Elizabethtown Gas proposes to expand the use of Compressed Natural Gas as an alternative transportation fuel in New Jersey
Saturday, September 7, 2013 • 4:11pm
Elizabethtown Gas, a subsidiary of AGL Resources Inc. (NYSE: GAS), has filed a request with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) for the utility to build public and commercial access compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations and promote the use of CNG as a viable alternative to gasoline and diesel fuel for fleets operating in New Jersey.
As part of its request, Elizabethtown Gas would install and maintain CNG equipment at commercial and industrial customer premises to serve fleet vehicles. The company plan would also permit the utility to construct public-access CNG fueling stations in the company’s service territory.
The proposal was designed following a comprehensive market study, which concluded that the market for compressed natural gas usage in New Jersey largely has been constrained due to limited availability of infrastructure to support natural gas vehicles.
“There are only six public CNG fueling stations in New Jersey, and five of them are located in the southern part of the state. We strongly believe state utilities have an important role to play to stimulate private investment in CNG stations and vehicles, and our proposal will help bring additional stations to other parts of the state, ” said Brian MacLean, the company’s vice president of operations.
As a product of natural gas, CNG is a cost-effective and more environmentally friendly alternative fuel than petroleum-based fuels. The average price of CNG in the Mid-Atlantic is $2.10 per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE), compared to $3.61 per gallon for gasoline and $3.98 per gallon for diesel, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The plan to expand access to CNG stations will help meet the environmental goals envisioned in the state’s energy master plan while also encouraging companies and consumers seeking to reduce fuel costs and emissions to consider converting to CNG-fueled vehicles. Natural gas-fueled vehicles produce up to 30 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum-fueled vehicles. Converting just one refuse truck from diesel to natural gas has an emissions reduction impact equivalent of taking 325 petroleum-fueled cars off the road.
Elizabethtown Gas has long supported the growth of the alternative fuel market. The company first began operating CNG pumps for its fleet at its Green Lane facility in Union County in the mid-1990s. Later this year, the company will complete an expansion of that facility to open those pumps for public access.
“Elizabethtown Gas is committed to promoting the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel,” MacLean said. “Not only is CNG a cost-effective fuel, but it also is a greener energy choice that can help companies reduce their reliance on petroleum-based fuels and meet sustainability requirements and goals.”