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Frequently Asked Questions

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About Natural Gas

What is natural gas?

Natural Gas is a naturally occurring mixture of hydrocarbon and non‐hydrocarbon gases found in porous formations beneath the earth’s surface. It is not a pure element like oxygen, but a mixture of gases of which hydrocarbon gases are the components that are combustible and produce heat. 

How is it different from propane?

Natural gas is lighter than air, whereas propane is heavier than air. Natural gas is also safer, cleaner, and more economic that propane.

What are the dangers of natural gas?

While natural gas is considered the safest and cleanest fossil fuel for domestic and industrial use, there are inherent dangers to remember. Natural gas is non‐toxic (non‐poisonous), but can cause death by suffocation if the gas displaces the air in a confined space. A person will experience the following effects as gas concentration increases:

• At 25 to 30% gas in the air, the oxygen deficiency can cause ringing ears, euphoria, and unexplained behavioral changes.

• At 50% gas‐air mixture, a person taking in a few breaths will be incapacitated and unable to self‐rescue.

• At 75% gas, a person is immediately incapacitated and death will occur in a matter of minutes.

Natural gas is always lighter than air, and will rise in a room if allowed to escape from a burner or leaking fitting. On the contrary, propane is heavier than air and will settle in a basement or other low level. Incomplete combustion can occur when the gas mixture is richer than 10%. When this occurs, there is not enough oxygen to completely oxidize all the carbon to carbon dioxide. Some of the remaining carbon reacts to form carbon dioxide. Some of the remaining carbon reacts to form the incomplete, less stable compound known as carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is toxic (poisonous) and can cause physical illness and death when inhaled under certain conditions. It is lighter than air and mixes very thoroughly. If not contained, natural gas combustion can be hazardous. Uncontrolled combustion causes a very sharp pressure shock wave through a gas / air mixture. If this type of combustion is in an unconfined space (such as in the open atmosphere), the result is a flash fire. If in a confined space, the result is usually an explosion.

Procedures

How do I read my bill?

In Kentucky, most gas companies sell gas by the thousand cubic feet or “MCF”. One MCF of natural gas at sea level will burn to produce about 1,000,000 BTU. The pipe line gas used by Burkesville Company, Inc. is slightly “hotter” than 1,000,000 BTU per MCF. One MCF is equivalent to about 11 gallons of propane. 

Your monthly Burkesville Gas Company bill includes a customer charge of $7.50, which pays for utility operations and meter readings.

Late Payments and Assistance Programs For any unpaid balance more than 30 days delinquent, Burkesville Gas Company is authorized to charge a delinquent service change in the amount of 18% annually or 1.5% monthly of the delinquent bill and can start the disconnection process. There are Returned Check and Service Charges for collections and a Reconnect fee if your gas has been disconnected or turned off at your request.

Current Burkesville Gas Company Rules and gas Rates are available from the Kentucky Public Service Commission. The State of Kentucky has a Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to provide help with energy costs.

Where can I dig? Answer: CALL before you dig

Dial “811” or Kentucky 811 at 800‐752‐6007

DOT statistics show the majority of pipeline damage is caused by third parties digging near buried pipelines.“Third parties” are contractors & excavators, landscapers & fence builders, and land owners that are not controlled by the utility or its contractors. Thirdparty damage can be prevented by getting utility locates from One‐Call. Kentucky law requires anyone planning to dig or excavate to get information on type, location and depth of all underground facilities in the area by submitting a locate request to the Kentucky 811‐Call Center. The excavator must notify the Kentucky 811‐Call center at least two full working days before beginning work. The 811‐Call Center will notify member utilities with buried lines in the area. A Burkesville Gas Company representative will determine if the project is near its pipelines and send someone to clearly mark the location of its buried pipelines.

• Call before you dig!