Natural gas utilities invested $1.47B in energy efficiency programs
Mon, July 20, 2020
Natural gas utilities invested $1.47 billion — or $3.8 million per day — in energy efficiency programs in 2018, according to a new report by the American Gas Association (AGA).
These investments avoided 2.25 million metric tons of CO2 emissions in 2018, the report said.
“The programs and investments made every year by America’s natural gas utilities provide another example of how local natural gas companies work with their customers to help them save money and protect the environment,” AGA President and CEO Karen Harbert said. “AGA members also make significant investments in reducing the energy burdens for our most vulnerable customers through weatherization assistance.”
Natural gas utilities funded 132 natural gas efficiency programs in the United States and Canadian 2018 for a total investment of $1.47 billion — an 8 percent jump from 2016 and a 20 percent increase from 2012. This includes programs to install tighter-fitting windows and doors, better insulation, and purchase more efficient natural gas appliances. One-quarter of their budget was spent on low-income efficiency programs, assisting over 214,581 participants in 2018. Further, more than 66,000 commercial customers and 72,000 industrial program customers were enrolled in natural gas efficiency programs that year.
The report found that natural gas utilities have helped their customers save 259 trillion Btus of energy and offset over 13.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from 2012 to 2018.
“Natural gas utilities are working with their customers to be part of the solution to climate change, helping them lower their emissions while also saving money,” Harbert said. “Our industry encourages and supports energy efficiency in pursuit of a significantly lower-carbon energy economy.”
The number of residential natural gas customers has grown by 86 percent in the U.S. over the past 40 years. The use of natural gas, in combination with renewable energy and efficiency, has contributed to carbon dioxide emissions declining to the lowest levels in nearly 25 years.