Richmond VA > Public Utilities > Energy Services Division > Why Use Natural Gas

Last Updated: 2009-08-20

What are the Benefits of Natural Gas?

Ninety-eight percent of the natural gas we use is produced in the United States. There are over a 150 years of proven gas reserves in the United States. Increased usage of natural gas can reduce our imports of oil from the Middle East and other countries that are not friendly to the U.S. Using natural gas creates American jobs.

Natural Gas vs. Oil

Natural gas space heating is less expensive and cleaner burning than oil heating. Natural gas equipment requires far less maintenance than oil equipment. Natural gas can also be used for hot water, cooking as well as other home, commercial and industrial uses.

Natural gas is dependable. It does not require on-site storage nor pre-payment. You don't have to keep an eye on the oil tank gauge or remember to have them filled on schedule.

Storing oil inside your home can result in unpleasant odors in the home. If there's a major spill you could have a very expensive clean-up on your hands.

Natural Gas vs. Electric Heat

Heating your home with an electric heat pump or electric resistance heating is more expensive than natural gas heating.

Electricity generated from coal or other fossil fuels results in about three units of energy being consumed at the power plant for every unit of energy that comes into your home. That means heating with electricity from fossil fuels is only about 30 percent efficient.

Water Heating

Water heating, one of the largest energy expenses in your home, can account for 14-25 percent of your utility bill.

When it comes to water heating, natural gas can't be beat for ample supply and fast recovery at the most economical price. A natural gas water heater in your home will ensure that you have plenty of hot water for bathing, and for washing clothes and dishes. You can count on natural gas to deliver the hot water you need when and where you want it.

Natural gas hot water heaters are also typically much smaller than their electric hot water tank counterparts.

Natural gas hot water heaters can supply hot water even during power outages.

Tankless Water Heating

A tankless water heater heats water as you need it. There is no storage tank. Natural gas customers may never run out of hot water with a properly installed tankless unit.

Typical tank hot water heaters can take up 15 square feet of floor space. A tankless hot water heater is the size of a breadbox and can be mounted on a wall, in a crawlspace or outside.

Select a Natural Gas Water Heater for Your Home

Choose which type of natural gas water heater will work best for your home based on purchase price, energy efficiency, operating costs and floor space requirements.

Cooking with Gas

Natural gas provides ease and precision when it comes to cooking. It's no wonder top chefs worldwide prefer the sophisticated features and outstanding performance of natural gas cook tops and ranges.


Take a look at some of the benefits of natural gas cooking:

  • Provides the look and feel of a gourmet kitchen
  • Offers instant heat and precise temperature control with a direct, variable flame
  • Saves energy with electronic ignition - no gas pilot light that's constantly burning. When it's off, it's off - a good safety feature to have with children around
  • Natural gas cook tops perform better than electric cook tops by offering even cooking, high-output burners, super-low simmer temperatures and self-cleaning functions. Plus, when the power goes out, you can still cook!

Make the Switch

Contact Energy Services today and we’ll answer any additional questions you may have regarding natural gas service or equipment to help you make the switch to natural gas.

Choose a Plumber or Contractor

When making the decision to go with gas water heat, talk to a licensed plumber or contractor first. Here are some questions to ask:

  • Are you a licensed plumber/contractor?
  • Do you have a list of references?
  • How often do you install gas water heaters?
  • How much will it cost for installation?

Contact Information:

Energy Services Division
Public Utilities
City of Richmond
730 E. Broad St., 7th Floor
Richmond, VA
23219 USA
Map It
Phone: (804)646-8544
Fax: (804)646-3199

For Billing questions or to turn on/off, transfer gas or water services call Custormer Care Center at (804)646-4646 or email

Residential Gas Conversion Inquiries

New Project Residential & Mixed-Use Natural Gas Inquiries

All Commercial Customer Gas Inquiries

All Large Industrial Gas Customer Inquiries
Direct: (804)646-5465

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