Natural Gas Uses

Natural gas is the third largest source of energy and is used by nearly everyone in the United States. Natural gas is the cleanest burning of all fossil fuels, which means it is environmentally friendly. Scientists are always developing new ways to use natural gas as it emits less carbon and sulfur into the air than coal.

In the United States alone there are 32 states that produce natural gas. Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma produce the most. The U.S. has lots of reserves, and scientists predict that at our current rate of consumption, we have enough of our own natural gas to last at least 90 years.

Industry is the biggest user of natural gas, accounting for about 43 percent of all natural gas consumption. Natural gas is an ingredient found in many items we use every day, such as fertilizers, glue, paint and detergents.

Residential gas use is second to industry, using around 22 percent. At home we use natural gas for fireplaces, outdoor lighting, grilling, cooktops and ovens, and heating our homes and water.

Electric utilities are third with 18 percent usage. Power plants use gas to generate electricity.

Commercial business is fourth with 14 percent usage. Schools, churches, stores, hospitals, restaurants and other commercial buildings use natural gas for heating and cooking.

Cars, trucks and buses that use natural gas as fuel are also now available. Transportation accounts for only 3 percent of all natural gas usage.

Source for Gas Consumption: EIA - Annual Energy Outlook 2002