Natural Gas is More Efficient, Driving a Lower Carbon Footprint | Atmos Energy
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Natural Gas is More Efficient, Driving a Lower Carbon Footprint

Environment
April 19, 2021

We often take for granted the fact that our natural gas appliances are so dependable. Whether heating our home during the winter, cooking dinner for the family, or taking a hot shower to start the day, natural gas is always there when we need it. However, concerns about greenhouse gas emissions increasingly dominate a nationwide conversation about the best energy source for our homes, often at the expense of other critical factors like reliability, affordability, and resiliency. But at the end of the day, even if we only consider what is best for the environment, one fact remains clear: homes using natural gas appliances have a lower carbon footprint than homes with all-electric appliances. 

Now some of you may be asking yourselves, “Wait a minute, is that really true?” Rest assured, it is. Atmos Energy’s team of experts modeled a comparison of newly constructed, single-family homes at varying sizes – from 1,500 square feet to 3,000 square feet – equipped with appliances that meet ENERGY STAR Version 3 certification. In fact, we used the same criteria that go into the calculations for Green Built Texas (GBT), a green building certification program that requires homes are built to high standards of water efficiency, indoor air quality, and energy efficiency. When modeled according to GBT construction protocols, regardless of the square footage, in every instance those homes using natural gas appliances for heating, cooking and water heating demonstrated significant emissions savings compared to homes using electric appliances for the same tasks.  

This occurs in part because the natural gas delivery system is 91 percent efficient from production to the customer, whereas converting natural gas into electricity maintains only 36 percent of usable energy on the long journey from production to generation to the customer. In other words, a home with natural gas uses nearly three times less energy than an all-electric home. 

In the conversation about the environmental benefits of one energy source compared to others, the cost is just as important because green energy solutions must be affordable if they are to be adopted at a large scale and therefore have a positive effect on the environment. And once again, natural gas comes out on top in this comparison.  

Based on modeling according to GBT construction protocols, Texas homes using natural gas appliances demonstrated cost savings of more than $350 annually when compared to homes using electric appliances for the same tasks. What’s more, requiring homeowners to replace natural gas appliances with electric appliances could cost in the thousands of dollars – a financial burdenthat would disproportionately affect low-income families who typically allocate three times as much of their income to energy costs than the average household. 

Taken all together, a lower carbon footprint leads to more environmental responsibility, and lower annual costs mean all families can enjoy affordability and reliability – making natural gas the clear choice over electricity on Earth Day or any other day of the year.   

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To learn more about Atmos Energy’s commitment to protect and preserve our environment, please download our Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report at https://www.atmosenergy.com/esg/reports, and visit https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2021/ to participate in Earth Day 2021.