Natural Gas in the U.S.: How Many Homes Use It?

Claire Moloney's picture
Claire Moloney
Consultant
June 26, 2014

According to the Department of Energy, natural gas accounts for about a quarter of the energy used in the United States.

What Is Natural Gas?

Natural gas, or “gas”, is a combustible fossil fuel made up of hydrocarbons, mostly methane. It is found in underground reservoirs.

Natural gas can be pumped directly into homes for use in furnaces (for heat), water heaters (for hot water), and gas stoves.

How Many Homes Use Natural Gas?

According to Alliant Energy, more than 64 million American homes are heated with natural gas. This is accounts for more than half of the homes in the U.S., making it the most popular home-heating fuel in the country.

U.S. Natural Gas Consumption

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), there were 4,734,604 million cubic feet of natural gas delivered to residential consumers in the United States. This is slightly less than previous years, since 4,787 million cubic feet were delivered in 2010 and 4,778,907 million cubic feet were delivered in 2009.

According to the Department of Energy, natural gas accounts for about a quarter of the energy used in the United States. About one-third of the natural gas consumed is for residential and commercial purposes. The other two thirds are for industrial purposes and electric power generation.

Natural Gas Resources in the U.S.

The United States has natural gas resources, which the EIA estimates contains 2,214 trillion cubic feet of “technically recoverable” natural gas. At the rate of U.S. natural gas consumption in 2010 (about 24 trillion cubic feet), our recoverable resources would last 92 years.

However, the Department of Energy estimates that natural gas consumption in the U.S. will increase 20% by 2030. This means that consumption will most likely not remain at 2010 levels, so the U.S. resources would most likely be depleted in less than 92 years.

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