The amount of Florida natural gas utilities making its way into the Sunshine State is expected to double after a $3 billion dollar pipeline is completed sometime in the year 2017. The pipeline will extend from Alabama to Florida and travel another 214 miles into the Sunshine State, terminating at the Sabal Trail Central Florida Hub in Central Florida. The expected capacity is 1 billion cubic feet per day, of which 60% has been reserved for customers as of July, 2013.
Florida Natural Gas Utilities
The goal of the new pipeline is to increase Florida’s access to the ongoing boom in natural gas occurring elsewhere in the United States. This energy boom is the result of modern methods of natural gas exploration and extraction, which has helped maintain relatively low energy prices in the U.S. compared to the rest of the world. With an expected 20 percent growth in energy demand between 2012 and 2017, Florida needs this pipeline to remain energy competitive with the rest of the country and internationally.
Natural gas is also preferred over coal, oil, and gasoline because it is cleaner burning. Its increased use over the past several years has contributed to a return in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions to 1994 levels (2). Compared to coal, natural gas produces 44% less carbon dioxide, 80% less carbon monoxide, 80% less nitrogen oxides, 99.999% less sulfur dioxide, 99.99% less particulates, and no mercury. This pipeline will therefore help improve Florida’s air quality as electric utilities make the switch from oil-fired to natural gas-fired power plants.
Under Florida’s natural gas deregulation pilot program, customers may realize additional savings due to the increased availability of natural gas. Under the different pricing options offered by Mirabito Gas, customers who have chosen the capped and variable plans will see a drop in their energy costs should the added natural gas capacity lower prices further. On a national level, the natural gas boom in the U.S. has lowered natural gas prices 18.3% for residential customers, 28.3% for commercial customers, and 49.7% for industrial customers between 2007 and 2012 (3). Wholesale natural gas price projections suggest the price will remain at or below 2013 levels through 2018 (4).
To take advantage of the ongoing energy boom and the future expansion of natural gas capacity in Florida, contact Mirabito Gas today. Mirabito Gas stands ready to assist customers with the management of their natural gas energy costs by offering pricing options to meet individual needs.