Sustainable Energy for Arizona
UniSource employees are proud to provide natural gas service to about 165,000 customers in Northern and Southern Arizona.
UniSource also provides electric service in Mohave and Santa Cruz counties.
Natural gas is affordable, efficient, reliable and safe. It’s also flexible enough to serve customers’ everyday energy needs with lower carbon emissions while helping electric providers transition to cleaner energy resources.
Lower Energy Bills
Households that use natural gas for water heating, cooking and clothes drying save, on average, an estimated $879 per year compared to homes that use electric power for the same purposes, according to the American Gas Association (AGA). For example: Residents can save with a natural gas clothes dryer, which costs about $30 a year to operate – about $60 less than an electric clothes dryer.
Households that use natural gas for heating, cooking and clothes drying produce about 20 percent less carbon dioxide equivalent emissions than comparable all-electric homes when considering energy use and emissions along the full fuel cycle, according to the AGA.
From production to a customer’s home, the natural gas delivery system is about 91 percent efficient. In contrast, almost 63 percent of the energy needed to satisfy consumers’ electricity needs is used or lost in the process of generation, transmission, and distribution.
When used directly by residents, natural gas accounts for less than five percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, with significantly lower emissions than other fossil fuels. Electric utilities also count on responsive, reliable natural gas-fired resources to support their transition to cleaner energy resources.
Despite advances in electric heating technology, heat pumps are best suited for moderate heating and cooling needs. Heating and cooling contractors report that electric heat sources can become less efficient or stop working in temperatures at or below 35 degrees. Flagstaff, for example, has an average of more than 200 days a year in which temperatures reach 35 degrees or below. Local contractors advise customers that a heat pump alone may not be sufficient to meet their heating needs.
Natural gas service disruptions are rare. Planned outages affect about 1 in 112 natural gas customers each year, while unplanned outages affect just 1 in 800 customers, according to the Gas Technology Institute.
Continued efficiency improvements helped hold total residential natural gas consumption levels steady since 1970, even as the number of customers served increased by 86 percent, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Thanks to advancements in gas furnaces, water heaters, insulation and other home technologies – combined with utility energy efficiency programs – the average U.S. home uses 40 percent less natural gas than it did 40 years ago, according to the AGA.
UniSource Energy Services is a strong supporter of public safety and actively works to prevent damage to our facilities, reducing potential service outages and emissions.
We continue to improve service and efficiency with upgrades to our infrastructure. For example, we’re installing a network of digital pressure recorders that will improve system monitoring while supporting sustainability through reduced vehicle use.