cost – Space Heating Systems

AGA Financial and Operational Information Series

opposing trends no new gas demand
Opposing Trends  No New Gas Demand

U.S. EIA & AGA calculations