Don’t Switch to Coal: How to Use Natural Gas More Efficiently

Posted by Dalkia Aegis on Feb 24

It’s no secret that natural gas prices are sky high—anyone who heats their facility with this resource is aware that the cost has increased by more than 75% over the last calendar year. Not only is this detrimental for the economy in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s also damaging to the goal of a green energy future. These surging gas prices have led to an increase in the use of coal, one of the highest polluting energy sources on the planet. But switching to coal isn’t the only way to save on your facility’s energy bills—you can use natural gas more efficiently, and we can help.

What’s Causing the Transition to Coal?

The transition to coal is partly due to lower supplies and rising demand—over the past two years, the oil and gas industry cut back on production to avoid oversupply as demand fell to all-time lows. As businesses reopened last summer, stored fuel was required to meet high demand for cooling during especially hot weather. The impact was worsened earlier this winter as homes again dipped into the already inadequate reserves. Because of this, businesses are expected to rely more on coal, and the related CO2 emissions are expected to increase by 17% this year.

What Are Your Alternatives?

Instead of switching to coal, the key is to use your natural gas resources as efficiently as possible, which can save you money and lower your carbon footprint. This can be achieved by switching to Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and on-site energy generation. Also known as cogeneration, CHP systems use on-site natural gas engines to generate electricity while simultaneously reclaiming the heat from the engine to provide thermal energy.

Just how efficient is this method? Let’s look at the stats: according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a fossil-fuel power plant in the U.S. is about 33% efficient on average, with the rest of the energy used for electricity production being wasted as discharged heat into the atmosphere. Our CHP systems provide an operational efficiency of 85% and use nearly all natural gas to produce heat and electricity. While this efficiency will help you save money when prices are high, it will further compound your savings once prices drop. This efficiency can be enhanced through localized power grids, known as microgrids, which can intelligently integrate renewable energy sources when they are available.

Reach Out Today

Don’t make the mistake of switching to coal—you can remain committed to a green energy future while still saving money, and we’ll help you do it. If you’re interested in making the most of your natural gas by switching to CHP, please contact us today.

Topics: CHP, Blog