UTD Sees Continued Growth with New Members

Des Plaines, IL

Utilization Technology Development, NFP (UTD) is at the forefront of technology development and demonstration for the natural gas industry. To address today’s energy and environmental challenges, UTD members are leveraging resources and capabilities to enhance the use, reliability, efficiency, and environmental attributes of natural gas appliances and technologies. New members Southwest Gas and TECO Energy add strength to the program to help achieve this goal and ensure a secure energy future.

Southwest Gas is engaged in the business of purchasing, distributing and transporting natural gas to more than 1.8 million residential, commercial and industrial customers in the southwestern United States. "We were attracted by the variety and breadth of projects currently being pursued by UTD, and are especially interested in their work on solar-natural gas hybrid projects,” notes Anthony Hills, Director of Energy Efficient Technology at Southwest Gas. “Southwest Gas has always felt it is important to leverage new technology that is energy efficient, cost effective, and results in environmental benefits to society, and our participation will further foster this. It’s also really beneficial for us to be able to pool funding and achieve maximum impact with our investment."

TECO Energy, Inc. located in Florida, is an energy-related holding company. Its gas division, Peoples Gas System, is a leading natural gas energy provider that currently serves over 330,000 commercial, industrial and residential gas customers. “In our pursuit of the most reliable and economical energy for our customers, TECO is very excited to be a part of UTD’s endeavors and leadership to the industry,” says Lewis Binswanger, Director Business Strategy, TECO. "Combining resources, funds, and expertise in a collaborative situation is a viable mechanism for driving innovation. This is a great opportunity to network and build relationships with other participating utility companies having similar interests and goals."

In 2004, UTD was formed around five companies. UTD has grown substantially and now encompasses 14 member companies that represent over 20 million natural gas customers in 32 states and Canada.

The market-oriented group has seen significant success across industrial, commercial, residential, and transportation sectors. UTD facilitated the development of the energy efficient Transport Membrane Condenser (TMC), an advanced heat recovery system (AHRS) for commercial and industrial boilers. With full market penetration, the TMC technology has the potential to save consumers $3 billon each year, and it is expected to be commercially available from Cannon Boiler Works in late 2010. UTD has supported many other projects that have produced R&D deliverables such as low-oil-volume fryers, the Cummins 8.9L ultra-low emissions engine, and the Equinox solar-assisted heating system.

UTD's success and growth signifies a trend that will continue to gain momentum. "Our members are committed to a collaborative program that brings dependable and efficient natural gas technologies from the lab to the field. With their dedicated support, UTD continues to find ways to best leverage the use of natural gas—a clean, abundant, domestic resource," notes UTD President Ron Snedic.

About Utilization Technology Development (UTD)
UTD is a not-for-profit, utility-controlled program with a mission to identify, select, fund, and oversee research projects resulting in innovative solutions that expand the use, cost effectiveness, and efficiency of gas utilization equipment. UTD helps utilities and their customers adopt new technologies that reduce costs, save energy, enable efficient fuel choices, further integrate natural gas with renewable energy resources, and achieve superior environmental performance. UTD is one of ten industry collaboratives led by GTI Energy.