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Natural Gas & The Environment

According to an American Gas Association (AGA) study, operating a natural gas home is far more energy-efficient and results in far less pollution than running an all-electric home. The advantages of natural gas homes stem from the fact that almost all (about 90 percent) of the gas energy produced from the earth is delivered to the residence or other end-use. In contrast, less than 27 percent of the total energy used to generate electricity is delivered to end-users in a usable form.

Natural gas consists primarily of methane. Methane (CH4) is a molecule made up of one carbon unit and four hydrogen units. When methane is mixed with oxygen (O2) and burned completely, the principle products emitted are heat, carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O), the same products exhaled by humans when we breathe.

Other fossil fuels have more complex structures. This complexity in structure produces more of unwanted products like sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. These by-products result in air pollution, acid rain, ozone pollution and solid waste of ash and sludge. Natural gas homes produce virtually no sulfur dioxide or particulate matter, 90 percent less nitrogen oxides and 40 to 50 percent less carbon monoxide emissions than other fuels according to the AGA analysis.