Are you ready for the ‘Super Bowl of the Sky’?

Today’s the day!

Time to bust out your stylish eclipse glasses, head to the closest community in the path of totality, and belt out your own rendition of “A total eclipse ...

Tagged: eclipse, total eclipse of the heart, solar, Natural Gas

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Are you ready for the ‘Super Bowl of the Sky’?

Total solar eclipse August 21, 2017

Think of the moon as that tall guy with a big head who sits right in front of you at the movie theater. But since solar panels need sunlight to make energy, when the moon blocks the sun, it will do more than just block the view.

Key Points

  • Today is the solar eclipse.
  • Thanks to advanced planning, most of us won’t even notice the dip in solar energy available.
  • Natural gas is expected to help compensate for the lost solar energy.

Today’s the day!

Time to bust out your stylish eclipse glasses, head to the closest community in the path of totality, and belt out your own rendition of “A total eclipse … of the sun.”

And don’t even pretend that you’ve never sung the lyric “turn around bright eyes” in the car when no one was watching.

While we’re out gazing at what has been called the “Super Bowl of the Sky,” energy providers will be working behind the scenes to make sure electricity is still available — even when solar energy goes off line.

Think of the moon as that tall guy with a big head who sits right in front of you at the movie theater. But since solar panels need sunlight to make energy, when the moon blocks the sun, it will do more than just block the view.

At the movies when you can’t see the screen, you might change seats to see better. But energy companies can’t just move their solar panels to peer around the moon. They have to find an alternative source to make energy. Most providers will depend on natural gas-powered turbines to fill in the gaps.

The Department of Energy believes that thanks to lots of advanced planning, most of us won’t even notice the dip in solar energy:

“The National Renewable Energy Laborabory (NREL) conducted a study of Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) territory, which covers the vast majority of the Mountain and Pacific Time zones including 14 Western states.

“Examining the WECC as a whole, and assuming the worst case scenario — a bright and sunny day — the rolling effects of the eclipse are expected to have the biggest impact at approximately 10:30 a.m., when PV output is projected to drop 5 GW below typical generation levels. This represents the amount of energy needed to power approximately 1 million homes and, if not already anticipated, could create difficulties for portions of the grid network that use solar to meet a significant fraction of electricity demand during the day. The burden of compensating for the lost energy from solar generators will fall mostly on natural gas powered turbines, which are able to ramp up ahead of the eclipse.” 

And thank goodness they planned ahead to make sure the electrons will keep flowing. It would have really hurt my viewing party’s mojo if I couldn’t crank up Spotify and bust out “once upon a time I was falling in love, now I’m only falling apart …”

Enjoy the total eclipse of the sun.


Sarah FolslandSarah is mom to the two cutest little girls in the world. Before choosing to make changing diapers and reading bed time stories her full time gig, she earned a degree in political science from The University of South Dakota, worked in the governor’s office as a policy analyst and dabbled in communications at her local utility. Follow Sarah on Twitter @EnergyMommy.

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Commercial buildings getting better at using natural gas

A new report by the American Gas Association has some good news for energy-efficiency enthusiasts: Commercial buildings are getting more energy efficient and using less natural gas ...

Tagged: commercial buildings, Natural Gas, Energy Efficiency

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Commercial buildings getting better at using natural gas

Commercial buildings in a metropolitan area

By avoiding steep peaks in demand from new commercial buildings, utilities can plan for growth within existing infrastructure instead of making investments to get the parts in place to deliver more gas.

Key Points

  • New commercial buildings are getting more energy efficient, including how much natural gas they use.
  • They were built with energy efficiency in mind and use more efficient appliances. 
  • This can help keep energy affordable by delaying the need to build new natural gas infrastructure to meet demand. 

A new report by the American Gas Association has some good news for energy-efficiency enthusiasts: Commercial buildings are getting more energy efficient and using less natural gas per square foot.

In the report, the Energy Information Administration predicts that commercial floor space will increase through 2040, but the floor space will be less energy intense.

The Alliance to Save Energy credits these energy savings to three things: integrating energy efficiency into the design during construction, using more efficient appliances and equipment in the buildings, and partnering with local utilities to find energy-efficiency solutions.

This can actually help utilities manage energy costs. By avoiding steep peaks in demand from new commercial buildings, utilities can plan for growth within existing infrastructure instead of making investments to get the parts in place to deliver more gas.

Getting gas from the source to homes and business requires a vast network that we take for granted. But here’s an infographic from the American Gas Association that reminds of us how much work goes into keeping the natural gas flowing.

Thanks commercial buildings. Keep up the good work. 


Sarah FolslandSarah is mom to the two cutest little girls in the world. Before choosing to make changing diapers and reading bed time stories her full time gig, she earned a degree in political science from The University of South Dakota, worked in the governor’s office as a policy analyst and dabbled in communications at her local utility. Follow Sarah on Twitter @EnergyMommy.

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We’ve come a long way since Jed

We talk a lot about exciting new ways to make energy. But ...

Tagged: oil, Natural Gas, Wind, resources, energy technology

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We’ve come a long way since Jed

Cowboy playing the guitar

While many easy-to-get oil reserves have already been depleted, companies are still uncovering new natural gas and oil reserves in places like Texas, where you’d think all the good stuff would have been discovered by now.

Key Points

  • America keeps getting better at using the energy resources it already has.
  • Oil, natural gas and wind resources that at one point weren’t accessible, are now affordable energy options.
  • New technology and innovation are making it possible to use more energy sources. 

We talk a lot about exciting new ways to make energy. But a recent article in Slate illustrates how we’re getting better at extracting energy from the old tried and true resources.

For instance, once upon a time it only took a gunshot for Jed to discover oil on his land and, “move to Beverly … Hills, that is.” While many easy-to-get oil reserves have already been depleted, companies are still uncovering new natural gas and oil reserves in places like Texas, where you’d think all the good stuff would have been discovered by now. This is possible with new technology that allows for more efficient mining. In other words, we can now get to hard-to-reach energy sources, and do it at a price that can still make a profit even with today’s low energy prices.

But getting better at using old energy isn’t exclusive to fossil fuels.

If you drive by a historic red barn, chances are there’s a small metal windmill nearby. Farmers harnessed energy from the wind well before it was a major source of fuel for electricity. Now, thanks to improvements to wind turbines, this resource is a major power source.

I love learning about new ways to make energy, but it’s important to remember that we need to continue getting better at using some of the resources we’re already using to keep energy affordable.

Some things never get old. Like swimmin’ pools. And movie stars. 


Sarah FolslandSarah is mom to the two cutest little girls in the world. Before choosing to make changing diapers and reading bed time stories her full time gig, she earned a degree in political science from The University of South Dakota, worked in the governor’s office as a policy analyst and dabbled in communications at her local utility. Follow Sarah on Twitter @EnergyMommy.

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Natural gas: The Kelly Kapowski of Energy High

If energy resources were represented by your favorite “Saved by the Bell” character, natural gas would definitely be Kelly Kapowski. Popular and likeable.

Don’t believe ...

Tagged: Energy, Natural Gas, Coal, renewable, BP

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Natural gas: The Kelly Kapowski of Energy High

Row of school lockers

For the first time ever, U.S. power plants burned more natural gas than coal annually.

Key Points

  • U.S. power plants burned more natural gas than coal last year.
  • It’s the first time that’s ever happened.
  • Renewables are also on the rise.

If energy resources were represented by your favorite “Saved by the Bell” character, natural gas would definitely be Kelly Kapowski. Popular and likeable.

Don’t believe me? Take it from Spencer Dale, chief economist for oil giant BP. The company reported last week that for the first time ever, U.S. power plants burned more natural gas than coal annually.

“You can go back as long as you want in history, coal had always been the dominant source of fuel in U.S. power, until last year,” Dale said at BP’s annual Statistical Review as reported in the Houston Chronicle.

Here’s how the other energy resources faired the year:

  • Coal use dropped by almost 13 percent.
  • Renewables, including wind, solar and biofuel, grew by 15 percent.
  • Oil use grew 1.9 percent, nearly double the recent historical average.

Experts expect natural gas to have another banner year this year, thanks to its low prices making the fuel very economical for power plants.

I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it.”  


Sarah FolslandSarah is mom to the two cutest little girls in the entire world. Before choosing to make changing diapers and reading bed time stories her full time gig, she earned an M.A.in Political Science from The University of South Dakota, worked in the Governor’s Office as a policy analyst and dabbled in communications at her local utility. Follow Sarah on Twitter @EnergyMommy.

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Two things you should do today to keep your family safe

June is National Safety month. It’s a great time to evaluate ways we can keep ourselves, and our loved ones, safe.

Here are two things you can do today.

  1. Brush ...

Tagged: safety, Natural Gas, Power Lines, electric hazards

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Two things you should do today to keep your family safe

Safety first sign

June is National Safety Month. It's the perfect time to look at ways to keep you and your family safe.

Key Points

  • June is National Safety Month.
  • Make sure your family knows to leave the building if they smell natural gas.
  • Never touch a downed power line. 

June is National Safety month. It’s a great time to evaluate ways we can keep ourselves, and our loved ones, safe.

Here are two things you can do today.

  1. Brush up on your natural gas safety
    If you ever smell natural gas (it’s kind of like rotten eggs), you should immediately leave the building and call 911 or your natural gas provider.
     
  2. Talk to your kids about electric hazards
    Make sure your family knows that if they ever see a fallen power line, they should never, ever touch it. Call 911 or your electric provider. And while you’re at it, make sure they know not to fly kites near electric lines either.

    You may be wondering why I’d talk about this on a website dedicated to keeping energy affordable. Mainly, I like avoiding tragedy. I’m a mom. It’s my job to yell things like “don’t climb on that!” and “stay out of the street!” and “don’t eat the deer poop!” I also realize there’s a business reason for energy companies to help keep us safe; safety incidents can cost companies lots of money.

    According to the National Safety Council, about 136,053 people died from unintentional injury-related deaths in 2014.

Visit this link for more ways to stay safe


Sarah FolslandSarah is mom to the two cutest little girls in the entire world. Before choosing to make changing diapers and reading bed time stories her full time gig, she earned an M.A.in Political Science from The University of South Dakota, worked in the Governor’s Office as a policy analyst and dabbled in communications at her local utility. Follow Sarah on Twitter @EnergyMommy.

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March Madness got you down? Here’s a bet you can win

Your March Madness bracket might be toast (we’re looking at you Middle Tennessee), but you still have hope. Here’s the inside scoop to win your office 2016 Energy Forecast Bracket. ...

Tagged: March Madness, Energy Forecast, Energy, Natural Gas

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March Madness got you down? Here’s a bet you can win

Sad bull dog in a baseball cap

Move over, basketball, all the cool kids want to know who the winners in energy will be.

Key Points

  • Move over March Madness. We’re getting ready for the 2016 Energy Forecast Bracket.
  • Here’s your guide to win your office pool.
  • Spoiler alert: Natural gas wins.

Your March Madness bracket might be toast (we’re looking at you Middle Tennessee), but you still have hope. Here’s the inside scoop to win your office 2016 Energy Forecast Bracket. Move over, basketball, all the cool kids want to know who the winners in energy will be.

Round 1: Hydropower versus all other renewables

Hydropower went into this round as the No. 1 seed. This dependable form of electric generation has some super star players. Hoover Dam and Grand Coulee are crowd favorites. But new comers solar and wind gained steam (Hehe … Get it? #energygeekjokes) with the help of some favorable state and federal policies. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects non-hydro renewables to increase to 8 percent this year and knock out hydropower’s share at 6 percent.

Winner: Renewables like wind and solar

Round 2: Renewables versus coal

Coal. Yep, we still use it. Think of it as the Michigan State of the energy world. It has a strong history of wins and generally performs really well, but things just aren’t looking so good this year.

The EIA estimates that coal will provide about 32 percent of the country’s energy generation this year, but renewables are quickly taking some of its market share.

Winner: Coal for percentage, renewables for momentum

Round 3: Coal versus natural gas

Here’s where the upset happens. For the first time ever, the EIA is projecting that Cinderella story natural gas-fired generation will exceed coal generation in the U.S.

One time back in April 2015, natural gas beat coal for a month, but this is the first time coal has been knocked out of first for a whole year.

The two biggest reasons for the shift are basic economics and policy changes. Natural gas has gotten really cheap thanks to new production in shale formations. The Clean Power Plan is scheduled to take effect in 2022. Even though it’s been stayed by the Supreme Court pending the outcome of ongoing litigation, few energy providers want to risk building coal plants in today’s regulatory environment.

The EIA projects that natural gas will provide 33 percent of the U.S.’s energy generation this year, just above coal’s 32 percent.

Winner: Natural gas


Sarah FolslandSarah is mom to the two cutest little girls in the entire world. Before choosing to make changing diapers and reading bed time stories her full time gig, she earned an M.A.in Political Science from The University of South Dakota, worked in the Governor’s Office as a policy analyst and dabbled in communications at her local utility. Follow Sarah on Twitter @EnergyMommy.

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Justin Bieber versus natural gas

Fun fact: Justin Bieber holds the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the billboard hot 100 list right now. Turns out, he’s back. In fact, Bieber’s “Sorry” was the most played song ...

Tagged: Justin Bieber, natural gas pipeline, Natural Gas, quiz

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Justin Bieber versus natural gas

Justin Bieber is loved by his fans

Test your Bieber and natural gas pipeline knowledge with this quiz.

Key Points

  • In a battle between Justin Bieber and the natural gas pipeline system, who wins?
  • Test your Biebs and gas knowledge here.
  • Is it too late now to say sorry?

Fun fact: Justin Bieber holds the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the billboard hot 100 list right now. Turns out, he’s back. In fact, Bieber’s “Sorry” was the most played song online last week.

Equally as fun fact: The U.S. natural gas pipeline network has about 3 million miles of mainline and other pipelines. They are some of the most used pipes every week. 

Take that Bieber.

Test more of your Bieber and natural gas pipeline knowledge with this quiz.

Q: Who’s older?

A: Natural gas pipeline. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, about 142,000 miles of the current 302,000 miles of the mainline natural gas transmission network were installed in the 1950s and 1960s as consumer demand for natural gas more than doubled after World War II. About half of the natural gas pipeline mileage currently installed in Texas and Louisiana — two of the largest natural gas production areas in the United States — was constructed between 1950 and 1969. By the close of 1969, marketed natural gas production exceeded 20 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) for the first time.

A large portion of the 1.3 million miles of local distribution pipelines that receive natural gas from the mainline transmission grid and deliver it to consumers was also installed between 1950 and 1969. The period of greatest local distribution pipeline growth happened more recently. In the 1990s, more than 225,000 miles of new local distribution pipelines were installed to provide service to the many new commercial facilities and housing developments that wanted access to natural gas supplies.

Natural gas prices, along with oil prices, increased substantially between 2003 and 2008. Higher prices provided natural gas producers an incentive to expand development of existing fields and to begin exploration of previously undeveloped natural gas fields. Consequently, new pipelines have been constructed, and others are being built to link these expanded and new production sources to the existing mainline transmission network. From 2000 to 2014, about 34,260 more miles of distribution pipelines were added to the national transmission network.

Justin Bieber was born in 1994 and is 21 years old.

Q: Who is more popular?

A: Justin Bieber. He has more than 77 million Facebook fans. The natural gas transportation network delivered more than 24 Tcf of natural gas during 2014 to about 73 million customers.

Both make us feel warm and fuzzy.

Q: Who is more complex?

A: Tie. Justin is more than the hair and dance moves. He’s deep. He was listed three times by Forbes magazine among the top 10 most powerful celebrities in the world in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He’s Canadian and has no interest in obtaining US citizenship because of his views on America’s market-oriented health-care system. He supports charities that build schools in developing countries and is a spokesperson for PETA. He was rumored to be dating Kourtney Kardashian.

Not to be outdone, natural gas processing plants separate hydrocarbon gas liquids, nonhydrocarbon gases and water from the natural gas before the natural gas is delivered into a mainline transmission system. The natural gas pipeline system uses more than 1,100 local distribution companies to deliver natural gas to end users through hundreds of thousands of miles of small-diameter services lines.

Both have signature scents. Natural gas smells like rotten eggs. Justin Beiber’s latest fragrance, “Justin Bieber’s Collector’s Edition,” launched in 2014 and reportedly smells like strawberries and desperation, to quote a good friend of mine.

How’d you do? Post your results below.   


Sarah FolslandSarah is mom to the two cutest little girls in the entire world. Before choosing to make changing diapers and reading bed time stories her full time gig, she earned an M.A.in Political Science from The University of South Dakota, worked in the Governor’s Office as a policy analyst and dabbled in communications at her local utility. Follow Sarah on Twitter @EnergyMommy.

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Good news about your energy costs

If you over spent a little over Christmas, here’s some good news to help your household budget: You’re likely saving on your energy costs this winter

The first place ...

Tagged: gas prices, Home Heating, Natural Gas

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Good news about your energy costs

Heating bill in the snow

Stay warm, and enjoy the energy savings.

Key Points

  • Americans on average are savings some serious cash on energy costs this winter.
  • Gas prices for our vehicles are the cheapest since 2008.
  • Home heating costs are down too. 

If you over spent a little over Christmas, here’s some good news to help your household budget: You’re likely saving on your energy costs this winter

The first place we’re saving some cash is at the pump. Gas prices are about 75 cents cheaper per gallon compared to this time last year. That adds up in a hurry. American households saved about $540 on gas for our cars last year. 

According to a AAA press release, “drivers nationwide paid the lowest averages for the Christmas holiday since 2008. The U.S. pump price average continues to hover around the $2 benchmark, four cents below where it stood one month ago and 29 cents less than the price a year ago.”

But the savings don’t stop there. Americans are also saving on home heating this winter. Back in the fall of 2015, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicted energy savings. “If winter temperatures come in as expected by U.S. government weather forecasters, U.S. consumers will pay less to stay warm this winter no matter what heating fuel they use,” said Adam Sieminski, administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Thanks to an abundance of supply, using natural gas to heat your home is an average of $64 cheaper this year than last year, about $578 for the whole heating season.

Stay warm, and enjoy the energy savings. 


Sarah FolslandSarah is mom to the two cutest little girls in the entire world. Before choosing to make changing diapers and reading bed time stories her full time gig, she earned an M.A.in Political Science from The University of South Dakota, worked in the Governor’s Office as a policy analyst and dabbled in communications at her local utility. Follow Sarah on Twitter @EnergyMommy.

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The crazy new invention that will completely change your life

Breaking news. You can now purchase an Energy-Star-approved clothes dryer.

Wait, ...

Tagged: energy star, clothes dryer, Natural Gas, laundry

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The crazy new invention that will completely change your life

Mystery box

I thought Energy-Star rated all major appliances, but until recently they hadn’t found clothes dryers worthy of their seal of approval.

Key Points

  • Energy Star recently put its seal of approval on clothes dryers.
  • The approved ones use 20 percent less energy than conventional models.
  • Use settings like sensor drying and low heat to save even more energy. 

Breaking news. You can now purchase an Energy-Star-approved clothes dryer.

Wait, doesn’t that already exist? 

Surprising, right? I thought Energy-Star rated all major appliances, but until recently they hadn’t found clothes dryers worthy of their seal of approval.

Thanks to new features like moisture sensors that can turn the dryer off when your clothes are dry, the certified dryers use 20 percent less energy than conventional models. Considering that the average family in the U.S. does 300 loads of laundry a year, those savings can really add up. In my house, we do what must be at least 300 loads a week, so we’re sure to save a lot.

If you want to save even more, here are some tips from Energy Star:

  • Sensor Drying. Use sensor drying, not timed drying. Energy Star dryer models incorporate advanced moisture sensors to help you reduce your dryer’s energy use. This feature ensures that your dryer will automatically shut off when clothes are dry.
  • Low heat setting. Longer drying cycles on a low heat setting use less energy. When you purchase an Energy-Star-certified clothes dryer, look in the informational materials shipped with the product for which cycle was tested for certification and how the dryer’s other cycles or settings may use more or less energy.
  • Consider natural gas. Eighty percent of dryers in the U.S. are electric. If you have the option, consider using a natural gas dryer to save money and reduce your environmental impact.
  • Savings by the pair. An Energy-Star-certified washer/dryer pair will save even more energy and money while doing your laundry. Clothes washers that have earned the Energy Star logo incorporate advanced technology and functionality to get significantly more water out of your clothes in its final spin cycle than a conventional model. This makes it easier for clothing to dry in an Energy-Star-certified dryer using less heat. Less heat means energy savings and reduced wear and tear on your clothes caused by over-drying.

Bonus tip: Make sure to clean your lint filter after each use. The National Fire Protection Association says that the leading cause of washer and dryer fires is a failure to clean them. Plus, it takes longer for your appliance to dry clothes with a full filter, a big waste of energy. I personally love to clean our lint filter. Seeing a solid piece of pink lint laced with glitter makes me smile. #housefullofgirls


Sarah FolslandSarah is mom to the two cutest little girls in the entire world. Before choosing to make changing diapers and reading bed time stories her full time gig, she earned an M.A.in Political Science from The University of South Dakota, worked in the Governor’s Office as a policy analyst, and dabbled in communications at her local utility. Follow Sarah on Twitter @EnergyMommy.

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The one safety tip every parent should know

My house used to be pretty cute. I had real decorations on my end tables. That space is now filled with a small toy house with four doors and four different keys to open them. It’s ...

Tagged: Natural Gas, safety, Black Hills Corporation, gas leak

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The one safety tip every parent should know

Safety Blocks

Most parents take safety pretty seriously. So don’t put your children at risk by ignoring the smell of natural gas.

Key Points

  • Natural gas smells like rotten eggs.
  • If you smell it, get out.
  • Call 911 or your gas provider.

My house used to be pretty cute. I had real decorations on my end tables. That space is now filled with a small toy house with four doors and four different keys to open them. It’s hours of fun.

A child-proofed house is pretty easy to spot. Electric outlets are covered. Mantels have a rubber strip on them to shield little heads from bonks. Cleaning supplies are under lock and key and stairways are gated off.

Most parents take safety pretty seriously. So don’t put your children at risk by ignoring the smell of natural gas. It smells like rotten eggs (not to be confused with the other stinky smells most parents experience on a daily basis).

Interesting tidbit from blackhillscorp.com:

"Natural gas is almost odorless as it comes from the well or processing facility.

Natural gas for homes and businesses has a chemical called a mercaptan added to give it a distinctive odor so that people can easily smell it when its concentration in air reaches one percent. Gas and air mixed in this concentration are not hazardous, but a mixture containing five percent gas is explosive. The odorant, which smells like rotten eggs, makes natural gas leaks evident before a real hazard exists."

If you do smell natural gas, here’s what you need to do according to blackhillscorp.com:

"Get out now.

  • Leave windows and doors open or closed as they are.
  • Don’t use phones, computers or other electronics.
  • Don’t touch appliances or flip light switches. These can all cause static sparks.

After you’re away from the building, call 911 or your natural gas provider. Do not re-enter the building for any reason. Wait for us; we’ll be there, and we know what to do."

You may be wondering what this has to do with keeping your energy affordable. Well, I’m pretty sure our utilities want to keep us safe simply because they’re made up of good people who in general don’t wish harm on anyone. But they also have a business reason for keeping us safe. Safety incidents can cost companies lots of money.

Whatever the reason, I’m glad they’re out there making sure we’re safe, even if it means I might have one more foul odor in my life. 


Sarah is mom to the two cutest little girls in the entire world. Before choosing to make changing diapers and reading bed time stories her full time gig, she earned an M.A.in Political Science from The University of South Dakota, worked in the Governor’s Office as a policy analyst and dabbled in communications at her local utility. 

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Energy in Depth for Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! Energy In Depth, a pro-energy group put together this video highlighting ...

Tagged: Fracking, Natural Gas, Emissions, Drilling

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Responsible E&P Practices Have Helped Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Energy In Depth

This Earth Day the U.S. can celebrate having the lowest carbon dioxide emissions in 20 years.

Happy Earth Day! Energy In Depth, a pro-energy group put together this video highlighting the role natural gas is playing to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.  As you can see from the video, natural gas has been praised by a lot of different people from across the political spectrum.  What do you think?  Should natural gas be part of our domestic energy solution?  Do you think there is a chance we could become too reliant on the fuel? 

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Flaring $100 Million

This article, originally from Oilprice.com, raises a lot of troubling questions. Like if the U.S. has a 100-year supply of natural ...

Tagged: Natural Gas, Flaring

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North Dakota Flares $100 Million of Natural Gas a Month

Natural Gas Flare

Think Progress reports that an estimated $100 million worth of natural gas is flared in North Dakota every month, depriving the US economy of a huge source of revenue, and also releasing vast amounts of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

Key Points

  • The industry can increase natural gas capture
    • 85 percent within two years
    • 90 percent capture in six years
    • Could potentially capture up to 95%
  • Currently the infrastructure does not exist.

This article, originally from Oilprice.com, raises a lot of troubling questions. Like if the U.S. has a 100-year supply of natural gas, what happens when “due to the lack of infrastructure to store, transport and compress the gas, nearly 30% has to be burned at the well in a process known as flaring.”

Also according to the article, “The industry can increase natural gas capture to 85 percent within two years, 90 percent capture in six years, and could capture up to 95 percent of gas.”

That’s a long time to be flaring that much natural gas.

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2014/02/03/north-dakota-flares-100-million-of-natural-gas-a-m/

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What is NG?

The folks at Southern Gas Association put together this cute video, asking kids a variety ...

Tagged: Natural Gas, Video

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Kids say the darnedest things … about natural gas

What is natural gas, explained.

Natural gas is...

Key Points

What is natural gas?

Where can we find natural gas?

How do we use natural gas?

What's good about natural gas?

The folks at Southern Gas Association put together this cute video, asking kids a variety of questions about natural gas. (And in case you were wondering, to our knowledge, Under Armor isn’t a sponsor of the video, although we don’t know why half the kids are wearing their shirts.)

In case you — or your budding energy expert — has some questions about natural gas, here’re some quick answers to the questions the video raises.

What is natural gas?

It’s a flammable gas — made up mostly of methane and other hydrocarbons — that we use as a fuel.  

Where can we find natural gas?

It’s natural occurring underground.

How do we use natural gas?

Cooking, heating our homes, heating water, driving, grilling, drying clothes … The list is pretty long.

What’s good about natural gas?

It’s one of the cleanest, safest and most useful of all energy sources.

What types of jobs are in the natural gas industry?

Pretty much any that you can imagine, but engineers, geoscientists, multi-skilled maintenance professionals, marketing professionals, process and production operators, and health and safety professionals are just a few.

And if you or your kids have other questions about natural gas — or other kinds of energy — check out our Learn About Energy section. 

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Light Bulbs to Jet Engines

Since Black Hills Corporation was founded, we have pursued the latest technologies to improve life with energy. What started with introducing the conveniences of the light bulb in ...

Tagged: Generation, Natural Gas, Wind, Green Energy

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Light Bulbs to Jet Engines

Light bulbs to jet engines

What started with introducing the conveniences of the light bulb in the 1800s has evolved into using state-of-the-art technology in our generation facilities to produce energy in an efficient, more environmentally friendly way.

Key Points

BHC's generation is state of the art.

Generation is diverse using wind, natural gas and coal as fuel.

Can supply clean energy in a reliable, efficient way.

Since Black Hills Corporation was founded, we have pursued the latest technologies to improve life with energy. What started with introducing the conveniences of the light bulb in the 1800s has evolved into using state-of-the-art technology in our generation facilities to produce energy in an efficient, more environmentally friendly way.

Just A few samples and benefits of the technologies we use at our newest facilities

WYGEN III

  • Air-cooled condensers significantly reduce power plant water consumption.
  • Site allows for future installation of carbon dioxide capture and sequestration equipment.

CHEYENNE PRAIRIE GENERATING STATION

A combined cycle unit increases the efficiency of the plant so that it can:

  • Operate at higher fuel efficiency, lowering the fuel cost.
  • Lower environmental impact.

PUEBLO GENERATION Facility’s GENERAL ELECTRIC LMS100s

  • Gas-fired LMS100 generators can dispatch electricity at ramp-up rates of 30 to 35 megawatts per minute. A coal plant has ramp-up rates of 1.5 to 3.0 megawatts per minute.
  • The units offer 10-minute start times, superior hot-day performance, load following and cycling capabilities, and reliability.

PUEBLO GENERATION Facility’s GENERAL ELECTRIC LM6000s

  • LM6000s can dispatch electricity at 20 to 25 megawatts per minute, maintain reliability at 99 percent operation, and when operated in combined cycle have a very low fuel supply heat input.
  • The units are fuel efficient, easily maintained, and ideal for regulating customer loads.

BUSH RANCH  WIND PROJECT

  • Wind generation is often considered a natural gas fuel hedge and offsets the daily peak customer demand.
  • Wind generation often leads to greater economic development in the communities we serve.

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