Gas Energy Services
An attractive alternative to using electric power to heat water, cook food, and dry laundry is gas energy.
Clean, reliable, and efficient, gas provides both residential and business customers a viable way to perform these and other daily tasks. On the U.S. Mainland, an abundant supply of natural gas not only allows people to heat their water but their homes as well. Because Hawaii has no naturally occurring source of petroleum products or natural gas like those found on the mainland, the Gas Company produces Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) from petroleum by-products. The company also purchases Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), or Propane, mostly from local refineries and this along with SNG is used to meet the needs of their customers.
SNG consists of 77% methane, 11% Hydrogen, 6% butane and 6% carbon dioxide. Sold in British Thermal Units, or BTU’s, both SNG and propane gas are naturally colorless and odorless. To promote safety an odorant is added so its presence can be detected if it leaks or if an appliance is turned on when it is not in use. While SNG is created artificially from petroleum by-products manufactured in Hawaii, it is virtually identical to the types of natural gas found and used on the mainland and throughout the world. The Public Utilities Commission has approved part of The Gas Company’s application to import LNG as a backup to its SNG operations. For more on this decision, visit our page on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
Utility & Nonutility Gas Energy: How is it Supplied?
The Gas Company delivers SNG and LPG through utility (regulated) and nonutility (nonregulated) services, with utility services subject to regulations by the PUC. The primary difference between utility and nonutility gas services is the way the gas is distributed. Utility gas is distributed via an underground transmission system, primarily throughout Oahu’s urban core. This transmission system is supplied by a large SNG plant located near Campbell Industrial Park. Nearly 1,000 miles of underground pipeline, between Kapolei and Hawaii Kai carry SNG directly from the plant to homes and businesses alike. Additional utility services are provided to other parts of Oahu and the neighbor islands by underground lines that supply gas to customers from a centrally located propane tank or holder.
The Gas Company also owns and operates two barges that transports propane to the neighbor islands, which is then routed by truck to various tanks and holders. Non-utility gas customers should do their due diligence and research competing businesses for the best option. Another established non-utility LPG (propane) supplier is AmeriGas, doing business statewide as Oahu Gas Service, Maui Gas Service and AmeriGas Big Island. Oahu Gas Service is located in Campbell Industrial Park, where direct shipments of propane are received from the refinery. The propane is then distributed to its Oahu customers and shipped to Maui Gas Service and AmeriGas Big Island, where it is stored in holder tanks for distribution to customers.
Your Utility Gas Bill
Understanding your gas bill will help to ensure timely payments and continuous service. To assist consumers with this the Consumer Advocate offers an outline of basic elements found on your gas bill. Click Here to learn more about your gas bill.