Interesting facts about natural gas

Domestic gas suppliers in the UK have been struggling over recent weeks as the impact of skyrocketing wholesale gas prices filters down to the suppliers. A number of them have gone into administration and others have closed down their businesses completely. We have been encouraged for years to make sure that we go out to the Gas Meter box in our homes, like the ones from meterbox.co.uk and send our readings to our energy suppliers to help ensure we are only paying for the gas we use, rather than an estimated amount.

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Most of the gas that is used in energy in the UK comes from the North Sea, but natural gas is much more than just a fuel source for our homes.

Natural gas is actually lighter than air and it can change its state from a gas to a liquid if it is cooled to -162 degrees Celsius. When found naturally in the earth (formed over 100 million years ago) the gas is odourless. This presented a problem when we first started using it as an energy source, so mercaptan was added to give it a distinctive smell. This means that we can now detect gas leaks when they occur.

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Although still a non-renewable energy source, gas is actually more environmentally friendly than coal or oil and many people actually prefer using stoves that are powered by gas than electricity. This is particularly true of professional chefs who report that the heat distribution in gas hobs and ovens is much better than electric or convention alternatives.

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