Is Natural Gas a Good Choice for My Business
No matter what type of business you own, you're always looking for ways to keep your overhead down. As a result you would naturally want to run your business as efficiently as possible, as a low overhead allows you to keep your prices lower, which allows you to pass along savings to your customers and better benefits to your employees. Using natural gas for your business can help you save money.
Natural gas is one of the cheapest and most versatile fossil fuels you can purchase. Whether you use it for HVAC, water heaters and boiler systems or steam traps and food service equipment, there are a plethora of ways that natural gas can help your business become more efficient while saving you money. Let's take a look at some of the reasons that make natural gas a good choice for your business.
A Cheaper, Clean Burning Fossil Fuel
Natural gas, as its name implies is a gaseous fossil fuel found deep under the ground. It is composed mainly of methane and a small percentage of other hydrocarbons, such as ethane. Natural Gas is drilled for, in much the same way you drill for crude oil. It is found in crevices in rock formations deep below the earth and even within crude oil deposits. After it is extracted from the ground, it is processed and all of the other elements are removed, leaving just the methane.
This results in several byproducts such as ethane, propane, sulfur, water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and helium.
Natural gas can be used both as compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquified petroleum gas (LPG). Unlike other fossil fuels, it burns completely and leaves behind no residue. It is also cheaper and cleaner than gasoline, producing far less greenhouse emissions than other fossil fuels. The fact that it is cheap, clean and versatile has caused it to top the list of most used energy sources.
Why Natural Gas is a Versatile Choice
One of natural gas' greatest strengths is its versatility. It can be used in a wide variety of ways, from vehicle fuel, to being a raw material in a variety of products such as paints, fertilizers, plastics, medicines, and antifreeze. In addition, propane, which is derived from natural gas, is
used to power grills and stoves in restaurants around the country. Let's take a look at some of the ways that natural gas can be used in business.
- Commercial Buildings - Natural gas uses in commercial buildings are similar to what you find in residential spaces. It is mainly used for space heating, air conditioning and water heating.
- Electric Power Generation - Of the three fossil fuels used for electric power generation (coal, oil, natural gas), natural gas emits the least carbon dioxide per unit of energy produced. It emits 30% less carbon dioxide than burning oil and 45% less carbon dioxide than burning coal. In addition, burning natural gas also releases lower amounts of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, particulates and mercury, making it the cleaner choice as well.
- Industrial Heat Source - In manufacturing many processes require heat to melt, dry, bake, or glaze a product. Natural gas is the obvious choice in these cases and is used as a heat source in making glass, steel, cement, bricks, ceramics, tile, paper, food products and many other commodities. It can also be used for incineration at industrial facilities.
- Raw Material - Natural gas is also used as a raw ingredient and is used to make fertilizer, antifreeze, plastics, pharmaceuticals and fabrics. In addition, it is also used to manufacture chemicals such as ammonia, methanol, butane, ethane, propane, and acetic acid.
- Vehicle Fuel - Natural gas has a number of advantages over gasoline and diesel fuel. Vehicles using natural gas emit 60 - 90% less smog-producing pollutants and 30 - 40% less greenhouse gas emissions. It is also cheaper per mile to operate a natural gas vehicle than a gasoline or diesel vehicle. However, it's use in vehicles is limited by the short range of the vehicles and limited refueling stations.
Natural Gas is Cost Effective and Efficient
Not only is natural gas extremely versatile, it is also very cost effective and efficient. Using it compared to other fossil fuels can greatly lower your overhead, allowing you to run a more efficient business, while passing along the savings to your employees in the form of better benefits, or to your customers in the form of lower prices. Here's a few ways natural gas can help you save money.
- Lower Energy Cost - The energy cost of LNC / natural gas per kWh varies from month to month, however it is normally lower than alternative energy from the grid as well as oil and coal.
- Low Investment Cost - Switching to natural gas normally takes minimal investment costs. Depending on your existing equipment there may be slight modifications needed such as changing a burner or modifying an existing one. However, there is usually no need for major modifications to your existing infrastructure.
- Low Taxes And Fees - By using natural gas, you can reap environmental benefits when compared to other fossil fuels. In addition, there are no emissions of dust or particles in the burning process. This leads to lower taxes, fees, and penalties from the government for emissions.
Natural Gas is Good for the Environment and the Bottom Line
As briefly touched on above, natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel available. When burned it produces two byproducts, carbon dioxide and water vapor, which are the same byproducts produced when humans breathe. Also, when burned, the carbon dioxide that natural gas gives off is far less than that emitted by burning other fossil fuels. In addition, natural gas is heavily regulated by the federal government in the areas of production and distribution. This ensures that it is produced and transported to the customer safely.
As you can see, natural gas is a great choice to make your business more efficient and cost effective. It can help you cut your energy cost as well as help you clean up your emissions. The result is a win-win with a healthier bottom line and less pollution.
If you are a Georgia business owner, and are interested in having your business run on natural gas or switching your supplier, our team of dedicated industry experts are here to assist you. Contact Fireside Natural Gas today for more information.