How Gas Is Used
Natural gas accounts for about one-fourth of all energy used in the United States. Natural gas is used for heating buildings, heating water, cooking, drying clothes, lighting, and industrial purposes. Some household appliances that use natural gas include:
- Pool and spa heaters
- Clothes dryers
- Outdoor lights
- Water heaters
- Fireplace logs
- Patio heaters and fire pits
Do you have any of these appliances in your home? If so, do they run on natural gas? (For clues on how to recognize a natural gas appliance, take the Appliance Survey.)
Your Gas Bill
The natural gas that comes to your home passes through a gas meter. Dials on the meter show how much natural gas your home has used. Some newer meters use digital displays instead of dials. Please, don’t tamper with a gas meter—it could be dangerous.
The meter shows how much natural gas you use in a measurement called cubic feet (cf). One cf would fill a container that is one foot wide, one foot high, and one foot deep. One cf is the equivalent of just a little less than eight fluid gallons.
Your natural gas utility reads your meter regularly and uses the reading to calculate your gas bill. Every month or two the utility sends your household a gas bill, which tells you how much natural gas you used and how much you have to pay for it. The more gas you use, the higher your gas bill.
Be an Energy Saver
You can do a lot to save natural gas in your home. Natural gas is a nonrenewable resource, which means we can’t make more of it once the earth’s supplies are gone. Here are some ways to make sure your household uses gas wisely.