I read a lot of stuff about the “smart grid” but it generally covers only the electric side. Here’s a good article from CleanTechies titled “The Natural Gas Grid – The Other Grid” that has some good information on the natural gas grid. The article brings attention to the industry’s record of safely and reliably delivering natural gas. Some highlights from the article:
- The current demand to update the gas grid is more about reducing utility expenditures, increasing energy conservation, and meeting global climate initiatives and mandates, rather than dealing with failing system integrity issues
- Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) was recently approved by the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) to implement a $1.05 billion, 5.5 million meter AMI system in Southern California. SoCalGas is the largest gas utility in the United States and is a gas-only utility
- The gas grid received zero funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
Putting it all together
The article goes on to talk about some of the initiatives to combine the information from the electric smart meters and the natural gas smart meters so that consumers can get comprehensive information on their energy use. They focus on sub-metering. In this process, a gas module is put on an existing gas meter, sending signals to an electricity meter. In turn, the meter sends a signal containing gas and electricity data to the utility business system.
Let us know your thoughts on the smart grid before you skip over to CleanTechies to read their article.