Posts Tagged ‘CNG’

Apr
4
2014
6:37 pm

Let’s clear the air: Tax credit for low-emissions commercial vehicles is a wise investment in our future

Too often, public discourse about our environment dissolves into zero-sum game arguments, with any potential policy change tallied as a win for either “green” advocates or big business. This line of thinking is predicated on a misguided assumption: that the interests of these two parties are necessarily at odds.

Fortunately in Georgia, that’s simply not the case. Consider House Bill 348, a common-sense piece of legislation sponsored by State Rep. Don Parsons, R-Marietta, that passed the General Assembly last week with strong bi-partisan support.

The legislation establishes tax credits for commercial alternative fuel vehicles purchased in Georgia. That could mean a delivery van powered by natural gas, or a service truck that runs on electricity.

The goal is to create meaningful incentives for companies to upgrade their fleets and put more low-emission vehicles on our state’s roads and highways. This legislation also helps us to remain competitive with other states like Florida and Oklahoma that have enacted laws that have accelerated the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles.

Georgia is a transportation hub, and our logistics industry is a major contributor to our economy and jobs.  However, motor vehicle exhaust is also one of the largest contributors to poor air quality in Georgia, exacerbating a host of respiratory and circulatory issues, from asthma to heart disease.

The impact is far-reaching: In Cobb alone, more than 15,000 children and nearly 150,000 adults have asthma, according to the American Lung Association.  The cost of dirty air is measured in school absences, doctor’s visits, trips to the emergency room, and hospital admissions.

Clean energy vehicles that run on natural gas or electricity can help to keep our economy strong while also reducing harmful smog causing emissions by up to 90 percent. They also reduce our reliance on oil imports.

House Bill 348 specifically covers commercial vehicles powered by alternative fuels such as natural gas, electricity, propane, or hydrogen. Each of these fuels produce significantly lower emissions than diesel or gasoline, and are derived some domestic sources of energy. Compressed natural gas (CNG) is the most popular alternative fuel for commercial fleets, as it is widely available and significantly less expensive than gasoline or diesel – about $1.50 to $2 less per gallon.

The savings can be substantial. DeKalb County, which recently converted its sanitation fleet to use CNG, estimates it will save $3 million over an eight-year period. Atlanta-based UPS is able to keep its shipping rates low by fueling delivery trucks with CNG.

Not long ago, the idea of plugging in your car or filling the tank with natural gas seemed nothing short of science fiction. But technology has advanced rapidly. CNG stations are now located throughout Georgia, while electric vehicle charging stations are common sights in many parking garages.

Our state legislature and Rep. Parsons in particular, should be applauded for taking steps to encourage the use of alternative fuel sources. It’s a modest investment that promises to pay great dividends down the road in the form of cleaner air, greater energy independence, a stronger economy, and healthier lives.

You can also find my article on HB 348 on The Marietta Daily Journal’s website here.

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Dec
13
2013
9:57 am

CNG – Making a Difference

 

Recently, we had the honor of speaking to Robyn Gillespie about her compressed natural gas (CNG) journey. Robyn purchased a CNG vehicle, installed an at-home fueling kit and signed on with Gas South. As a Gas South customer, she received our $200 bill credit for her recent CNG vehicle purchase. We are excited to feature Robyn’s story in this week’s blog post, as she talks about saving money and going green!

So Robyn, how did you first hear about CNG vehicles?

I work for an awesome company, Czarnowski, which is located in Austell.  However, I live in Gwinnett County – so no matter how you slice it – 45 miles each way.  When the PeachPass lane was rolled out, I was one of the early adopters even though it meant I was going to have to brown bag my lunch for the foreseeable future – paying a daily toll gets expensive fast.  Then as luck would have it, gasoline jumped to over $4/gallon.  Super painful!  So my commute was not only long and time consuming, it was getting out of control from a cost perspective.

I’d longingly look over at the empty HOV lane while sitting in bumper to bumper traffic both coming and going from work daily.  Once in a blue moon I’d see a single driver zoom by with the AFV tag – which meant they got to enjoy the open HOV lane without any other passengers.  The epiphany of being able to enjoy the open road is what shifted my research into AFV options into high gear.

Now what?  Electric?  CNG?  Biodiesel?  Other new emerging technologies?

Options exist…but very limited choices and even more restricted availability of actual road ready vehicles.  I ruled out electric almost from the get go as the mileage range is too restrictive and the cars are super small.  Installing a CNG conversion kit on my existing car was a strong possibility. I stumbled upon the Honda Civic NGV model and instantly knew that was the one for me.  Good sized car, lots of bells & whistles, good mileage range for my commute…I knew I had to have one!  That’s when things got very interesting…only 3,000 of these cars make it to the US every year from Japan and the majority of them go to California, Oregon and Colorado.  Fortunately, my persistence paid off and I was connected to Robert Thompson at Honda Mall of Georgia.
Why was it appealing to you to purchase a CNG vehicle?

Really the comfort of the Honda Civic NGV, reduced operating costs and the ability to have a natural gas fueling device installed at my home is what sealed the deal.  Although there are several commercial CNG fueling stations around town the thought of filling up in your own driveway is a super-commuter’s dream come true!

 So, which vehicle did you purchase and how long have you had it?

I purchased a brand new 2012 Honda Civic NGV from Honda Mall of Georgia.  Once I felt as though I had a solid solution to my commute challenge I “introduced myself” to Robert Thompson at HMoG (he has likened me to a Rat Terrier…persistent and high energy!).  We exchanged several emails about the car, service, pros, cons, etc.  Then in late February 2011 Robert called me to say one of the “magic” cars had arrived on the lot.  We set an appointment for later that day and for me it was “love” at first sight!  Took a test drive, talked some more and did my best to charm Robert…as he had several other folks interested in the car too.  The next morning I called, made an offer and two days later signed the papers…and rode off into the sunset…literally.

The next big hurdle for really making the car an easy one to drive was to get the special home pump installed.  Robert hooked me up with several folks and I started making calls.  Chuck Moon and his folks at Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) were absolute gems to work with.  As I’m usually in a client support role for my work it was really nice to be treated like a “client.”  Chuck’s team took really good care of me and helped get all the permits, paperwork and information rolling.  It took about 30 days (granted I was one of the first real home installations) from start to finish.  The Fuelmaker Pump was on its way from Italy to AGL and as soon as it arrived the gears were put in motion to get it installed.  Tony, from AGL and Kenny Greene, the installer, came out to the house and by the end of the day the pump was in and I was fueling.

How do you fuel up?

Carefully!  Just kidding :)   I lease the Fuelmaker Pump from AGL.  They came out and installed it directly to my home’s natural gas line.  So literally I fuel up in my driveway.  Attach the hose to the car, hit start and tah-day! the pump starts filling the tank.  Really super simple!


And how long does one tank last?

The Honda Civic NGV’s tank will hold the equivalent of 8 gallons.  So based on the average highway mileage per gallon I can go between 240 – 300 miles before I have to refuel.  The pump at my home fuels at the rate of 1 gallon per hour – so a short overnight pump has me totally refueled and ready to roll the next morning.  The furthest distance I’ve traveled so far in my “magic” car has been to the Blairsville area in North Georgia and back – approximately 250 miles RT…so I had plenty to spare. Plus, I know if needed I could always hop off at Honda Mall of Georgia and get a quick couple of gallons in an emergency on my way back home.

How do you like driving your CNG vehicle? And would you recommend switching to CNG to others?

So this adventure has been almost two years in the making.  All my original apprehension evaporated quickly once all the pieces fell into place.  I’ve been driving my “magic” car on average 90 miles a day.  As the car has an AFV tag, I don’t get hit with any PeachPass fees and I can cruise in the HOV lane all the way to and from the office or airport.  And I have a great home natural gas partner in Gas South!  My commuting expenses have dropped from an average of $18+/day to around $6/day and I’m saving 20-30 minutes in traffic each way.  Talk about a win-win!

I definitely recommend looking at the options available and then matching up your needs against the possible solutions.  I really like CNG because the infrastructure is in place now it’s just a matter of building the CNG driving community to really make it less alternative and more mainstream.  Every time I pass a gas station I just giggle at the price per gallon and keep on driving!

And then another surprise…in a great way…my CPA was able to get me $1000 in tax rebates for owning an AFV and also having the home CNG pump…this just keeps getting better and better :)

Thank you, Robyn! What a great story. For more information on compressed natural gas, visit Gas South’s CNG program page here.

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Nov
15
2013
3:41 pm

Hit the clutch & shift your mindset on natural gas

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak to the Georgia Hotel and Lodging Association (GHLA) and area business leaders about natural gas as a fuel option for vehicles. I spoke about the need for a shift in our collective mindset concerning natural gas powered vehicles. This shift is imperative to the prosperity and sustainability of Atlanta’s economy.

It is essential that business leaders, municipalities and the public understand the benefits of natural gas. Not only is natural gas a viable domestic fuel offering savings of over $1.50 a gallon when compared to diesel and gasoline, it provides reduced emissions and greenhouse gasses for Atlanta’s air.  With the efforts of compressed natural gas (CNG) companies like Clean Energy, AFS, AGL, Trillium and private companies such as Frito-Lay, AT&T, UPS, Waste Management and Coca-Cola, stations are being built and the “Chicken and Egg” question is being answered.

On November 18th -21st, Atlanta will be hosting the National Natural Gas Vehicle Conference and Expo at the Georgia World Congress Center.  This will be an opportunity for Atlanta’s business community to see, feel and touch the technology, as well as learn about the savings and environmental benefits that it provides.

In 1996, Atlanta showcased natural gas powered vehicles to the masses when Marta transitioned city buses from petroleum to clean burning natural gas.  I think it’s time for the transportation hub of the southeast to once again show leadership by choosing a fuel that is domestically sourced, provides savings for businesses and reduces the impact on the air we breathe.

What is stopping your business from making the switch to CNG?

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Dec
20
2012
11:56 am

PJ Follows the CNG Revolution to DC

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the American Trucking Association Summit on Natural Gas in Trucking in Washington D.C. Topics ranged from Natural Gas 101 to The Politics of Natural Gas. This particular conference was focused on the trucking industry and it was a packed house, full of regional and national truckers, natural gas companies such as ConocoPhillips and other companies that service the industry.

We heard from gas station owners and developers such as Frank Love of Love’s Travel Stops and James A. Haslam III, the Chairman of Pilot Flying J. They spoke about the benefits and challenges of natural gas from an infrastructure standpoint.  Gas station owners are actively looking at natural gas in LNG(Liquefied Natural Gas) and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) forms as a viable fuel ,but believe that demand and economics will drive the change.

The clear star of the show was Mr. T. Boone Pickens. Mr. Pickens, or as he asked me to call him later, T. Boone, spoke at the conference and gave a brilliant and candid perspective on the natural gas revolution. T. Boone has championed the effort behind the natural gas boom with the Pickens Plan and has invested millions of dollars in Clean Energy. Clean Energy is the leading provider of CNG and LNG in the United States.

It took diesel fuel 30 years to be adopted by this industry after WWII. So as the CNG Revolution continues, how long do you think it will take this industry to adopt natural gas?

 

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Oct
18
2012
1:54 pm

Clean Energy Fuels the CNG Revolution

Exciting news in the CNG world this week as Clean Energy and Honda are teaming up to bring natural gas vehicles to the market in our home state of Georgia. Last week, the two companies announced they will be offering a $3,000 fuel card at any of Clean Energy’s compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations for anyone who purchases a 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas Vehicle. With CNG prices hovering around $2.30 a gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE), $3,000 dollars will provide enough CNG to drive 40,000 miles, based on Honda’s 27 miles / GGE City and 38 miles / GGE HWY fuel economy ratings.

On October 17th, Clean Energy, PS Energy and Clean Cities Atlanta opened Georgia’s 7th CNG facility, located on Whitehall Street in the heart of downtown Atlanta. Clean Energy is continuing to help fuel the CNG Revolution. The recent improvements in CNG infrastructure in Georgia, along with incentives from companies like Honda, will continue to make CNG attractive and viable.

Gas South is excited about these opportunities around Georgia and will continue to keep you informed of developments in the promising CNG Revolution. If you have any questions regarding this program or other questions on CNG in general, please comment below or email me at CNG@gas-south.com.

Does a $3,000 fuel card make purchasing a natural gas vehicle more practical for you?

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Oct
12
2012
12:50 pm

Compressed Natural Gas Revolution

This week, Gas South had the opportunity to attend the opening of two new compressed natural gas (CNG) facilities right here in Georgia; the DeKalb County Station at Seminole Landfill and American Fueling Systems (AFS) station off of Buford Highway. These stations, along with other public and private locations in Georgia are the reasons why our state is continuing to lead the southeast in the field of alternative fuels. The development of CNG stations around the state have been facilitated by initiatives like Atlanta Gas Light’s (AGL) CNG Infrastructure program and public/private partnerships such as AFS’s fueling station in DeKalb will be on the leading edge of the CNG revolution. This revolution has huge local and global implications that could impact the fueling, automotive and the political landscape of our state and country. Learn more about alternative fuels in Georgia at Clean Cities Atlanta and CNG Now.

CNG or compressed natural gas is a readily available alternative fuel that is made by compressing natural gas to less than 1% of its volume at standard atmospheric pressure. CNG can then be used to fuel automobiles ranging from your personal car to dump trucks. At the moment large companies such as UPS and municipalities like DeKalb County are benefitting from savings of almost a $1.50 a gallon and switching their fleets, buses, and vehicles to CNG. Currently, Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) has a leasing program that allows residents to rent a device that refuels your CNG vehicles in the convenience of your garage. To get more information regarding CNG in Georgia, feel free to comment below or email me at CNG@Gas-South.com.

So what would it take for you to buy a CNG car and be part of the CNG revolution?


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