Natural Gas Consumption: Sustaining Its Growth

by | Mar 26, 2019 | Energy Solutions, Utility of the Future

Natural gas consumption continues to grow.

The continuing decline of coal has caused the US natural gas industry to experience incredible growth over the last ten years. Suppliers are exploring ways to keep up with the demand for natural gas consumption.

Natural Gas Consumption Sectors

According to Deloitte, increasing domestic consumption depends heavily on the power generation, industrial and transport sectors. In the article, Seeking growth: What will drive US natural gas demand? Deloitte Partner, John England, addresses these sectors.

“Power generation: Demand growth from fuel switching is likely to be limited. Power generators have benefited from low-cost gas and some aging coal infrastructure has been retired. With increased renewable competition, flat electricity demand, and potentially rising gas prices, power generation utilities are unlikely to be a large part of future consumption growth.

Industrial: Industrial demand is projected to increase, but the response may be muted as economic conditions in the United States remain uncertain. Petrochemicals will likely be the most visible source of growth, but there are a number of other gas-intensive industries that could contribute as well.

Transport: Of all sectors, transport has the most potential for disruptive growth, affecting both the integrated oil and natural gas value chains. Countries around the world, including the United States, are moving toward a less carbon-intensive transport industry, and natural gas could displace diesel and bunker fuel in the long term.”

Mr. England also proposes that three possible growth scenarios are:

  1. Flat demand growth: Lower GDP growth, declining power-generation consumption, flat industrial demand, and slow export growth.
  2. Moderate demand growth: Low-cost gas displacing some coal, industrial consumption consistent, and exports reaching capacity.
  3. Sustained demand growth: Low domestic natural gas prices and strong global economic growth, leading to a boost in domestic consumption and exports.

Aside from demand, utilities are paying more attention to customer service and engagement to deepen their relationships with new and existing customers.  In K.C. Boyce’s article, Three Things Utilities Can Do to Delight Their Customers, he suggests that utilities can create moments that catch customers off guard—in a good way to help transform customers into advocates.

Customer Strategies

Boyce describes three strategies:

  1. Invite new customers into a relationship, referred to as “customer onboarding,” to make them aware of various benefits such as bill payment options, apps, and where to report an outage.
  2. Offer personalized recommendations, as gas and electric utilities have the opportunity to connect customers with valuable products and services during service touchpoints.
  3. Look for areas where you can make life easier for your customers, including increased customer use of energy products like smart thermostats, electric vehicles and rooftop solar offer opportunities that allow utilities to enhance the lives of their customers.

HomeServe, a leading provider of utility-sponsored repair plans can assist utilities with number 2 and 3 above. The company’s personalized recommendations and solutions make life easier for customers.

Homeowners utilize natural gas consumption for heat, hot water and to power appliances. Basic homeowners insurance often does not cover a breakdown of these systems, which can be major sources of expense and inconvenience. HomeServe plans give homeowners the peace of mind that when a breakdown happens, they’ll get priority repair service and not have to deal with expensive repair bills. HomeServe serves over 3.7 million customers across North America. Our plans protect homeowners against the expense and inconvenience of home emergencies by providing affordable coverage and quality local service. HomeServe’s partnership with American Public Gas Association (APGA) enables APGA’s more than 700 members across the country offer the homeowners they serve optional repair plans for gas piping systems, water heaters, heating systems and more. For more information contact us.

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