Did you know the U.S. spends $400 billion to power buildings each year, about half of all domestic energy use? Natural gas delivers sustainability by reducing energy waste in these buildings, conserving fuel use, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, saving companies money that creates or preserves jobs, reducing reliance on foreign imports, and increasing resiliency for Maine’s economy and individual businesses.

Immediately sustainable. With natural gas, we do not have to wait for new technical inventions to achieve large-scale emission cuts. By replacing five coal-fired plants with five gas-fired plants, we can achieve the same volume of carbon dioxide emission reduction as with 9,000 megawatts of new wind power. For as little as $39.95, home owners can take advantage of converting their residential boiler to natural gas, in most cases in one afternoon. Collectively, Mainers who have converted will save a total of nearly $3.7 million annually on their winter fuel bills. That’s sustainable.

Strategically sustainable. We do not have to worry about being beholden to hostile foreign powers for our energy. That’s because proven reserves of domestic natural gas in our existing conventional U.S. reservoirs provide enough energy to meet more than 60 years of heating demand at today’s consumption rates.

One industry study estimates the U.S. has more than 2,200 trillion cubic feet of gas waiting to be pumped, enough to satisfy nearly 100 years of current U.S. natural-gas demand. And companies are finding more conventional natural gas every year – replacing each year’s use with the new discoveries annually. Large-scale domestic supply has been carefully and responsibly exploited within our own borders for decades. That’s sustainable.

Environmentally sustainable. In order to respond to climate change, widely considered one of the biggest challenges facing mankind, the world must achieve a low-carbon energy mix. Natural gas is the cleanest of hydrocarbons, easy to control and efficient in distribution and use. Climate researchers believe the only way to limit the rise in global temperatures is to cut emissions of greenhouse gases in half. As the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide passes 400 parts per million, natural gas offers solutions to drive down the world’s carbon footprint by producing 45 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than coal, 30 percent less than oil, and 15 percent less than wood. That’s sustainable.

Already, Sappi North America’s Somerset Mill in Skowhegan is reporting operational savings of more than 30 percent by being one of the first major Maine businesses to convert to natural gas. The switch from 80,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil per year will improve earnings for further reinvestment and improvements to processes and help support 700 Maine workers who produce 2,400 tons of paper per day, according to CEO Mark Gardner.

While Summit invests $460 million in local areas via its five-year infrastructure build out, total annual savings generated by bringing natural gas to the Kennebec Valley will exceed $50 million – money that can be used to expand operations, hire staff, increase operating efficiency and obtain maximum global competitiveness that revitalizes local economies.

To save money and stay comfortable, learn more about the sustainable options that natural gas can provide for you by visiting www.summitnaturalgasmaine.com or contact our office at (800) 909-7642.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.