Natural Gas

Learn more about Natural Gas

Natural gas is a clean burning domestic energy source that fuels our economy. It cools and warms our homes and businesses, is used to generate electricity, and helps maintain our quality of life.

Learn More About Natural Gas

Definition of Natural Gas

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Natural gas is a clean burning domestic energy source that fuels our economy. It cools and warms our homes and businesses, is used to generate electricity, and helps maintain our quality of life.

Natural gas, in itself, might be considered a very uninteresting gas – it is colorless, shapeless, and odorless in its pure form. Quite uninteresting – except that natural gas is combustible, and when burned it gives off a great deal of energy. Unlike other fossil fuels, however, natural gas is clean burning and emits lower levels of potentially harmful byproducts into the air. We require energy constantly, to heat our homes, cook our food, and generate our electricity. It is this need for energy that has elevated natural gas to such a level of importance in our society, and in our lives.

News Notes:

60 Minutes story titled “The Price of Oil” that aired January 11, 2009. The story focuses on the speculative influences on crude prices which also directly impacted the energy complex (including natural gas). A common-sense explanation of the illogical rise in energy prices…a good video. Click here to view.


Excess Flow Valve for Residential Service Lines

Effective April 14, 2017, a new regulation requires all natural gas utilities to notify customers about excess flow valves (EFV) and the option to install an EFV on the customer’s service line if the customer requests one.

What is an Excess Flow Valve (EFV)?

An EFV is designed to shut off the flow of natural gas automatically if the service line breaks, for example, by an excavation accident. Stopping the flow of gas from a broken service line significantly reduces the risk of natural gas fire, explosion, personal injury and/or property damage.
If you are interested in installing an EFV on your existing service line, please contact our office at 731-855-1441. We will be glad to discuss the details.

What is the cost to install an EFV on an existing service line?

The actual cost of EFV installation, maintenance, and replacement will be the customer’s responsibility. The customer will be billed for the cost of installing the EFV. The average installation typically cost up to $2,000, but the actual installation cost will depend on the difficulty of installation. GCUD will inform the customer of the actual cost before the installation of the EFV.

What an EFV will not do?

EFVs are not designed to close if a leak occurs beyond the gas meter (on house piping or appliances). EFVs also may not close if the leak on the service line is small.

What other factors should to be considered?

There is a possibility of closure if the customer adds additional natural gas load to the existing natural gas service.

If you add additional gas appliances, for example, a pool heater, emergency generator, etc., the additional gas flow may cause the EFV to close.

It is the customer’s responsibility to inform the Utility of additional gas load.

What might cause a need to replace an EFV?

If a customer adds additional natural gas load. EFV replacement may be necessary if you add additional gas appliances, such as a pool heater or emergency generator that exceeds the capacity of the EFV.

The EFV fails to closed/open. EFV replacement may be necessary if the EFV malfunctions (sticks open or closed).

Industry experience is that EFVs rarely malfunction.

What are the conditions and requirements for the installation of an EFV?

The natural gas load does not exceed 1 million BTU per hour.

EFVs cannot be installed on some service lines due to high gas flow, low pressure or other factors. If you request an EFV we will inform you if your service line cannot accommodate an EFV.

EFVs will not be installed on your service lines if:

  • The service line does not operate at a pressure of 10 psig or greater throughout the year;
  • The EFV could interfere with proper operation or cause loss of service;
  • An EFV could interfere with necessary operation or maintenance activities; or
  • The capacity of the meter on the service line exceeds 1million BTU per hour

Diagram of an EFV:

efv valve

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