week-4Code Officials: Surround Your Building with Safety

Presenting Sponsor

Natural Gas Utilities and Energy Efficiency

Direct use of natural gas in homes and businesses is extraordinarily efficient, achieving 92 percent efficiency from the point of production to delivery to the consumer. By investing in the efficiency of buildings and appliances, promoting smart energy choices and subsidizing energy-saving efforts for low-income families, natural gas utilities are helping their customers save money and reduce their carbon footprint, while maintaining the comfort and productivity of their homes and businesses.

  • In 2012, natural gas utilities invested $1.1 billion in natural gas efficiency programs, helping customers reduce their typical annual natural gas usage by an average 16 percent and save $117 in annual energy costs.
  • Natural gas utility efficiency programs helped offset 7.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2012.
  • Natural gas utilities contributed nearly $3.7 billion in assistance to low-income customers in 2012.
  • Choosing natural gas heating appliances can double home energy savings.
    • In typical home appliances, the direct use of natural gas results in energy consumption that is 28 percent less than a similar home with all-electric appliances.
    • Natural gas water heaters are nearly 50 percent more efficient on a full-fuel-cycle energy comparison. Natural gas furnaces and boilers are up to 96 percent efficient.

Building green means living better, smarter and healthier.

By choosing energy-efficient building materials and supplies, homeowners can make positive changes to both inside and outside environments, creating homes that are better for you and our world.

Building green does not necessarily mean starting from scratch or spending more money. There are many ways to improve the green factor in existing homes by using longer-lasting and sustainable materials.

Educational Resources to Share in Your Community

Download, print, copy and distribute the energy efficiency information pieces below in your community.

Energy Efficiency Tips

  • Use energy-efficient light bulbs, turn off lights and unplug electronics not in use.
  • Seal air leaks.
  • Install programmable thermostats.
  • Upgrade windows, heating and air conditioning equipment.
  • Change filters frequently.
  • Install more insulation in walls and attics.
  • Choose energy efficient appliances.
  • If you are building new, consider the best position on the lot for trapping light and energy, and make use of energy-efficient foundation, framing, plumbing, wiring and HVAC systems now available.

Green homes are also healthier homes, reducing mold, mildew and other allergens that contribute to asthma and other significant health issues. Below are tips for keeping your home dry and mold-free:

  • Keep it dry: install a drain pan under the water heater; place dehumidifiers in basements and other damp areas; position downspouts away from the house; repair any water damage.
  • Keep it clean: use track-off mats at all doorways; clean up dust to eliminate contaminants such as lead dust and allergens.
  • Keep it ventilated: install or replace exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens (make sure they vent to the outside).
  • Keep it contaminant-free: use wire shelving that doesn’t collect dust; have your home tested for radon and lead-based paint.

Important Energy & Green Building Links:

AGA’s Helpful Links about Energy Efficiency