The Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) has reached a financial milestone, surpassing the $1 million mark in savings and revenue as a result of using compressed natural gas (CNG) as a vehicle fuel. ACUA has realized this financial benefit through the reduction in fuel costs for its sixteen CNG collection vehicles, revenue from fuel sales and federal tax credits available to CNG station owners.
“Transitioning to CNG has yielded clear benefits from the start of this initiative. Environmentally, we have greatly reduced emissions from our CNG collection vehicles,” said ACUA president Rick Dovey. “While this is extremely important, we would not be able to purse this course if it didn’t make financial sense. We’ve been charting our savings and revenue since we began to move to CNG and are pleased to have reached this milestone so quickly.”
The ACUA began using CNG trucks to collect trash and recycling across the county and region in 2010 and currently has 16 CNG trucks on the road. ACUA’s compressed natural gas fueling station in Egg Harbor Township, the first in the area to be publicly accessible, opened in the fall of 2010.
CNG’s environmental benefit comes from the reduction in particulate matter emissions; up to 94 percent, compared to diesel fuel. Compressed natural gas, dispensed for use in ACUA’s CNG collection vehicles, has displaced the equivalent of 197,744 gallons of diesel fuel and has reduced ACUA’s emissions by over 531 metric tons of CO2 equivalent. Including fuel dispensed to ACUA customers, over 697,592 diesel gallons in total have been displaced.
These benefits are even more powerful when coupled with significant savings for fleet operators. Current prices for CNG provide a savings of approximately $1.00 per gallon equivalent compared to diesel. For the ACUA, additional revenue from fuel sales and CNG tax credits further enhance the financial benefit of transitioning to CNG.
ACUA is in good company as fleets across the country, including UPS, AT&T and the US Postal Service move to adopt CNG as a cleaner, less expensive alternative to diesel fuel.
“We estimate savings of about $10,000 per truck per year,” said Dovey. “It makes sense for local service and delivery fleet owners to consider CNG as a greener, cheaper fuel source when replacing or upgrading vehicles,” Dovey noted. “The fueling infrastructure for natural gas is really expanding quickly in the region. New stations have opened in Glassboro and just last week, South Jersey Gas opened a station in Millville.”
Click here to view a commercial produced by America's Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) featuring the ACUA's Patrick Broecker.
For additional information, contact the ACUA at 609-272-6950 or go to www.acua.com.