Pam Lacey Natural Gas Emissions Deserve Closer Study

The study by Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences of methane emissions in the Boston area looked at only that area and confirms much of what we already know, that methane is being emitted from a variety of sources. Unfortunately, without identifying the specific source of the emission it is difficult to draw any conclusions from it.

Safety is a core value for natural gas utilities. AGA member companies in the Boston area and throughout the country are part of a concerted effort to upgrade and modernize our nation’s pipeline network to enhance safety that has contributed to a declining trend in emissions from natural gas distribution systems.

We believe that this issue deserves closer study to better understand emissions associated with the distribution and delivery of natural gas. AGA and thirteen of its member companies have been participating with the Environmental Defense Fund in a nationwide field study conducted by the Washington State University to measure emissions from natural gas distribution systems. The results should be more instructive because this study used direct source measurements and was able to isolate emissions specifically from distribution pipes and equipment.

More than 177 million Americans continue to use natural gas to cook a hot meal, heat their water or warm their houses. Our nation’s abundance of this clean energy resource has driven affordable and stable prices throughout the country.

The Obama Administration recently announced regulations on emissions from the natural gas industry which did not include recommendations for local distribution companies. Natural gas utilities are committed to systematically upgrading infrastructure, driven by risk-based integrity management programs, and there is a growing effort to accelerate the replacement of pipelines no longer fit for service. Proactive efforts from natural gas utilities, along with involvement in important programs like the EPA’s Natural Gas STAR program, have contributed to the fact that natural gas emissions from utility-owned distribution systems have dropped 22 percent since 1990, even as the industry added nearly 600,000 miles of distribution mains and service lines to serve 17.5 million more customers, an increase of 32 percent. Nearly 90 percent of the emissions declines from distribution systems since 1990 are due to pipeline replacements. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), only 0.24 percent of produced natural gas is emitted from systems operated by local natural gas utilities.

In 2014, AGA released a set of voluntary guidelines to serve as a resource for AGA members to assist in evaluating potential options that may lead to further emissions reductions for distribution systems, and AGA is working with EPA to develop a new voluntary Gold STAR certification for the natural gas distribution sector. The natural gas industry is actively engaged in this discussion along with rigorous, science-based analysis to ensure natural gas continues to be a leading solution for our nation’s clean and secure energy future. AGA members are committed to continuing this positive trend of declining emissions, and we look forward to continued collaboration with key stakeholders in this effort.

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Lisa O'Leary Bevolo Gas and Electric Lights

Guest Blogger: Adele Abboud, Sales Associate, Social Media Coordinator and Merchandiser, Bevolo Gas and Electric Lights*  

New Flame Master Bevolo Logo 1 300x237 Bevolo Gas and Electric Lights

More than 177 million Americans use natural gas to cook a hot meal, heat their water or warm their houses. Not only does natural gas make appliances more efficient, but it can also offer a charming and efficient form of lighting.

CH IMG 4738 225x300 Bevolo Gas and Electric Lights Bevolo Gas and Electric Lights began in the French Quarter in 1945 when Andrew Bevolo, Sr. revolutionized the production of gas lamps. He honed his metalworking skills while working for historic manufacturing companies, including Ford, Sikorsky, and Higgins. Bevolo’s master craftsmanship and artistic style was the perfect complement when paired with the talents of renowned architect A. Hays Town. Together, utilizing a hand riveting technique rather than brittle soldered joints, they created what would eventually become known as the original French Quarter Lamp.

Today, Bevolo’s gas burners provide a distinctive “bat-wing” shaped flame while offering the lowest BTU rating on the market. The burners, exclusive to Bevolo, cost approximately $7 to $11 per month to operate t 24/7.  Adding Bevolo lanterns to a home or building is simple. Bevolo offers a complimentary design and scaling service. To begin, email plans or pictures of the project you desire and Bevolo will make style and scale recommendations.

Bevolo gaslights burn in all 50 states and more than 34 countries. With an efficient burner, low environmental impact manufacturing process and sustainable materials, Bevolo lights last far beyond our lifetime.

To experience Bevolo natural gas lights in person, stop by the AGA booth (#C2615) during the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 20-22.

*Statements of fact or opinion in this blog post are the responsibility of Bevolo alone and do not imply an opinion or endorsement on the part of the American Gas Association.

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Jake Rubin Understanding Your Natural Gas Bill

More than 177 million Americans use natural gas to cook a hot meal, heat their water or warm their houses. Many parts of the country have felt the chill of winter and that means folks are using more natural gas. The American Gas Association has developed a video to explain what goes into your natural gas bill.

Your bill is essentially comprised of three parts:

  1. Gas you used: Often, the largest part of your bill is based on the amount of natural gas you use each month. The United States has an abundance of clean natural gas and that has led to stable and affordable prices. Utilities do not make a profit on the gas they deliver to your home or business.
  2.  Delivery cost: The public utility commission, a group of elected or appointed officials, sets the rate that your utility can charge each month. Included in this cost is maintenance, upgrades of the pipes that deliver natural gas to your home or businesses and everything else that is needed to help ensure safe and reliable delivery of natural gas.
  3.  Local, state and federal taxes.

During the 2013-14 Winter Heating Season, the natural gas delivery system in the United States achieved historic levels of performance. More natural gas was delivered through more pipelines to more customers than ever before, and customer bills remained affordable. Residential customer bills increased only 10 percent on average from the prior winter – an increase mostly due to higher consumption.

AGA expects relatively warmer temperatures this winter based on information from the climate Prediction Center, which may lead to a reduction in demand. Natural gas prices are likely to be slightly higher, resulting in an increase in customer bills of about seven percent this winter.

Promise Delivered is an AGA study of the planning, preparation and performance of the natural gas system during the 2013-14 Winter Heating Season. Utilities work all year to prepare for the possibility of extreme temperatures and employ a portfolio approach to help ensure they can meet the needs of their customers at affordable prices on the coldest days of the year. Before last year’s extraordinary winter concluded, they were already preparing for this winter cycle.

Posted in appliances, education, energy, Natural Gas, people, utility, weather, winter heating | Leave a comment

Tracy Burleson Great Kitchens Help to Sell Great Homes

Consider Customized Cooking Equipment in Unique Colors & Finishes to Add Value to a Home

Guest Blogger: Ann Pelicata, Marketing Manager, BlueStar®*

Blue Star logo 300x63 Great Kitchens Help to Sell Great Homes

It’s no secret that restaurant-quality appliances are hot for the serious and aspiring home chef – and a hot commodity in the real estate world.  Builders and remodelers can add a little sizzle to the kitchen with a customized, USA-handcrafted BlueStar® Platinum Series  professional gas range decked out in the newly announced Pantone® 2015 Color of the Year, Marsala, which will be on view at the International Builders’ Show (IBS) on Jan. 20 through 22 in Las Vegas, NV as part of the American Gas Association booth (#C2615).

Cooking With Color

BS Marsala Kitchen 286x300 Great Kitchens Help to Sell Great Homes While the rest of the kitchen is often a monochromatic look, the range offers an opportunity to add unique color and standout design.  In a model home, consider featuring a range in a vivid shade or add just a splash of color to a stainless steel range with colored knobs.  BlueStar offers more than 750 colors and nearly unlimited customization options, including custom trim packages, to personalize a statement kitchen – and offers home builders a real opportunity to differentiate homes.  Choose from unique color collections such as on-trend precious metals finishes, textured finishes and new jewel tones. Prospective home buyers will love the ability to design a completely personalized product that fits their design sensibilities and cooking preferences.

Chef’s Choice

A BlueStar commercial style gas range offers unmatched power and performance. Handcrafted in Reading, PA since 1880, BlueStar cooking products are designed for discerning home chefs who demand restaurant-quality results in their own kitchens.  With an unparalleled burner intensity of up to 25,000 BTUs, a precise 130 simmer burner and an extra-large capacity convection gas oven,  BlueStar is a standout choice for quality home builders.

BlueStar will showcase its premium Platinum Series™ range in Marsala at IBS. Pantone describes the color as “a naturally robust and earthy wine red”—and, according to BlueStar, this shade makes a rich appliance color or an ideal kitchen accent. The Platinum Series™, which includes 60-inch, 48-inch, 36-inch and 30-inch units, features searing 25,000 BTU burners for maximum, concentrated heat; an interchangeable cast-iron griddle/charbroiler system that offers the ultimate in cooking flexibility; and the revolutionary PowR Oven™ technology to ensure faster, more efficient heating.  As with all BlueStar gas ranges, the Platinum Series also features a precise simmer burner, integrated wok cooking and an extra-large convection oven that fits a commercial size sheet pan.

The BlueStar® product line also features additional gas range lines; new high-performance electric wall oven; gas rangetops and cooktop; gas wall ovens; professional-style kitchen hoods; and salamander grills.

*Statements of fact or opinion in this blog post are the responsibility of BlueStar alone and do not imply an opinion or endorsement on the part of the American Gas Association.

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