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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: August 1, 2016

  • NCWM Adopts DGE Standard for Natural Gas Motor Fuel Sales
  • New York State Extends Tax Exemptions for Alternative Fuels
  • North Kansas City Moves Ahead with Large Natural Gas School Bus Conversion
  • American Natural Gas Celebrates CNG Station Opening in New York
  • Sparq Natural Gas Opens New Station in Colorado
  • Ohio City of Moraine Opens New CNG Fueling Station
  • TruStar Energy Nominated for Three Vendor Awards by FCA US
  • New Funding Announced for British Columbia Natural Gas Projects


NCWM Adopts DGE Standard for Natural Gas Motor Fuel Sales

July 29, 2016

Earlier this week, the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) at its annual meeting voted to approve the DGE standard as a legally authorized method of sale for natural gas that is sold as motor fuel. The DGE standard allows for the ready comparison of natural gas with diesel fuel, the dominant fuel used in today’s trucks applications.

The DGE standard compliments the GGE standard previously adopted by NCWM that has been in place for CNG since 1994 and that has aided consumers and retailers alike. Importantly, the adoption of this standard fills a void for LNG, which although sold by most retailers in DGE units, previously lacked a uniformly recognized standard.

The adoption of the DGE standard is the culmination of a more than a three-year process of industry working with the NCWM to adopt a sensible approach for selling LNG. The NCWM’s action also means that the DGE unit will also be available for CNG retailers who want to use the unit for their retail sales to truck fleets. NGVAmerica led a broad coalition of national trade associations, fuel providers and retailers, natural gas utilities, trucking fleets and retailers to make the case for adoption of the standard.

“NGVAmerica thanks the NCWM leadership for its thoughtful consideration of this issue and for working with the natural gas vehicle industry to get this done,” said NGVAmerica President Matthew Godlewski. “This successful vote was the culmination of years of hard work by NGVAmerica staff, our members, industry allies and public officials with the shared goal of transparency for the customer.”

In addition to providing a common-sense unit of sale for fuel retailers and consumers, the DGE standard provides the benchmark for consistency with taxation methods and creates efficiencies associated with accounting and record keeping requirements. Twenty-eight states currently use the DGE for taxing LNG, and ten states have enacted legislation or approved regulations recognizing the DGE as a standard for dispensing natural gas.


New York State Extends Tax Exemptions for Alternative Fuels

July 29, 2016

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance have issued guidance concerning the five-year extension of the alternative fuel tax exemptions. Part U of Chapter 60 of the Laws of 2016 extends through August 31, 2021 the current tax exemptions for the alternative fuels CNG, E85, hydrogen, and B20, and for natural gas that will be converted into CNG for use or consumption in motor vehicles. LNG is considered CNG and the same exemptions apply. These exemptions were due to expire on August 31, 2016.

Natural gas fuel will enjoy a full exemption from the excise tax and the petroleum business tax, a full exemption from the state and local sales and use taxes for retail sales, and a full exemption from prepaid sales tax. The savings for natural gas fuel equates to approximately $.44 per GGE, which approximately breaks down as follows:

  • NYS Motor Fuels Tax — $.08/GGE
  • NYS and Local Sales Tax — $.20/GGE
  • Petroleum Business Tax (PBT) — $.159/GGE

For more information, view the Technical Memorandum.


North Kansas City Moves Ahead with Large Natural Gas School Bus Conversion

July 27, 2016

Thomas Built Buses has launched its Saf-T-Liner C2 CNG school bus with the purchase of 110 units by North Kansas City, Missouri School District. These units are the first Type C CNG school buses in the industry. North Kansas City also purchased 14 Type A Minoutour school buses to round out their fleet.

“We are excited to be the first school district in the country to incorporate Type C compressed natural gas school buses into our fleet,” said Lon Waterman, transportation director, North Kansas City, Missouri School District.  “We strongly believe in the benefits of compressed natural gas, and we look forward to running a cleaner, greener and more cost-effective fleet.”

The North Kansas City, Missouri School district is the nation’s largest school district to convert its buses to CNG.  The district expects to see a reduction of more than 5,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Although some school districts receive subsidies for alternative fuel school buses, the overall purchase of these buses, including the capital costs for the school buses, infrastructure and shop improvements, is being financed through Daimler Truck Financial.  No grants or subsidies are being used for this conversion.

The new Saf-T-Liner C2 CNG school bus features the Cummins Westport ISB6.7 G 6.7L natural gas engine and an Allison 2000 series transmission. The new bus is CARB-certified and exceeds EPA 2013 emissions requirements.


American Natural Gas Celebrates CNG Station Opening in New York

July 27, 2016

American Natural Gas (ANG) held a grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil the first public CNG station in Saratoga Springs, New York. Andrew West, CEO of ANG, was joined by local business leaders and elected official to speak at the opening.

“I am pleased to have this compressed natural gas fueling station in Saratoga Springs that will help meet the transportation needs of our region, grow our economy and promote our use of alternative fuels,” said New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik.

American Natural Gas has guided regional fleets, such as Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo and Casella Waste Systems in Rutland, Vermont, through their conversions to CNG. ANG has also partnered with Try It Distributing, the Western New York Partner of Saratoga Eagle Sales and Service, to supply CNG to their beverage distribution fleet. ANG encourages local fleets to take advantage of the new CNG station by converting their vehicles. ANG opened the station with an introductory price of $1.19 per GGE.


Sparq Natural Gas Opens New Station in Colorado

August 1, 2016

Sparq Natural Gas, GE Oil & Gas and Noble Energy have opened the seventh public CNG station in Weld County and the first installation of GE’s latest CNG In A Box modular technology—a compact, turnkey natural gas fueling solution. The Eaton station took only four months from groundbreaking to grand opening by using GE’s modular system approach.

“Sparq is committed to providing Colorado natural gas vehicle operators a regional network of high-performing, attractive and conveniently located CNG stations.” Said Norman Herrera, Sparq’s CEO. “CNG offers fleets and consumers alike a discount at the fuel pump while burning a clean Colorado-produced fuel.”

Strategically located along Highway 85’s “CNG Corridor,” linking I-70 and I-80, this station expands the region’s CNG infrastructure and provides better access to the fuel alternative.  The station was funded in part by a $500,000 grant from the Colorado Energy Office’s ALT Fuels Colorado program.

“Expanding the use of natural gas fueling infrastructure is a critical step in improving community air quality,” said Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer. “With seven stations in our county and more than 45 across the state, private and public fleet operators will now have improved access to this clean, abundant and local transportation fueling alternative.”


Ohio City of Moraine Opens New CNG Fueling Station

July 27, 3016

A grand opening was held for Montgomery County’s new CNG fueling station located in Moraine, Ohio. The Montgomery County Board of County Commissioners along with IGS Energy Services, Setterlin and Clean Fuels Ohio participated in the grand opening event. The CNG station will be used by the Montgomery County Solid Waste District and is also open to the public.

“Our hope is that this station will help to drive economic growth, improve local air quality, and reduce our fleet fueling and maintenance costs,” said Montgomery County Commission President Judy Dodge.

Montgomery County has already begun converting its aging fleet to CNG-fueled vehicles, a process that will be completed over the next eight months. Converting the county’s vehicles to CNG will save almost $150,000 per year in fueling costs, will reduce lifetime vehicle maintenance costs, and improve air quality by reducing emissions.


TruStar Energy Nominated for Three Vendor Awards by FCA US

July 27, 2016

TruStar Energy was nominated for three nominations during the FCA US LLC Qualitas 2016 Annual Strategy Meeting and Supplier Awards Ceremony, held at the MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit, Michigan.

The nominations: Services Supplier of the Year, Logistics Supplier of the Year, and Foundational Principles Award: Logistics. These nominations recognized TruStar Energy for its execution in terms of both speed and quality of work in designing and constructing the CNG station that supplies the automaker’s 179 truck fleet with domestic, clean-burning fuel. The FCA US fleet delivers vehicle parts to its assembly plants scattered throughout Michigan, Ohio and Ontario, Canada.

TruStar Energy designed and built the large fast-fill station during 2015 in less than four months, which given the record low temperatures and snow fall during the fall and winter construction phase – was no small feat. In addition, the station, which is powered by six Ariel compressors and two PSB driers, represents the largest private CNG fueling station in the country, with forecasted annual production of over four million gallons of CNG.


New Funding Announced for British Columbia Natural Gas Projects

August 1, 2016

Modern technology, improved infrastructure and newer and cleaner buses are topping the list of BC Transit projects for the City of Kamloops, British Columbia, to roll out under phase one of the new Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

Kamloops is also receiving another 19 CNG buses to add to their fleet of cleaner, more efficient CNG buses. These new vehicles will come online next year to replace older diesel buses. The CNG-fueled buses will reduce operating costs for BC Transit and for Kamloops as the fuel is less expensive and has a smaller carbon footprint compared to traditional transit vehicles.

This announcement is part of a series of announcements that unveil details of the almost $160 million in federal and provincial funding for BC Transit projects that was first announced in June. This is the first phase of the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and provides BC Transit-served communities with $90 million in funding from the federal government and $67.8 million from the Province with local governments contributing an additional 17 percent to fund new capital projects in their regions over the next three years. BC Transit will continue to work with local governments to identify priority projects for the second phase of the federal-provincial funding.

“The addition of 19 new cleaner burning CNG fueled buses means that transit users can rest easy knowing they are contributing to reducing our carbon footprint one bus ride at a time,” said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.