Natural Gas

Converting from propane to natural gas can lower farm energy costs

“With natural gas prices staying low, moving away from propane is a clear opportunity. But as every farmer knows, opportunities come in every flavor. Is this a good decision for the long haul? Do the benefits outweigh the costs? What are the hidden factors?”
Ohio Soybean Farmer

Informative Resources

Learn about switching to natural gas through the links below.

Fact Sheets & Studies

Natural Gas Technical Assistance Case Study

 

A summary of information needed to make sound decisions about a natural gas conversion project, a checklist of questions to ask service providers, and a farm data worksheet for keeping track of information about a prospective project. (Ohio Soybean Council)

 

Natural Gas Resources Fact Sheet and Brochure

 

A 2-page summary and a tri-fold brochure of important considerations and information resources for converting to natural gas. (Ohio Soybean Council)

 

Natural Gas Conversion Fact Sheet

 

A summary of natural gas conversion options and economic feasibility, including example calculations of costs and payback period. (Ohio Soybean Council)

 

Natural Gas Decision Makers Fact Sheet

 

A summary of major decision-makers along the natural gas use value chain relating to natural gas conversion, including utilities, co-ops, government, and trade associations. (Ohio Soybean Council)

 

Critical Infrastructure: Evaluating Natural Gas Utilization in Agriculture

 

An online repository with a simple payback calculator, training videos, lessons learned, and information about energy trends. (Ohio State University Extension)

Worksheets & Tools

Natural Gas Conversion Worksheet

 

A tool that automatically calculates estimated annual costs, annual savings, and payback period using input such as distance to the pipeline, energy usage, propane cost, and conversion costs. (Ohio Soybean Council)

 

Evaluating Natural Gas Utilization in Agriculture – Payback Calculator Tool

 

Another tool that calculates estimated costs and payback period for natural gas conversion using farmer information input. (Ohio State University Extension)

Natural Gas Conversion Options may include connecting your farm to the local natural gas distribution system, extending existing natural gas service on the farm, or connecting to large transmission pipelines*.

*Though new connections to natural gas transmission lines (farm taps) are technically feasible, they are unlikely due to cost and willingness of providers.

Maps & Geographic Information

National Pipeline Mapping System Public Viewer

 

A database of natural gas plant and breakout tank information by county. (U.S. Department of Transportation)

Natural Gas Distribution Service Providers Map

 

A map showing natural gas providers by county, color-coded by provider type (large regulated companies, co-ops, etc.). (Public Utilities Commission of Ohio)

An Example Natural Gas Connection may include a new service connection to the local co-op distribution system, a new service line from the connection to the farm, new meters, and new burners for grain drying and barn heating.

Costs & Financing

USDA Farm Loan Programs

 

An information resource about farm loan programs. (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency)

 

USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants, Ohio Office

 

An information resource about REAP, which focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency in rural businesses. (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development)

Natural Gas Provider Price Comparison

 

A database with rates for local providers, including comparison charts. (Public Utilities Commission of Ohio)

“Collecting all the important information and making calculations up front allowed me to have focused conversations with natural gas companies and make the decision to move forward with a natural gas conversion project. The amount of natural gas my drying operation would use plus the option to expand to homes and other buildings nearby made this project advantageous for everyone involved.”
Ohio Soybean Farmer
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The Ohio Farm Energy Infrastructure website is developed and funded by Ohio soybean farmers and their checkoff.