Natural gas supports innovative energy

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By Sara Blackhurst and Gary Arnold

(March 6, 2022) The people of Pueblo and southern Colorado lead proud communities. The region has a rich culture, traditions, and economy. And just like all of Colorado, our part of the state is blessed with natural beauty and an inviting climate that makes this a wonderful place to live, work and play.

Yet Southern Colorado also experiences dynamic weather conditions, including hot summers, cold winters, and high winds. All of these extreme weather events can be disruptive to our lives and our businesses — and at times threaten energy delivery.

That means that a one-size-fits-all approach to energy is not always what’s best for shaping Colorado’s future.

To help ensure the reliability of the system for residents while also keeping costs low and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Coloradans need a balanced energy system that includes access to both natural gas and electricity.

That’s why businesses and organizations around the state recently launched Coloradans for Energy Access – a coalition to support the use of reliable and affordable natural gas in homes and businesses. 

As Southern Colorado and the entire state continues to develop wind and solar, natural gas today plays a critical role by creating a broad energy mix, meaning that consumers aren’t relying on any one particular source of energy that could be knocked out by weather or other extraordinary events.

This ‘dual fuel’ approach allows consumers to access both natural gas and electricity, creating a dependable and complimentary energy system for Coloradans to run their businesses, heat and cool their homes, and grow our communities.

But think of natural gas as more than just a fuel – it’s also the entire system and infrastructure that supports innovation in energy. Thanks to rapidly improving technology, exciting new developments like renewable natural gas (RNG) will enable Colorado’s natural gas systems to continue to heat and power our homes and businesses while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. By capturing methane that would have escaped into the atmosphere and reusing the energy in the form of natural gas, RNG will bring new energy opportunities and boost the economy in rural areas. That’s something that our region desperately needs.

Because of this technological progress and other innovations to boost efficiency, our current natural gas infrastructure will play a vital role in delivering safe, reliable, and cleaner energy for Coloradans.

That’s a win for consumers and the environment, as this constantly improving system is helping to lessen the impact of energy use, which in turn helps clean up our air quality and lowers the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change. That will help achieve our environmental goals today and in the future. 

Natural gas also helps keeps energy costs low, which is especially important as hard-working Coloradans are already facing the challenge of affordable housing and inflation. In fact, research has shown that pairing an electric heat pump for use in milder temperatures while utilizing a natural gas furnace at colder temperatures provides an optimal solution for home heating costs, reliability and emissions reductions.

It’s one of the reasons that 70 percent of Colorado homes rely on natural gas, and we know that from our conversations in Pueblo and elsewhere that people support continued access to natural gas and that all-electric efforts should remain voluntary. This allows Southern Colorado families and businesses to decide what best fits their needs. 

This is what Coloradans for Energy Access is working for sustainable solutions that recognize the needs of Pueblo and Southern Colorado through energy equity, innovation, and access.