Reduce Natural Gas Usage and Lower Your Bill

Reduce Natural Gas Usage and Lower Your Bill

Natural gas usage in buildings accounts for 27% of Alameda’s total greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change. A previous Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda (CASA) Alameda Sun article discussed electrifying your gas appliances as they age out, as the ultimate solution to eliminating this portion of Alameda’s greenhouse gas emissions.

What can you do in the meantime to reduce natural gas usage, protect the climate and save on your gas bill? There are many simple actions to take.

Most likely your furnace is your largest user of natural gas, so weatherizing your home by insulating the attic and weather stripping your windows and doors is a great place to start.

It is also important to check your filters at least every other month when in use. One can purchase a furnace whistle that goes off when the filter needs replacing. The use of insulating curtains helps reduce heating requirements too. Smart thermostats allow you to program your heating schedule at home or remotely and have features such as occupancy sensors to lower temperatures when no one is at home. Alameda Municipal Power offers a rebate on smart thermostats (see https://www.alamedamp.com/407/Rebates-and-Incentives for details).

The next largest use of natural gas is likely your hot water heater. Installing a tank and hot water pipe insulation retains heat. Running only full loads of the dishwasher saves hot water. Taking shorter showers and installing low flow shower heads help too. East Bay Municipal Utility District offers free water saving devices including low flow shower heads and faucet aerators, by completing a home survey kit worksheet (see https://www.ebmud.com/water/conservation-and-rebates/rebates/free-conser... for details).

Washing your clothes in cold water is also a big natural gas saver. Today’s detergents are designed to work in cold water, which is gentler on clothes making bright colors and your clothes last longer.

To save natural gas usage by your gas stove, opt for the microwave oven, toaster oven, instant pot, or crock pot instead for most of your cooking. Consider installing a clothesline to dry your clothes and save even more energy.

Taking these actions will tackle the 27% of Alameda’s greenhouse gas emissions to protect the climate, as well as reduce your monthly gas bill.