What Is Natural Gas Conservation?

L. Baran

Natural gas conservation is the practice of reducing the amount of gas energy used by individuals and industries in an attempt to reduce costs, protect energy security, reduce emissions and ensure continued energy demands can be met. One of the most precious energy sources in the world, natural gas is a vital fuel for companies and private homeowners alike. Conservation involves taking many small, simple steps and making some larger modifications to make energy efficiency and resource preservation a priority.

Some energy conservation grants are specifically focused on the efficient use of natural gas.
Some energy conservation grants are specifically focused on the efficient use of natural gas.

Many programs and government grants exist to help businesses and individuals conserve energy. Some are specific to natural gas, while others fall under the umbrella of environmental management or general conservation training. The United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the Public Utilities Commission oversee such programs, since the government is concerned with natural gas conservation for a number of reasons. Being able to produce energy within the country is vital to energy security and prosperity. Furthermore, efficiency plays a key role in reducing emissions that are detrimental to the environment.

There are many ways in which natural gas conservation can be achieved, particularly in large industries and businesses. All heating and cooling equipment should be upgraded and maintained at regular intervals. Heating thermostats should be lowered as much as possible, with every degree making a significant impact on energy usage. Programmable thermostats can also be used to lower temperatures in the hours when fewer employees are present. Also, the insulation should be as dense as possible and placed in all areas susceptible to heat loss.

Individual homeowners also have an important role to play in natural gas conservation. An increasing number of homes are now fueled with natural gas, spurred in part by rising oil costs. Controlling thermostats and insulation are keys in homes too, as is the purchase of energy efficient appliances. Altering cooking practices, such as foregoing the oven preheat or using less water on the stove top are other simple tactics. Windows should be weather stripped, the temperature on the hot water heater should be lowered, and showers are preferable over baths.

While the process of making modifications to conserve resources may seem daunting at first, many small changes can make a large difference. Homeowners and businesses can seek out rebates and other incentives to offset the initial costs of becoming more efficient, and such costs should be weighed against the potential energy savings. Further information regarding natural gas conservation can be obtained from the Department of Energy, local governments and utility companies.

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