Stretch Your Natural Gas Dollar
Natural gas is a reliable, affordable and efficient way to fuel the natural gas appliances and equipment in your home. You may know how much you pay for natural gas on your monthly bills, but do you know how much value you get for each energy dollar?
Based on current average national rates, here are four things 1 dollar's worth of natural gas can provide:
- Bake nearly 150 cookies in a natural gas oven
- Dry five loads of laundry using a natural gas clothes dryer
- Cook about 285 hamburgers on a natural gas grill
- Enjoy a cozy fire with a natural gas fireplace for more than 90 minutes
That's a lot of cooking, laundry and relaxation for just $1. To help stretch your energy dollars even further, follow these simple energy-saving tips:
- Make sure your oven is clean.
- Limit the number of times the oven door is opened.
- Use glass or ceramic baking dishes when possible. They retain heat better than metal.
- On the stovetop, cover pots and pans and match them to the size of the burner.
- On the grill, minimize warm-up time and keep the lid closed as much as possible.
- Put as much food on the grill as possible to make the most of the energy used.
- Wait until you have a full load before running the clothes washer or dryer.
- Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible to minimize the need for reheating more water in your hot water heater.
- Avoid drying towels and heavy cotton materials with lightweight clothing.
- Inspect your dryer vent periodically to ensure that it's not blocked.
- Clean the lint filter after each dryer load to help increase air circulation and improve dryer efficiency.
- Consider air drying clothes in your laundry room or outdoors, if possible.
Using the fireplace
- Hire a qualified pro to inspect your fireplace annually to help maximize operating efficiency.
- If your system is vented, clean the chimney and ventilation system regularly.
- Repair or replace loose-fitting fireplace dampers to help minimize warm air escaping.
- Keep the damper closed whenever the fireplace is not in use.
More ways to save
- Remember to have your natural gas furnace cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
- Lower the thermostat a few degrees at night or when you're not at home to help reduce heating energy use.
- Take shorter showers and install low-flow showerheads, which use less hot water while still providing a comfortable flow.
With just a little time and effort, you can make the most of each natural gas energy dollar you spend.
Cited: Based on the current average national for natural gas of $16.71 per thousand cubic feet (U.S. Energy Information Administration – May 2023) 1,000 ft3 x 1,030 Btu/ft3 = 1,030,000 Btu / $16.71 = 61,639 Btu per dollar = 0.062 therms per dollar.
Bake Cookies Assume 2 sheets each with 2 dozen cookies each = 48 cookies per batch. A gas oven consumes 0.112 therms/hour https://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/cooking.html https://askinglot.com/how-much-gas-does-a-gas-stove-use-per-hour 0.062 therms/0.112 therms = 0.55 hours = 33 minutes; each batch takes 10 minutes, so 48 cookies/batch x 3 batches in 33 minutes = 144 cookies. You can bake nearly 150 cookies for $1 natural gas.
Cooking Hamburgers (outdoor gas grill) Assume an 8 minute cooking time; 3 stainless steel burners totaling 39,000 BTUs; 513 Sq. inches of primary cooking area (75 Btu/sqin); 24 hamburgers at one time https://www.livestrong.com/article/539971-how-to-grill-hamburgers-on-a-propane-grill/ https://www.bbqguys.com/weber-grills/genesis-ii-435-natural-gas-grill-stainless-steel-67006001-2019 https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2016/07/22/1098288/0/en/How-to-Choose-the-Right-Grill-Size.html. The industry standard for BTUs needed for a grill is between 75 and 100 BTUs per square inch of heating surface. https://www.ferrellgas.com/tank-talk/blog-articles/gas-grill-btu-101-how-many-btus-do-you-need-for-a-grill/ 39,000 Btu/hr x 1 hr/60 minutes x 8 minutes/24 hamburgers = 217 Btu/burger 61,639 Btu/$ x 1 burger/217 Btu = 284 burgers. You can grill nearly 300 hamburgers for $1 natural gas.
Drying Loads of Laundry Gas dryers typically use about 4 kWh of electricity a month and 3.2 hundred cubic feet (ccf) of natural gas = 3.2 ccf x 103,000 Btu/ccf = 329,600 Btu/month https://www.energystar.gov/sites/default/files/asset/document/ENERGY_STAR_Scoping_Report_Residential_Clothes_Dryers.pdf. Assume 311 cycles per year (NEEA 2014= 26 loads/month 329,600 Btu/26 loads = 12,676 Btu/load 61,639 Btu/12,676 Btu/load = 4.86 loads. You can dry nearly 5 loads of laundry for $1 natural gas.
Running a Fireplace Assume a 26,000 Btuh output @ 70% efficiency = 26,000/0.70 = 37,142 Btuh consumption https://www.regency-fire.com/en/Products/Gas/Contemporary-Gas-Fireplaces/HZ40E 61,639 Btu/37,142 Btuh = 1.66 hours. You can enjoy a gas fireplace for over 1.5 hours for $1 of natural gas.