Learn About Natural Gas

Find answers to your questions about natural gas:

+ How is natural gas used in Rhode Island?

Natural gas plays a crucial role in Rhode Island’s energy economy. Nearly all in-state power plants rely on natural gas as a fuel source. Gas also supplies the majority of in-state heating energy needs.

+ Where does natural gas used in Rhode Island come from?

Natural gas is not a fuel indigenous to New England. Gas brought into the region originates primarily from production in the Appalachian region, the Gulf Coast, and to a lesser extent, Canada. The vast majority of natural gas consumed in Rhode Island arrives via pipelines developed and operated by the Algonquin Gas Transmission Company and the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) Company. The remainder is transported as liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the state via tanker trucks. The Algonquin Gas Transmission is an interstate pipeline that transports natural gas from New Jersey throughout New England. The TGP is a major interstate pipeline that extends from the Texas / Mexico border to eastern Massachusetts.

+ Who manages the retail delivery of natural gas in Rhode Island?

National Grid, Rhode Island’s only natural gas distribution company, manages the retail delivery of gas to end users in the state. The local gas distribution system operated by National Grid serves approximately 257,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers using a network of over 3,200 miles of mains. National Grid also owns and operates three LNG storage facilities in the state.

+ What is retail choice?

Rhode Island allows businesses to choose a competitive, third-party natural gas supplier, while still relying on the local gas utility for distribution service. Competitive gas supply had previously only been available to larger commercial and industrial users, but is now being made available to all commercial customers. Residential customers are prohibited from obtaining natural gas from a supplier other than National Grid.

+ I’m considering switching from National Grid to a competitive, third-party natural gas supplier. What do I need to know?

The Public Utilities Commission provides information for business customers considering switching to competitive natural gas supply. Click here to learn more about competitive natural gas supply in Rhode Island.

+ How many power plants in Rhode Island use natural gas?

Rhode Island is home to approximately 2 gigawatts (GW) of electric generating capacity, with six power plants over 50 megawatts (MW). Most of these power plants are owned and managed by merchant (non-utility) generation companies. Virtually all major generating facilities in the state use natural gas as the primary fuel. In 2016, natural gas-fired power plants accounted for approximately 98 percent of in-state generation capacity. Click here to learn more about existing power plants in Rhode Island.

+ Where can I learn more about natural gas in Rhode Island?

The U.S. Energy Information Administration provides Rhode Island-specific energy consumption and expenditure data. The Rhode Island State Energy Plan provides additional Rhode Island-specific energy information and background.