Selecting the Best Rate

For consumers, selecting the best natural gas rate entails matching available rate options with the requirements of their specific facility and the alternative energy services that are available. These factors may affect a facility's decision to locate in a given service territory and what type of goods and services it will provide. Once located, these factors will dynamically affect ongoing capital and operational decisions.

While more costly, standard firm rates may often be most attractive for many customers, because the gas volumes are guaranteed and the additional costs and complexity of maintaining an alternative energy source capability are eliminated. Limited hours of operation and the use of high-efficiency equipment and/or waste heat recovery all reduce the impact of higher-cost gas. Certain types of firm rates, such as demand/commodity or end-use specific, can be highly attractive when there is a strong match with the operating characteristics of the application.

Non-firm service, or interruptible, rates generally require additional capital costs associated with installing equipment that can use alternative energy sources. The gas cost differential, however, may be highly compelling.

Cost savings associated with non-firm service rates, with alternative fuels such as oil or propane, can greatly enhance dual-fuel, direct-fired equipment options. Interruptible rates with electricity as a backup can sometimes allow for lower-cost gas without the investment in dual-fuel capability. This applies to multiple-unit systems, cogeneration, and peak shaving applications. Propane-air systems are sometimes used to provide an alternative fuel source for gas-fired equipment during periods of interruption. These systems provide a propane-air mix (which is sometimes blended with natural gas) that is adjusted to match the heat content and distribution characteristics of natural gas. As such, it can be distributed through the gas piping at a facility and used as an energy source for gas-fired equipment, thereby eliminating the need to install dual-fuel operating capability on each gas-consuming device.

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Your Alternative Fuel Solution for Saving Money, Reducing Oil Dependency, and Helping the Planet. Ethanol is an alternative to gasoline. The use of ethanol has been demonstrated to reduce greenhouse emissions slightly as compared to gasoline. Through this ebook, you are going to learn what you will need to know why choosing an alternative fuel may benefit you and your future.

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