02 Dec Natural Gas Utilities Urge EPA …
Natural Gas Utilities Urge EPA …
Natural Gas Utilities Urge EPA to Provide Guidance to States to Include Direct Use of Natural Gas in Compliance Plans Under 111d
Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Association (AGA) filed comments to support the compliance flexibility that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has built into the proposed carbon emission guidelines for existing electric generating units under section 111d of the Clean Air Act. AGA urges EPA to make it clear in the final rule that states are allowed, at their option, to include a wide variety of compliance options to include the direct use of natural gas in their state plans.
“AGA is pleased that EPA has allowed states considerable flexibility to pursue ‘outside the fence’ energy efficiency measures to help them comply with their obligations under the Clean Power Plan,” said Kathryn Clay, Vice President for Policy Strategy at AGA. “States will be able to promote the direct use of natural gas because of its efficiency advantages over the full fuel cycle.”
The direct use of natural gas in America’s homes and businesses for heating and cooling, water heating, cooking and clothes drying achieves 92 percent energy efficiency. A household with natural gas versus all-electric appliances produces 37 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions. Converting natural gas or any other fossil fuel into electricity to power comparable electric end-use products only maintains 32 percent of usable energy.
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is also a key option for distributed generation. Natural gas is the preferred fuel choice for CHP applications which generate electricity at costs up to 50 percent less than traditional forms of delivered new baseload electricity and capture useful heat simultaneously to increase the overall efficiency of an energy system. CHP applications are eligible for renewable electricity credits in many states.
“We’ve asked EPA to give states clear guidance on how they can successfully incorporate CHP into their plans, so we don’t miss an important opportunity. Commercial, industrial and institutional facilities around the country can achieve real savings while reducing emissions by utilizing CHP,” Clay continued.
AGA worked with ICF International on “The Opportunity for CHP in the United States.“ Released last year, the report indicates that more than 40 gigawatts of potential CHP could achieve a 10-year payback or less.
The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 71 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 94 percent — over 68 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets almost one-fourth of the United States’ energy needs.