The Case for Natural Gas with Electrification

Mar 19, 2021 | Environmental Impact, Natural Gas Facts

As the economy develops, electrification is increasingly taking over the energy sector by storm. Most residents and industries are shifting their focus from using natural gas to clean electricity. Cities like Berkeley, California, have even ‘banned’ the use of natural gas in buildings. The good news is that natural gas is still an efficient energy source.

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What are the roles of gas energy efficiency programs as electrification is taking over the country’s buildings? They have plenty of climatic, economic, and energy benefits so long as utilities adhere to the regulations put in place. For efficient natural gas use, gas utilities should invest in gas envelope efficiency programs.

Considering Efficiency

To improve gas programs’ effectiveness, utilities and consumers should focus on improving the buildings’ efficiency instead of the appliances used in them. That includes reducing air infiltrations, insulating buildings, upgrading windows, and improving ventilation. These envelope efficiency upgrades will help homes and businesses stay warmer in winter and cooler in the summer, reducing energy costs.

Natural Gas & Electricity Together

Some localities in the United States have passed an energy reach code that mandates new construction in buildings to have all-electric heating and sometimes cooking appliances. However, a reach code that allows mixed fuel buildings (those with gas and electric systems) can help residents achieve higher energy standards than the all-electric structures. The natural gas systems work best for cooking appliances.

Keeping Our Energy System Efficient

With the envelope upgrades, it’s easy to improve the residents’ quality of life, regardless of the energy source they use. However, residents should avoid installing long-lived gas appliances as they are incompatible with the climate and equity goals. Implementing all-electric equipment and envelope efficiency is the perfect solution for building and industrial applications.

Here are the factors to consider before deciding on installing gas or electric appliances.

  • The short-term cost of electrifying a home in locations with high utility rates
  • The long-term costs of maintaining a reliable and safe gas delivery system
  • The risk that new gas appliances will increase the energy costs in the future

Natural Gas is a Viable Solution

Unlike electrification, natural gas is still a viable and affordable energy solution for many industrial processes. An all-electric system will increase electricity demand, making it a costly option. Building owners should invest in gas energy efficiency programs and implement the regulations to help manage emissions.

Contact us to learn more about natural gas vs. electrification.