Monday, October 3, 2011

Natural Gas Myths Explained

There are multiple misconceptions about natural gas in general, and we here at FireSide Natural Gas want to provide you with the facts about so that you can make an informed decision when it comes to your service provider.

Myth #1: FireSide Natural Gas is explosive.

This myth is not true, natural gas will ignite, but only when there is a source of ignition. This can occur only under two simultaneous circumstances: the gas must be present in a concentration of 5 to 15% relative to the air, and the gas must come in contact with an ignition source that is at least 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Myth #2: FireSide Natural Gas is toxic.

Natural gas is non-toxic and cannot cause you to become sick, unless the gas is in such high concentrations that you cannot get enough oxygen to breathe.

Myth #3: FireSide Natural Gas is bad for the environment.

Natural gas is actually the cleanest burning of all the fossil fuels, especially when it is used directly for space and water heating, rather than as fuel to generate electricity. Also, when natural gas escapes, it rises and dissipates harmlessly into the atmosphere. Other gases, such as propane, are heavier than air, causing them to collect on the ground.

Myth #4: FireSide Natural Gas reserves aren’t going to be around long-term.

New drilling technologies have unlocked substantial amounts of natural gas from shale rocks, increasing the nation’s estimated gas reserves by 35% in recent years. Geologists and industry experts today say there are 50-60 years of proven natural gas reserves, and additional reserves are being discovered each year.

Myth #5: FireSideNatural Gas smells awful!

Pure natural gas has no odor. As a safety precaution, a distinctive odorant called mercaptan is added so that if natural gas escapes, it can be detected. The rotten egg smell is the product of the mercaptan additive.

FireSide Natural Gas is committed to educating consumers about the advantages of using natural gas. For more information, you can contact them at 678-872-0250 or visit their website at

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fracking: Separating Fact and Myth

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a very informative article on a somewhat controversial industry practice called fracking. The practice of hydraulic fracturing has been around for more than 60 years.

Hydraulic fracturing involves injecting water, sand, and chemicals into a well at high pressures to loosen shale and release natural gas.

In 2001, engineers came up with the idea of combing hydraulic fracturing with horizontal drilling in natural gas wells that are trapped in shale formations. As of 2000, only 1% of all natural gas came from shale wells; in 2011 that number has risen to 25%.

There are many issues that can be argued about the practice of hydraulic fracturing. Here are but three: fracking contaminates the water supply, fracking releases toxic chemicals, and fracking causes cancer.

It doesn’t seem logical that fracking could contaminate the water supply for the simple fact that the average shale formation is thousands of feet below the surface. Most drinking water supplies are more like hundreds of feet below the surface, not thousands. Even the U.S. EPA has no known cases of water contamination due to fracking.

The argument that fracking releases toxic chemicals is also hard to follow. The fact is that 99.5% of the fluid injected in the shale is water and sand. The other .05% of the chemical fluid is required by law to be reported in the states where the majority of fracking is conducted.

Finally, there seems to be no credible study or report that shows that fracking causes cancer. State health officials in Texas recently determined that the level of benzene, a common chemical used in fracking, was similar to those measured in the general U.S. population.

The effect of this procedure is that it has introduced a fresh supply of natural gas on the market. This, among other things, can help explain why natural gas pricing has remained relatively steady while the price of oil has risen. This steady pricing is in spite of a marked rise in demand for natural gas.

Now could be a great time to look at locking in your rate for the next year. We invite you to compare natural gas rates and terms as we rapidly approach the fall and winter.

FireSide Natural Gas is committed to educating consumers about the advantages of using natural gas. For more information, you can contact them at 678-872-0250 or visit their website at

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Benefits of Natural Gas

Natural gas has many uses in homes, business and more. Especially when compared to electricity, there are numerous benefits to choosing natural gas and natural gas appliances. Here are five of the many reasons that natural gas is the fuel of choice:

  1. Convenient – With natural gas, you will never run out of fuel. Underground pipelines mean that there is no disruption of supply due to storms or power outages. Unlike other heat sources that leave ashes and odors, natural gas will never leave a mess. Natural gas provides instant heat, precision cooking, and nice long showers.
  2. Versatile – Natural gas does more than heat your home. It can be used for water heating, clothes drying, cooking and fireplace. It can even heat your swimming pool or hot tub.
  3. Efficient – Natural gas is extremely efficient, losing very little of its energy value as it reaches its end-use. More than 90% of the energy is used when natural gas is consumed directly by the consumer. By contrast, electricity is much less efficient, and only about 28% of the energy put into generating electricity is available by the time it reaches your home.
  4. Clean – Natural gas has a high energy density. That means that its unique, natural properties allow it to work with less waste. It’s the cleanest burning fossil fuel, with about 45% fewer carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than electricity and 30% fewer emissions than fuel oil. If you were to convert an electric water heater to a natural gas water heater, you would save the same amount of CO2 emissions in one year as recycling 1.7 tons of waste. (Source: AGA)
  5. Safe – Natural gas is lighter than air. That means that it rises and eventually will escape the atmosphere in a harmless manner. In fact, it is estimated that $6 billion is spent each year to ensure that natural gas is delivered safely and reliably to your home.

FireSide Natural Gas is committed to educating consumers about the advantages of using natural gas. For more information you can contact them at 678-872-0250 or visit their website at

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gas Prices Got You Down?

Whether you drive five miles a day or 500 miles a day, we are all affected by the recent climb in gasoline prices. The higher prices have a much more far reaching effect than just the cars that we drive. It causes higher prices in the grocery store, airline travel, and other petroleum based industries. The fact is that the long term outlook suggests that high gasoline prices are here to stay for a while.

An alternative to consider is a vehicle that can run on natural gas. Natural gas has been proven to be the cleaner, cheaper, domestic alternative fuel choice. Natural gas is stored and used in its liquefied or compressed states. It is most commonly abbreviated as LNG for Liquefied Natural Gas and CNG for Compressed Natural Gas. Currently, the biggest market for natural gas vehicles is in the fleet vehicle market. Fleets such as package delivery trucks, mass transit busses, and other large fleet organizations are turning to natural gas vehicles. These companies realize the economic and environmental advantages and benefits that natural gas offers. For individuals, natural gas conversion kits are available for purchase that converts existing gasoline vehicles to clean burning dual fuel natural gas and gasoline vehicles.

Safe and Reliable

CNG is actually a safer fuel than gasoline. After all, natural gas is used in virtually every home. Unlike gasoline that can pool on the ground in the event of an accident or leak, CNG dissipates harmlessly into the air. With a very narrow range of flammability to be combustible and nearly twice the ignition temperature of gasoline, it's also less likely to cause a fire. Because natural gas is such a clean burning fuel, carbon deposits in an engine are nil, reducing cylinder and ring wear so engine life can be much greater than when running on gasoline. Still another advantage is that oil change and tune up intervals can also be extended.

We are always looking for ways to help our bottom line and improve our lives; now and in the future. Looking at natural gas in new and unique ways can prove to be a solid alternative. Being informed and then making educated decisions is something we can all rally behind.

FireSide Natural Gas is committed to educating consumers about the advantages of using natural gas. For more information you can contact them at 678-872-0250 or visit their website at

Monday, March 7, 2011

Your Carbon Footprint

Recently, a lot has been written about the environment and going green. One particular area of focus is on an individual’s carbon footprint. So what exactly is a carbon footprint? Simply put, it is a representation of the effect human activities have on the climate in terms of the total amount of greenhouse gases produced (measured in units of carbon dioxide). So, it is a measure of the impact we make individually on the earth by the choices we make regarding our lifestyles.

One’s total carbon footprint/emission quantification would include energy related emissions from human activities – that is, from heat, light, power and refrigeration and all transport related emissions from cars, freight and distribution, etc. By measuring the carbon footprint through such tools as carbon calculators, we can get a better sense of what the individual impact is and which parts of our lifestyle deserve the greatest attention.

How do you calculate your family’s carbon footprint? Here are some questions that are typically used to help determine a typical household carbon footprint:

  • What part of the country do you live?
  • How much square footage is your home and how many people live in your home?
  • Do you use natural gas or electricity to heat your home and water?
  • How many loads of laundry per week do you use you dryer for?
  • Do you prepare meals on a range, stove, or oven?
You can also go to the following site to access a carbon calculator to calculate your carbon footprint.

Did you know that switching to natural gas appliances can reduce your home’s carbon footprint over 40%? It’s true. In a typical single family home in Georgia, the CO2 output for electricity is 16,663 lbs/year whereas the natural gas CO2 output is 8,852 lbs/year. Thus by using natural gas appliances, your carbon footprint can be reduced by 47% per year. That is the equivalent of driving your car 7,800 miles less in one year!

Natural gas has many advantages for our environment and lifestyles including reducing your carbon footprint. The best way to offset your carbon footprint is to plant some trees. Planting trees replenishes sustainable habitat for wildlife, enhances the natural landscape and is an excellent way to give back to the planet. And saving the planet is an initiative we can all agree on!

FireSide Natural Gas is committed to educating consumers about natural gas and the choices that they make for the environment. For more information you can contact them at 678-872-0250 or visit their website at

Monday, February 21, 2011

FireSide Natural Gas & "The Commission"

Are you aware that FireSide Natural Gas is regulated by the Georgia Public Service Commission (“the commission”)?  Yep, that’s right, just about everything FireSide does is regulated.  Although we aggressively compete with other gas providers to earn your business, we are all regulated on how we market and serve you as a customer.   

All natural gas providers are required to report a host of monthly reports that relate to many facets of the business.  For example, on the 5th of each month, we must all submit our natural gas prices to the G.P.S.C.  Within a day or two, the commission compiles a report outlining all of the prices and makes that information available to the public.  Personally, I think the spreadsheet report they use is confusing, but it’s a good starting point to see what the offers are.  If price is your only consideration, the commission takes the prices that each gas marketer submits and declares the lowest cost provider for that particular month.  The G.P.S.C. even provides a link to that provider’s website.  I am pleased to report that Fireside Natural Gas wins a coveted lowest cost provider spot more often than not!
Proving that we are financially fit to serve you is also a major component of being regulated. The commission wants to see our detailed balance sheet and income statements every quarter.  Heck, they even want to know details such as how many calls we answer and how fast we answer them.  I’m not exactly sure what they do with all of this information but I’m pleased to report that they have never doubted Fireside’s contention that we are THE best at answering your call faster than our competition.
The commission has the power to revoke the certificate of any natural gas provider for not following the rules that have been set up to protect you. As the owner of FireSide, it is my job to be sure that I continually offer the best price and invest heavily in the representatives that answer the phone in a courteous and timely manner.  If I can’t accomplish these goals, the commission won’t be the main one I’ll have to worry about……it will be you!  My Customer!