Natural Gas Use Projected To Climb 50 Percent Over Next 20 YearsMore than 70 percent of new single-family homeowners are choosing natural gas
March 13, 2002
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - Natural gas usage has grown by 35 percent over the last ten years and is projected to jump by 50 percent in the next 20 years according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Much of this growth is attributed to natural gas' energy efficiency and value, enhancement of home resale value and environmental cleanliness.
Demand for natural gas is also on the upswing in Georgia. Consumption of natural gas in the state increased 46 percent from 1999 to 2000 according to the American Gas Association. For the third straight year, 70 percent of single-family homes completed in 2000 featured natural gas heat, according to the 2000 Residential Natural Gas Market Survey released by the American Gas Association. The residential natural gas customer base reached 59 million in 2000, 61 percent of total U.S. households.
Energy is the second largest cost of owning a home after a mortgage, so buying an energy-efficient home can save homeowners hundreds of dollars a year. In addition, energy-efficient enhancements such as upgraded appliances, sufficient insulation and automatic thermostats can further increase a home's market value.
Millard Bowen, president of Bowen and Bowen Homebuilders, said, "Natural gas has been consumers' first choice for home heating for more than 12 years, because customers prefer the comfort, reliability and value of natural gas heat. Along with natural gas heating systems, recent trends in homebuilding are to include natural gas fireplaces, barbecue grills, standby generators and other amenities in new homes to meet consumer demand and add to property resale value."
A recent online survey conducted by Atlanta Gas Light Company asked consumers how important it is to have natural gas available within the premises. Of the 1,160 Georgia residents participating in the survey, over 65 percent answered that having natural gas in their home is very important.
Susan McLaughlin, president and CEO of Atlanta Gas Light Company, said, "The overall energy efficiency of natural gas is superior to any other commonly used fossil fuel. Regardless of cyclical fluctuations in price, natural gas is a great value to consumers over the lifetime of their home."
Gas heating systems have a longer shelf life than electric systems and provide precise temperature control with programmable thermostats. In addition, gas water heaters can deliver up to twice as much hot water as electric models in the same amount of time. Gas stoves offer the fastest, most precise cooking - even if the electricity goes out - and are preferred by most top chefs.
Environmentally-friendly energy source
Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel, another advantage for many environmentally-conscious consumers. Its simple chemical make-up compared to the more complex structure of oil and coal makes natural gas cleaner burning. According to the American Gas Association, using more natural gas could actually help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air by about 10 percent of total emissions.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), "Of the three fossil fuels that dominate the U.S. energy market, natural gas is by far the cleanest burning fuel. It is, therefore, a key part of NRDC's energy policy -- the bridge to greater reliance on cleaner and renewable forms of energy."