Director, External Affairs at Cabot Oil & Gas
Low-cost energy is putting money back in your pocket. Natural gas produced from Marcellus Shale is keeping heating costs down, lowing food costs and even helping area families in need.
Did you know low-cost energy is contributing to more savings than just your utility bills?
Energy is something we use every day but tend not to think about too frequently. From heating our homes to charging our phones to cleaning our clothes, energy is something we simply cannot live without. It powers industry and delivers goods to the marketplace. And often we only think about it when there is a shortage or outage.
But whether we think about it or not, the natural gas production from Marcellus Shale right here in Pennsylvania is helping to lower energy bill costs, the costs of food and the cost to operate businesses. The unrivaled production will last for years given current production output.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission estimates that since 2008, homes across the commonwealth have averaged a savings of $100 per month. Even homes not using natural gas in appliances are seeing savings thanks to reduced costs of electric generation, home heating fuel and propane. Across the country, estimated savings in energy thanks to the shale revolution will average $1,800 per household this year.
These savings are also felt across the board by businesses, manufacturers and nonprofit organizations — all of which now have savings in their operational budget which can be deployed elsewhere.
For Cindy Beeman, director of Susquehanna County Interfaith, the build out of Leatherstocking Gas Co.’s natural gas infrastructure in the county coupled with the declining cost of home heating fuel and propane is a blessing.
The organization can provide more assistance through its fuel program this winter, allowing the organization to help more families in need.
The organization knows firsthand what these real savings are like; recently it relocated into a larger, more suitable facility connected to natural gas. As a nonprofit can attest, a lower energy cost means more money available in the operation budget to put towards those they assist.
The natural gas wells in Susquehanna County makes up 25 percent of the Marcellus Shale production and Northeast Pennsylvania has some of the largest production in the commonwealth. Because of this abundant local fuel source, large scale energy users are locating projects in the area like the Freedom Power Generating Plant recently announced electricity generation facility in Salem Twp., Luzerne County.
In Wyoming County, P&G Paper Products Co. continued to build on what many consider to be the largest compressed natural gas (CNG) conversion and utilization project in the United States. Locally produced Marcellus gas already fires onsite cogeneration facilities at the plant, in addition to fueling forklifts and trucks used at the facility. P&G’s first CNG fueling station opened in July 2012 and has converted 74 of its vehicles, which include yard trucks, heavy-duty trucks and forklifts, to CNG.
So, while you many not notice these savings every day or while holiday shopping or paying your bills, the shale energy revolution is having a ripple effect across the region and the country. Whether through lower heating bills, the millions of impact fee dollars distributed for projects across Pennsylvania or family-sustaining wages, the Marcellus Shale has created bountiful opportunities. And that’s something worth thinking about.
This article also appeared on Sunday, December 27 in the Scranton Times Tribune.
Reposted from Well Said Cabot.