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Facts & information

​Aside from being less expensive than some other energy sources, natural gas has many other interesting properties:

  • Lighter than air — It dissipates quickly in well-ventilated areas, unless it becomes trapped in an enclosed space.
  • Not poisonous — But, it can cause unconsciousness in high concentrations when it displaces air.
  • Odourless — So, we add an odorant that smells like sulphur or rotten eggs to make it easy to detect small leaks.
  • Colourless — It's mostly made up of methane (about 95 per cent by volume). The other five per cent is a mix of ethane, nitrogen, propane and other heavier hydrocarbons.
  • Clean-burning — It produces the least fine particulates and greenhouse gasses of any conventional fuel (wood, oil, coal) during combustion.
  • Close to sulphur- and nitrogen-free — It produces the least amount of pollution of any fossil fuel.
  • Hard to ignite — It's very safe to use and only flammable when the gas-to-air mixture is between five and 15 per cent. Greater than 15 per cent the mixture is "too rich", and less than five per cent the mixture is "too lean". Natural gas also has a very high ignition temperature of 649 degrees Celsius (nearly twice as high as that of some other fuels).
  • Measured in gigajoules — One gigajoule (GJ) of natural gas is approximately equivalent to 27 litres of fuel oil, 39 litres of propane, 26 litres of gasoline or 277 kilowatt hours of electricity.

Learn about how gas is measured

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Learn about gas pricing

Find out how the price of natural gas is determined..

Glossary