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Lake Apopka Natural Gas District

Fueling progress: The rich history of natural gas


For thousands of years, the power of natural gas has captured the imagination of civilizations around the world. From the ancient Greeks, who built large temples around natural gas deposits as far back as 1,000 B.C. to pre-imperial China, where citizens would construct crude bamboo pipelines to transport the early power source for heating homes and boiling water. Today, as Lake Apopka Natural Gas District celebrates 65 years of service to our community, we’re proud to reflect on the enduring legacy of natural gas and the impact it has had – and still has – on our society. 

Despite its early uses, it wasn’t until the 18th century that humans began to utilize natural gas for commercial purposes. In 1785, Britain became the first country to truly harness the power of natural gas when it was used to fuel lighthouses and streetlights.

In 1821, another breakthrough occurred in Fredonia, New York, when William Hart (later the founder of the first natural gas company in the United States) dug the very first well with the express purpose of capturing natural gas. He successfully lit his home and marked the dawn of natural gas as a commercial fuel source in the United States. By the early 1900s, natural gas became a popular choice for heating homes, cooking meals, and even generating electricity for businesses and communities.

In 1957, visionary leaders from Apopka, Clermont, and Winter Garden realized the power natural gas could bring to their own community and united to create the Lake Apopka Natural Gas District. By the end of August 1965, the District had connected its service to approximately 2,200 customers. Today, we’re proud to serve over 29,000 customers with nearly 1,000 square miles of distribution pipelines! 

In 2024, natural gas will play a crucial role in the global energy mix, offering a cleaner and more responsible alternative to traditional options like coal and oil. 

Today, natural gas fuels modern kitchens with affordable precision. A simple flick of the switch delivers instant, controllable heat for perfectly cooked meals. 

Compared to other energy sources, natural gas also offers significant cost savings – about $1,068 per year compared to the average all-electric home (American Gas Association) – leaving more room in the budget for experimenting with new recipes or enjoying summer cookouts with natural gas grills.

Natural gas has fueled innovation and progress for centuries, playing a vital role in powering our communities and shaping our modern way of life. Abundance, affordability, and a lower environmental impact have solidified natural gas’s role on the path toward a more sustainable future. We at Lake Apopka Natural Gas District are proud to have grown with this valuable resource, and we look forward to continuing to deliver it to our valued community for generations to come. To learn more about our history, visit www.LANGD.org/Home/History.

Want to be a part of natural gas’s rich history and begin enjoying all the benefits that it has to offer? Get connected with the District’s marketing team at (407) 656-2734 x307, marketing@langd.org or visit www.langd.org. Stay in touch with the LANGD team on our Facebook and LinkedIn.

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