As we continue to look closer at the future of American energy, it is no surprise that natural gas energy has become a relevant, and popular, choice for homes and businesses. Natural gas continues to play a lead role in saving money, energy and the environment – while increasing the comfort, and efficiency, of homes and businesses. Over the years, consumers have depended on natural gas energy to heat water, cook food and warm homes in a way that is comfortable, convenient and reliable.
Most notably, technological advances in the last several years have brought greater efficiency in production, delivery and use of natural gas. Consumers today use nearly 40 percent less natural gas because of increased efficiency. This trend is due, in part, to the installation of tighter-fitting windows and doors, better insulation, utility-sponsored energy-efficiency programs and the development of increasingly more energy-efficient natural gas appliances. For instance gas, tankless water heaters have gained overwhelming popularity because they offer an endless supply of hot water while significantly reducing energy costs. Natural gas dryer manufacturers are using new technology sensors to measure moisture build-up inside the dryer. Once the clothes have dried, the moisture sensor automatically shuts off the dyer thereby saving energy, and reducing wear and tear, as a result of over-drying clothing.
Gas stoves have long been the number one choice of professional chefs, and avid home cooks, because they offer so many advantages including the ability to prepare meals during power outages. Using a gas stove reduces your cooking energy costs by more than half. Also, gas stoves with electronic ignitions use about one-third less energy than stoves with a pilot light option.
Today’s new commercial gas equipment, and developments, offer an array of energy-efficient benefits such as Yanmar’s engine-driven, gas heat pump which combines heat recovery with simultaneous heating and cooling. The first gas-fired boiler less steamer, also known as the ENERGY STAR countertop steamer, is certainly a viable energy-efficient option for the foodservice industry. The steamer offers faster cooking times while providing energy savings and reduced water consumption. Lastly, the high-efficiency broiler provides infrared burners, and an energy-saving hood, that allows an average of 23 percent energy savings during field testing. Overall, the average Clearwater Gas System commercial customer can expect an annual savings of approximately 40 percent, when operating gas energy for typical commercial gas applications which includes hospitals, paint booths, restaurants, distilleries and crematories, just to name a few.
BIO/Side Bar (cannot be part of the article): Clearwater Gas System, like many local municipal utilities, provides both commercial and residential incentives when purchasing specific energy-efficient gas appliances, including water heaters, pool/spa heaters and gas ranges. At current rates, natural gas is approximately 65 percent cheaper to operate, compared to electric energy. Clearwater Gas System is the fourth largest municipal gas system in Florida and ranks 34th, out of nearly 1,000 public gas systems, in the United States. Clearwater Gas System’s service territory includes 20 municipalities, and the unincorporated areas within northern and central Pinellas County, western and central Pasco County and the northwest corner of Hillsborough County. To learn more about Clearwater Gas, visit clearwatergas.com.
Chuck Warrington is the Executive Director of the Clearwater Gas System. He is a 40+ year utility professional with both electric and gas background. He is the past president of and currently, serves on the Board of the Florida Natural Gas Association; he also is the past president and a board member of the Florida Municipal Natural Gas Association, as well as past chairman and board member of the American Public Gas Association. Warrington currently serves on the American Gas Association Board and is the Chair of its Small Member Council. He can be reached at (727) 562-4980.