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05 23, 2012 by Shreveport Times
The abundance and affordability of natural gas are fueling public and private interest in the alternate fuel source.
In the past few years, many entities have switched part or all of their vehicle fleets to run on compressed natural gas. And it's hardly any wonder with CNG prices almost half that of a gasoline gallon equivalent.
CNG is a fuel source made by compressing natural gas to less than one percent of its volume at standard atmospheric pressure. While CNG has become more readily available to consumers — with two public CNG filling stations in Bossier City and one in Shreveport — the infrastructure to support its continued growth as a fuel source remains in its infancy.
Below are savings reports from local agencies which have adopted CNG as a fuel-cost solution. Rolling out these conversions often takes place slowly, replacing pieces of a fleet in increments.
Bossier City: Mark Natale, spokesman
Utilities Department: six fully CNG dump trucks, four bi-fuel pickups
Street Department: one fully CNG street sweeper, three dump trucks, one bi-fuel pickup
Traffic Engineering Department: one fully CNG bucket truck
Police Department: seven bi-fuel Chevy Tahoes
Fire Department: one bi-fuel pickup
Savings: approximately $1.25 a gallon with CNG with comparable mileage over gasoline, $2.25 a gallon over diesel
Caddo Sheriff's Office: Cindy Chadwick, spokeswoman
Seven CNG Chevy Impalas
13 total CNG vehicles expected by the end of 2012
March 2012: $572 (CNG) vs $1,075 (gasoline)
"It's better for our environment and it's certainly better on the pocketbook as we look for ways to reduce our monthly fuel cost," Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator said.
Sportran: Gene Eddy, director
46 buses, 14 CNG
First five came online April 2011
40 percent — 50 percent savings
$1.2 million spent on Sportran CNG station
$1.6 million on diesel fuel in 2010
Estimated $200,000 savings
AT&T: Sue Sperry, spokeswoman
120 CNG vehicles statewide
11 in Shreveport area (vans and trucks)
National CNG program began three years ago
Chesapeake Energy: Katie McCullin, spokeswoman
1,200 CNG vehicles in Louisiana and Texas
14 percent of Louisiana/Texas fleet converted
30 percent of company-wide fleet converted
Estimated $3 million annual savings when Louisiana/Texas conversion complete
Lott Oil Company: David Dollar, business development manager
four 2012 Chevy Silverados (bi-fuel)
three run almost on 95 percent CNG, one almost 75 percent CNG
projected time to pay off CNG conversion: 10.5 months
projected savings per vehicle once conversion expense paid: $5,000 per year
"This is our first rodeo with CNG, but we're looking to buy some additional vehicles, so long as there's the infrastructure to support them," Dollar said.
Downtown Development Authority: Liz Swaine, executive director
Three CNG vehicles (low daily mileage)
One year deployment
Estimated $6,500 in savings over next five years
"Almost all the driving we do is in-town, stop-and-start driving and a lot of idling," Swaine said. "As more people shift to CNG, our small impact becomes much more impressive, leading to real and positive environmental change."
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