Company increases investment in NGV’s for a cleaner future
According to NGVAmerica, a national organization dedicated to the development of a growing, profitable, and sustainable market for vehicles powered by natural gas, natural gas vehicles (NGVs) offset the use of approximately 400 million gallons of gasoline in the U.S. in 2013, as well as, substantially reducing carbon emissions. In order to increase these numbers, more large companies will need to consider conversion of their fleets.
“We are seeing that the abundance of natural gas has created much more than the feeling of security for years to come, that our houses will remain warm and heated in the harsh Minnesota winters,” said Ana Hargrove, natural gas sales manager for CenterPoint Energy and NGVAmerica board member. “The abundance is actually creating more environmentally friendly and efficient ways to run company fleets, as well as supporting the American people by providing more job opportunities.”
Natural gas, a domestic, American source of energy, is more than a safe, environmentally friendly, affordable and efficient option for energy in your home. Today, due to improved technologies, natural gas production has increased drastically, making the possibilities for transportation use far beyond what they were in the past.
With a 25 percent increase in the last year to over 140,000 NGVs on U.S. roads today and over 15 million worldwide, more and more businesses and consumers are clearly turning to NGVs as the solution to meet their needs for clean, cost-effective transportation solutions that reduce carbon emissions, helping meet legislative energy reduction goals. CenterPoint Energy is currently expanding their fleet of NGVs, making sure the vehicles they use are clean burning and efficient, increasing their contribution to lowering emissions.
“Most people don’t think about their natural gas company very often because they rarely experience outages,” added Jeff Bickler, fleet manager for CenterPoint Energy. “Environmentally friendly natural gas is fueling America’s future and providing more opportunities for American fuel independence.”
Since CenterPoint Energy is committed to safety, keeping the environment clean and always being there for the communities it serves, it only makes sense that the company is finding new initiatives and taking advantage of the multiple ways natural gas can be used to improve the environment. One of these initiatives is the conversion of their fleet to NGVs.
“By staying knowledgeable about NGVs, we can guide our company and customers through the conversion process more readily,” said Pat Dugan, key account manager for CenterPoint Energy. Dugan is in charge of leading the company’s NGV initiatives and stays abreast of NGV advancements and technologies through continuing education. His working knowledge and involvement in the NGV initiatives at CenterPoint Energy makes him a key contact that other companies reach out to when considering conversion to NGVs.
In 2014, CenterPoint Energy expanded its fleet by eight vehicles in Minnesota, totaling nearly 30 company NGVs in the state. As vehicles are replaced over time, more and more NGVs will be added to the company’s fleet. The building momentum of CenterPoint Energy’s fleet conversion initiative makes sense because it pays off in the end.
“Not only are natural gas vehicles safe, clean burning, efficient, and leave a lower carbon footprint for all of us to enjoy, but they are also cost effective for companies such as CenterPoint Energy,” said Bickler. “Since each gallon of natural gas is $1.50 to $2 less than a gallon of gasoline, it allows for a huge margin of savings, as our vehicles travel more than 12 million miles annually.”
Saving money is great, but so is saving the environment and NGVs provide a means of carbon reduction. Additionally, there are fewer pollutants emitted and they eliminate emissions. Some of the environmental emission reduction benefits of NGVs in an equivalent gallon of compressed natural gas (CNG) to gasoline and diesel.
CenterPoint Energy is also supporting the development and distribution of additional NGV fueling stations so that converting fleet operators have the infrastructure they need to fuel their fleets. In 2011, CenterPoint Energy had the only operating NGV fueling station in the Midwest. Today, with some credit going to CenterPoint Energy’s efforts, there are multiple NGV fueling stations in Minnesota and hundreds in the United States – contributing to an 80 percent growth rate since 2009.
“In addition to building natural gas infrastructure to serve NGV fueling stations, converting our company’s fleet to natural gas and providing tools to encourage natural gas fleet conversion, CenterPoint Energy supports legislation and participates in organizations that promote natural gas as a transportation fuel,” said Hargrove. “CenterPoint Energy wants to educate, promote and facilitate the economic and environmental advantages of natural gas vehicles and work to be a positive model demonstrating the good this technology can do.”
For more information about NGVs, visit – www.CenterPointEnergy.com/NGV.
This article was provided by CenterPoint Energy.