Natural Gas, a Reliable and Energy-Efficient Fuel

Hurricanes, thunderstorms and other severe weather conditions can often times cause power outages lasting anywhere from a few hours to several weeks. For homeowners, this can be extremely inconvenient. But for businesses unable to serve customers, or otherwise generate income, it can be devastating. Fortunately, natural gas distribution lines are buried underground, therefore, providing nearly 100 percent service reliability. Imagine the capability to have all the basic comforts such as hot water and cooking before, during and after a storm. This capability alone provides a “no power, no problem” frame of mind for many homeowners and business owners, especially during severe weather.

Clearwater Gas System’s 2017 post-Hurricane Irma recovery efforts revealed that there were zero gas outages, and natural gas service continued to flow to more than 23,000 during, and after, the storm. In 2018 the Natural Gas Council released “Weather Resilience in the Natural Gas Industry” which examined the industry’s preparation during Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The study showed that through some of the most severe weather in 2017, and 2018, natural gas local distribution companies maintained service without issue. Homeowners were able to take hot showers, have warm food and comfortable homes even during extreme conditions. Even some local businesses remained opened and continued operating business as usual.

Although gas systems reserve the right, in the event of a major disaster, to turn off the gas to industrial and large commercial customers that contract for interruptible service, instances of such turn-offs are extremely rare in the natural gas industry.

“During major storms and power outages, Clearwater Gas System’s natural gas service has never been interrupted and natural gas has always continued to flow,” said Chuck Warrington, Executive Director.

Coincidently, Clearwater Gas System conducted its own reliability study (over a 10 year period) and discovered that its gas customers, on average, experienced a service interruption only about once every 81 years. Of course, from time to time, underground gas lines are sometimes damaged due to unintentional third party underground digging. As required by law the Office of Pipeline Safety instructs homeowners and business owners to call 811 at least two days in advance of digging projects, which helps homeowners and professionals avoid damaging vital underground utilities. And, most natural gas distribution lines are dual-fed for reliability.

While very few things are 100 percent reliable, Clearwater Gas System’s 99.9999 percent service reliability rate comes close. A team of about 100 full-time gas employees operate, and maintain, more than 1,000 miles of underground natural gas mains – in addition to providing liquid propane gas service and maintaining a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling station. Clearwater Gas System stands by its commitment to continue to be the energy provider of choice, offering various energy-efficient solutions to homes and businesses for years to come.

Chuck Warrington

Chuck Warrington is the executive director for Clearwater Gas System.

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 provides natural and propane gas and compressed natural gas service to over 27,000 residential, industrial and commercial, customers in a 330 square mile service territory which includes 20 municipalities as well as unincorporated areas of Pinellas, Pasco and northwestern Hillsborough counties. Natural gas continues to be a viable, dependable and sustainable energy source for most residential, industrial and commercial applications. For more information about natural or propane gas, visit


You May Also Like

Leaders of two downtown partnerships are learning from each to create a ‘downtown for all’ 

Collaboration is brought up a lot when speaking to various economic development entities, either the lack thereof or the presence of it, and its benefits.  So what happens when two

Sun Coast Transportation Planning Alliance launches survey about regional MPO

The Tampa Bay Partnership is working to raise community awareness of a community survey regarding the potential for a regional Metropolitan Planning Organization. The Sun Coast Transportation Planning Alliance has

Economic Development Corp. of Sarasota County names new CEO and president

The Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County has named Erin Silk as president and chief executive officer. Silk officially assumed the role on June 15. Lisa Krouse, who led the

Google invests in Tampa Bay EDC by donating to Tampa Bay Economic Prosperity Foundation

Google has joined the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council as a Chairman’s Council Investor. In addition, Google donated $20,000 to the Tampa Bay Economic Prosperity Foundation, an affiliate nonprofit organization

Other Posts

Keeping the water flowing: How local entities are combating the growing population’s growing demand for water

It’s often an afterthought. You turn on the faucet and water comes out, a seemingly endless supply of it. Clean and ready for showering, drinking or cooking.  It keeps your

Dimmitt Chevrolet is now operating 100 percent solar (PHOTOS)

Dimmitt Chevrolet, in Clearwater, has converted its entire 13-acre facility to operating, fully on solar power. The yearlong project was completed in December, and has now undergone a commissioning process

Breaking the cycle of poverty with every set of keys

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties has hit another milestone. On Friday, the organization celebrated its 800th home dedication ceremony, in St. Petersburg. It’s a meaningful one

Economic Development 2023: The business of tourism

In 2022, Hillsborough County tourist development tax numbers (also known as the “bed tax,” which is a fee collected by the county for each night someone rents a hotel room)