and natural gas used for heat would be $19/year and $5/year respectively. Thus, the nonclimate damages from heating with gas instead of electricity are almost an order of magnitude less. Using the range of natural gas nonclimate-change damages would lead to results three times lower than electricity for heating at the 5th percentile, but at the 95th percentile, these natural gas damages would be about the same as nonclimate damages from using electricity for heating.

Commercial Buildings: Damage Estimates for Criteria Air Pollutants

Following a similar method, the externalities for commercial sector heating from burning natural gas were estimated. Unlike data available for the residential sector, the 2002 NEI emissions inventory did not include corresponding estimates of natural gas consumption for the commercial sector in each county. Thus, the consumption of commercial sector natural gas was estimated by using AP-42 emissions factors for carbon monoxide (CO) of 84 lb/MCF, which do not vary drastically across combustion technologies (but adds some uncertainty to the committee’s estimated consumption by county). When using this proxy, the total estimated consumption of natural gas in the commercial sector was 2.2 million MCF (or 2.2 thousand MMCF), somewhat lower than the EIA estimate for 2002 of 3.1 million MCF. Table 4-4 shows the national level range of externalities from

TABLE 4-4 Commercial Sector Natural Gas Use for Heat: National Damage Estimates from Air Pollutants (Excluding Greenhouse Gases) (Cents/MCF)a (Damage Estimated from 2002 NEI Emission Data for 3,100 Counties)

 

Mean

Standard Deviation

5th Percentile

25th Percentile

50th Percentile

75th Percentile

95th Percentile

SO2

0.3

1.3

.06

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.8

NOx

13

35

3.5

5.9

9.0

14

27

PM2.5

1.1

19

.07

.14

.26

.53

1.7

VOCs

.65

2.7

.08

.16

.28

.53

1.7

NH3

.68

2.6

0

.03

.13

.44

2.7

Total (unweighted)

15

56

3.7

6.7

10

16

32

NOTE: Two hundred counties, for which relatively little emissions data were available, were excluded so as not to skew the distribution in an unrealistic way.

aTotal damages (cents/MCF) are in 2007 U.S. dollars; other damages are in 2000 U.S. dollars.

ABBREVIATIONS: MCF = thousand cubic feet; NEI = National Emissions Inventory; SO2 = sulfur dioxide; NOx = nitrogen oxides; PM2.5 = particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns; VOCs = volatile organic compounds; NH3 = ammonia.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement