On July 22, West Virginia’s largest natural gas utility company, Mountaineer Gas Company, announced that they have become the state’s first utility authorized to provide fuel to residential, retail, and commercial filling stations for use in natural gas vehicles (NGVs), under a tariff approved by the Public Service Commission. The tariff, entitled the “NGV Tariff,” includes a new rate schedule, which provides the terms and conditions under which Mountaineer will provide NGV fuel.

Mountaineer will charge $7.937 per Mcf for NGV fuel, the same rate approved for residential customers. Because 1 Mcf is approximately equal to 8 gallons of gas, the cost for Mountaineer’s NGV fuel is roughly equivalent to paying only $1.00 per gallon for gasoline. A standard monthly charge of $31.75 for retail and commercial filling stations and $10.10 for a home fueling station also applies. The company’s new rate for NGV fueling was effective starting on July 19 of this year.

NGV Fuelling
West Virginia’s largest natural gas utility company has approved new rates for NGV fuels, effective as of July 19, 2013. Credit: NAFTC.

In addition to setting the new rate for natural gas used as a vehicle fuel, the approved tariff provides Mountaineer Gas with the opportunity to provide customers with a $1,000 credit for each new fueling account that has service turned on before July 19, 2014. The credit will last for up to three years from the time that any NGV customer opens an account with Mountaineer Gas Company. The intent is to help stimulate the growth of NGV use in West Virginia by offsetting some of the cost associated with installing fueling dispensers. Both home and commercial units are eligible for the credit.

Commenting on the PSC rate approval, Tom M. Taylor, president of Mountaineer Gas Company said, “Mountaineer Gas Company intends to support the development of the NGV fleet in West Virginia. The action today is another step forward in making low cost natural gas available for use in transportation fuel.”

Mountaineer Gas Company, headquartered in Charleston, WV, serves approximately 220,000 natural gas customers throughout the state and employs over 450.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, natural gas produces half as much carbon dioxide as coal-fired generation and less than a third as much nitrogen oxides. Natural gas also produces significantly fewer sulfur oxides at power plants.

In addition to the environmental benefits that NGVs provide, NGVs also perform similarly to gasoline or diesel vehicles with respect to power, acceleration, and cruising speed. The gallon equivalent cost of natural gas is far less than gasoline or diesel.

The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) is also contributing to the development of the state’s natural gas infrastructure by providing training—the consortium was recently appointed to the Governor’s Natural Gas Vehicle Transition Team by West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. For the full story, please follow this link: http://naftcenews.wvu.edu/naftc_enews/2013/07/01/naftc-appointed-to-governor-s-natural-gas-vehicle-transition-team#sthash.pJYGB8rD.dpuf.

In addition, the NAFTC is helping to educate consumers and fleet owners about the benefits associated with NGVs and offers several classes on NGVs for interested stakeholders. For a listing of classes related to NGVs, please visit: http://naftc.wvu.edu/course_workshop_information, and click on the “Natural Gas and Propane” link.

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