FAQs: About Natural Gas

Blue natural gas flames with question marks


What is 
natural gas?

Natural gas is a mixture of methane and small amounts of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide or helium formed over millions of years when decomposing organic matter is exposed to heat and pressure. This fuel is an efficient, clean-burning source of energy for millions of homes and businesses.

What is a therm?

Simply put, a therm is the unit used to measure the natural gas you consume in your home. A therm is equal to 100,000 British Thermal Units, which measure the amount of energy used to produce heat.  

The amount of therms you burn – or the amount of natural gas you use – impacts the bottom line of your natural gas bill.

Still confused by how therms impact your bill? Read our step-by-step bill explanation, and know that our Customer Service team is available to help.

 

What are the uses of natural gas?

The primary use of natural gas in a residence is for heating and cooking. Natural gas can be used to power home appliances, such as ovensstovetops and dryers. It also can keep your water warm (with your natural gas water heater) and your heat running.  

Used in about 50% of U.S. homes (U.S. Energy Information Administration), natural gas is a cost-effective, clean burning energy source. In addition, homes with natural gas sell for 6% more on average than those using electric energy (National Association of Home Builders). 

 

What are the advantages of natural gas?

Natural gas is an efficient and cost-effective energy source, and is often cheaper than electricity. According to Consumer Affairs, choosing all gas appliances can save you up to 30% on your utility bill. 

Natural gas also quickly heats the home appliances it fuels, meaning there’s little wait time for household tasks like preheating an oven or warming your water.

 

What are the environmental impacts of natural gas?

Natural gas is an abundant and relatively clean burning source of energy. The primary byproducts of burning natural gas are carbon dioxide and water – the same things we exhale when we breathe. Because natural gas is composed of fewer molecules than other types of fuel, it releases fewer emissions into the air. It’s an environmentally friendly and economical source of energy.

 

How is natural gas delivered to homes and businesses in Georgia?

Natural gas gets to your home through a pipeline that is part of a larger natural gas infrastructure. In the areas of Georgia that we serve, the natural gas infrastructure is owned and operated by Atlanta Gas Light (AGL). SCANA Energy purchases natural gas for distribution through the pipeline and sells it to homes and businesses. In order to get the natural gas flowing from the pipes to your home, you need to contact a natural gas marketer like SCANA Energy. If you’re interested in starting service, contact SCANA Energy at 1-877-467-2262 or sign up online.

 

What does it mean to be in a “deregulated” natural gas market?

Georgia is one of about 25 U.S. states with a deregulated energy market, which means that residents have a choice about which provider they’d like to use.

When selecting your natural gas provider, be sure to look for these five important qualities and find a provider who will help you every step of the way, from answering questions such as “Can I get natural gas in my home?” to helping you find the perfect rate plan and sign up for service as easily as possible.

 

What's the average natural gas usage in Georgia?

Georgia residents burn an average of 717 therms per year, according to the Georgia Public Service Commission.

Is your annual usage higher than that? No need to panic – there are many ways to lower your natural gas usage, which may help you save on your next bill. And, if you’re a SCANA Energy customer, you can also save by referring a friend through our SCANA Energy Friendship Rewards® program!  

If your annual usage is lower than 717 therms, but your bills still seem high, you’ll need to pinpoint the reason why. Ensure that you have the rate plan that works best for you. If you need more help understanding your bill, our Customer Service team is available online or via phone at 1-877-467-2262.   

 

What causes the price of natural gas to fluctuate?

Natural gas has few immediate short-term alternatives. This means that prices may change based on supply and demand in the market. For example, in colder months when heat is needed more frequently, the price of supplying natural gas may rise. This could result in a higher gas bill depending on your rate plan.

There are several additional factors that may affect natural gas prices, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

  • Volume of natural gas production and storage
  • Level of natural gas imports and exports
  • Variation in weather, such as cooler temperatures or a severe weather event
  • Economic growth, which can increase demand for natural gas
  • Availability and prices of alternative fuels

Luckily, you can predict the future of your residential bill with our gas bill calculator – or learn to negotiate your business’s natural gas contract with our commercial guide. Looking for more resources? Check out how natural gas rates impact the total cost of your bill for Georgia homeowners and learn to save with these simple tips.

See All Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Other questions? Call the SCANA Energy Contact Center at 1-877-467-2262 Monday through Friday from 7am to 8pm and Saturday from 8am to 5pm. You can also contact us on Twitter at @scanaenergy Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.

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