They then send the gas to your city through gas pipelines buried underground. Utility companies take you home in smaller pipes. Natural gas comes to your home through a series of gas pipelines and local distribution companies. It is sometimes stored in large storage facilities outside towns and cities so that it can be distributed as needed to homes and businesses.
Natural gas passes from the main pipe to a home or business on what is called a service line. Typically, the natural gas company is responsible for maintaining and operating the pipeline and facilities up to the residential gas meter. All equipment and gas supply lines downstream of the residential meter are the responsibility of the customer. Because natural gas is supplied directly to homes through pipes rather than in tanks you buy like propane, it is charged by measuring usage.
This is done through the use of gas meters. These meters measure the amount of gas used by any home or individual unit that has access to the gas line and is responsible for associated utility bills. Gas companies drill thousands of meters into the ground and use large wells and pumps to capture it. Supplying natural gas from natural gas and oil wells to consumers requires many infrastructure assets and processing steps, and includes several physical custody transfers.
Under state and federal law, gas or utility companies are responsible for gas meters in the United States. When natural gas from a transmission pipeline reaches a local gas company, it usually passes through an inlet station. Your utility company will continue to bill and charge you for natural gas distribution, in addition to Just Energy and JustGreen's natural gas supply charges, if applicable. If you smell something that reeks of rotten eggs and suspect it might be gas, turn off anything that may be causing the leak (such as the stove), ventilate the house, and turn off the gas from the gas meter.
Running anything on natural gas that has been designed for propane will allow more gas to pass through the orifice and cause an unnecessarily large and potentially dangerous flame. Natural gas is inherently colorless, odorless and non-toxic, but gas used in homes is altered as a safety measure in the event of a leak. Storing natural gas during periods of low demand helps ensure that sufficient natural gas supplies are available during periods of high demand. In many apartment buildings, gas usage is included in condo rates or a standard monthly fee because the building shares the use of natural gas.
If it is parallel to the main inlet or outlet pipe, the gas meter is turned on and the property can access the gas. The value can be perceived as even higher, as neighborhoods lacking pre-existing natural gas pipelines have seen campaigns to bring gas pipelines to their areas. Areas without natural gas pipelines can access gas in two ways, using liquefied natural gases (LNG) called propane and butane. Natural gas has a much lower pressure than propane, and its accessories allow more gas to flow than a similar propane-based appliance.
Sophisticated software is used to assess the supply capacity of the network and ensure that all customers receive adequate supplies of gas at or above the minimum pressure level required by their gas appliances.