Jake Rubin Another Community Will Save Money By Switching to Natural Gas

Americans who have natural gas enjoy the benefits of this clean affordable energy source every day, and we know that those who do not have service for their home or business want it. Throughout the country, we see stories about communities and utilities working together to extend natural gas infrastructure to those who do not have access to the benefits of this fuel. Like this one in the Duluth News Tribune.

Minnesota Energy Resources is expanding its natural gas distribution system to provide service to residents of Esko, MN. Approximately 750 customers will be eligible to receive natural gas service from the utility when the projected is complete.

Esko school district Superintendent Aaron Fischer is particularly excited about this development citing the money his school system will save when they switch their boilers that use propane or fuel oil to new boilers that use natural gas. His district did a study that confirmed the move to natural gas would save both money and energy.

These types of conversions are happening across the country. Thirty-nine states have adopted or considered innovative proposals to expand natural gas infrastructure so that more citizens and businesses can access this domestic fuel source, and that number continues to grow. In April, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) established a new Presidential Natural Gas Access and Expansion Task Force charged with developing best practices and recommendations regarding natural gas service for underserved and unserved areas of the country, including, but not limited to rural communities.

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Natural gas use has led to $76 billion in savings for American businesses since 2009 and households that use natural gas for heating, cooking and clothes drying save an average of $874 per year compared to homes using electricity for those applications.

More homes and businesses use natural gas today than ever before and that number continues to increase as more communities ask their local leaders and utilities to make natural gas service available to them. There are proven benefits to customers and the economy, and utilities are working every day to bring the benefits of natural gas to more Americans.

 

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Kathryn Clay Natural Gas Vehicle Research & Development Workshop

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Office is hosting a workshop for natural gas vehicle (NGV) stakeholders on July 25 at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO.  The purpose of the workshop is to understand and prioritize the research needs necessary to increase the efficiency and reduce emissions of medium- and heavy-duty NGVs.

The Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill recommended that up to $15 million be appropriated to DOE in FY17 for medium- and heavy-duty on-road natural gas engine research and development.  One of the goals of this workshop is to inform DOE about a Funding Opportunity Announcement that is expected later this year.

NGVAmerica has been working closely with DOE on organizing the workshop and has provided detail of its members’ top research and development (R&D) priorities. The top R&D priorities as agreed to by the NGVAmerica Technology & Development Committee are as follows:

  • Improve natural gas engine efficiency
  • Increase the development of 0.02 g/b-hp NOx  certified engines
  • Develop lower emission engines and after-treatment systems
  • Develop and/or integrate smart mobility technologies for communication between CNG fueling stations and onboard vehicle fuel systems
  • Develop technologies for cost reduction of mid-scale CNG fueling compression equipment
  • Develop small scale liquefied natural gas production
  • Develop advanced methods of delivering consistent natural gas quality

NGVAmerica will be participating in the workshop at NREL and will share the results with its membership and the American Gas Association. Please feel free to contact Dan Bowerson (dbowerson@ngvamerica.org), Director of Technology & Development, with any questions on the workshop or R&D priorities.

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Tracy Burleson Join AGA at the 2018 International Builders’ Show in Orlando

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In early 2018, the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) International Builders’ Show (IBS) and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) will again co-locate at the Orange County Convention Center to create the fifth annual Design and Construction Week. This three-day, must-attend event for residential construction and design professionals will be take place January 9-11 in Orlando, Florida. One badge will provide access to all the exhibits with an estimated 80,000 attendees projected to attend.

The 2,800-square-foot natural gas industry exhibit will be the result of an important partnership between the American Gas Association (AGA) members and manufacturers of gas appliances demonstrating the latest, most innovative technologies available to consumers. Leading up to IBS and throughout the course of the show, AGA will use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and our blog to promote the exhibit booth and manufactures.

We look forward to seeing you all in Orlando this coming January! If you are interested in supporting the natural gas industry efforts at IBS as a volunteer or manufacturer, please contact Tracy Burleson at tburleson@aga.org.

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Chris McGill Natural Gas Market Indicators: July 13, 2017

According to Bentek Energy, July 2017 volumes of natural gas to power generation are slightly higher at 34.1 Bcf per day on average than in July 2016, which flowed at 33.7 Bcf per day. However, year-to-date volumes of gas to power generation are down 2.8 Bcf per day on average.

Along with a mild first quarter for much of the nation, which contributed to lower seasonal residential and commercial demand earlier in the year, total sector demand for natural gas is off about 3.8 Bcf per day compared to the first half of 2016. Sustained heat this summer in the east could begin to change that metric, but of course that is a wait and see.

Visit this link to download the full Natural Gas Market Indicators report. Topics covered in this week’s report include: Reported Prices, Weather, Working Gas in Underground Storage, Natural Gas Production, Shale Gas, Rig Counts, Pipeline Imports and Exports, and LNG Markets.

Please direct questions and comments to Chris McGill at cmcgill@aga.org or Richard Meyer at rmeyer@aga.org.

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