Apr
19

5 Environmental Benefits of Natural Gas

Go au natural this Earth Day with natural gas! As the most diversified fuel in the U.S., natural gas heats our homes, business, restaurants and schools just to name a few. It also powers vehicles, stoves, ovens, clothes dryers, lighting fixtures and other appliances. And, it can even generate electricity and run air conditioners.

Natural gas is the ultimate alternative fuel of the future—and it’s fueling a better earth. It’s abundant, efficient, affordable and cleaner burning compared to other fossil fuels. We’re taking a moment on Earth Day 2017 to reflect on the environmental benefits of natural gas because our Earth is worth it. To learn more, check out this infographic.

5 Environmental Benefits of Natural Gas Infographic - Gas South

Is Natural Gas Better for the Environment than Other Fuels?

Here are five reasons why natural gas is a good choice for the planet.

  1. Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel and a highly efficient form of energy.
  2. The simple chemical composition of natural gas lends itself to fewer impurities and generally results in less pollution.
  3. Using natural gas instead of oil or coal produces less chemicals that contribute to greenhouse gases, acid rain, smog, and other harmful forms of pollution.
  4. Natural gas promotes the use of other clean energy sources. It’s used as a raw material in lightweight cars, wind power blades, solar panels, and energy-efficient materials.
  5. Approximately 90 percent of natural gas produced is delivered to customers as useful energy. By comparison, only 30 percent of energy converted to electricity reaches consumers.
Sep
14

CNG: The Next Big Kid on the Alt-Vehicle Block?

One of Our Employees Thinks So

Alternative fueled vehicles have attracted a lot of attention in the last few years, but the media buzz has mostly centered around electrics due to improved battery efficiency and Tesla’s loud arrival on the scene. However, petroleum has another competitor looming on the horizon: compressed natural gas (CNG). Yes, the same fuel used to heat your home also powers many of the commercial and transportation vehicles you see on the road every day. Last year, for example, MARTA announced plans to buy 270 new CNG buses, adding to the 420 already in its fleet.

With an abundance of domestic reserves to draw from and, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, a 90- to 97- percent reduction of carbon monoxide emissions versus petroleum, CNG is primed for continued growth. We’ve also seen significant enhancements to CNG’s commercial infrastructure and an increase of refueling stations. In Georgia, Gas South has helped lead the way by supplying stations, transit systems and waste management fleets with natural gas.

How long will it be until you’re fueling up on CNG? Probably not for a few years, but don’t rule it out in the future. CNG vehicles are already being introduced into the consumer marketplace, albeit without media fanfare, and by most measures they’re showing early promise. In fact, one of our mid-market sales account managers, Craig Hallerman, recently acquired one, a 2016 Chevrolet Impala hybrid. So, we thought it’d be a great idea to share his thoughts on his new ride, which has been attracting a lot of attention among travelers and car enthusiasts on Atlanta’s highways.

Q: Why did you take the plunge and get a CNG vehicle?
A: “I wasn’t in the market for an alternative fueled vehicle but because I work in the natural gas industry, I looked into it. Gas South took care of wrapping the car in company branding because I do a lot of driving, so it gets lots of visibility – and compliments. I average about 500 miles a week, and as a clean-burning fuel, CNG is considered better for the life of an engine, so that’s something that caught my interest.”   

Q: How does the car perform in general – notice any major differences?
A: “It’s super nice and really comfy. Honestly, it feels like I’m driving a regular Chevy.”

Q: But it’s a hybrid, meaning it runs on gas and CNG. Sounds complicated. Is it?
A: “Not really. There are two separate tanks – a traditional gas tank and the natural gas tank is behind the back seat. There are also two fuel gauges – the car defaults to natural gas until it runs out, and then it switches to the regular gas tank.”

Q: Tell us how you go about fueling the vehicle.
A: “I don’t have a home-fueling device so I go to a commercial station to fill up on natural gas. There are 15 stations in the city, including one that’s on my way home.”     

Q: Fuel efficiency is a major reason why people look at alternative fuel options. Are you noticing any differences between the two?
A: “On the highway, natural gas certainly gets better mileage but regular gas seems to do better in the city. Right now, I’m averaging in the high 20s on the highway and about 18-20 in the city.”

Q: Have you found any other perks of driving an alternative fueled vehicle?A: “Yes, one big one: less traffic because Georgia gives alternative fueled vehicles HOV-lane access. That makes it easier driving around Atlanta, especially during rush hour…and my job requires a lot of driving.”

Q: Is obtaining a CNG vehicle the same as you would expect for a regular car?
A: “It’s different. It started with a conversation with GM reps and then I went to a dealership to build the car. It was a six month process. The Impala was built in Canada and then sent to Detroit for outfitting.”

Q: How long can you drive on the tanks before refueling?
A: “I can go up to 500 miles before running out of gas, which means that I can use the vehicle for all of my needs.”

Have a story to share about a CNG vehicle or a question for Craig about his car? Just let us know in the comments.

Dec
13

CNG – Making a Difference

Recently, we had the honor of speaking to Robyn Gillespie about her compressed natural gas (CNG) journey. Robyn purchased a CNG vehicle, installed an at-home fueling kit and signed on with Gas South. As a Gas South customer, she received our $200 bill credit for her recent CNG vehicle purchase. We are excited to feature Robyn’s story in this week’s blog post, as she talks about saving money and going green!

So Robyn, how did you first hear about CNG vehicles?

I work for an awesome company, Czarnowski, which is located in Austell.  However, I live in Gwinnett County – so no matter how you slice it – 45 miles each way.  When the PeachPass lane was rolled out, I was one of the early adopters even though it meant I was going to have to brown bag my lunch for the foreseeable future – paying a daily toll gets expensive fast.  Then as luck would have it, gasoline jumped to over $4/gallon.  Super painful!  So my commute was not only long and time consuming, it was getting out of control from a cost perspective.

I’d longingly look over at the empty HOV lane while sitting in bumper to bumper traffic both coming and going from work daily.  Once in a blue moon I’d see a single driver zoom by with the AFV tag – which meant they got to enjoy the open HOV lane without any other passengers.  The epiphany of being able to enjoy the open road is what shifted my research into AFV options into high gear.

Now what?  Electric?  CNG?  Biodiesel?  Other new emerging technologies?

Options exist…but very limited choices and even more restricted availability of actual road ready vehicles.  I ruled out electric almost from the get go as the mileage range is too restrictive and the cars are super small.  Installing a CNG conversion kit on my existing car was a strong possibility. I stumbled upon the Honda Civic NGV model and instantly knew that was the one for me.  Good sized car, lots of bells & whistles, good mileage range for my commute…I knew I had to have one!  That’s when things got very interesting…only 3,000 of these cars make it to the US every year from Japan and the majority of them go to California, Oregon and Colorado.  Fortunately, my persistence paid off and I was connected to Robert Thompson at Honda Mall of Georgia.
Why was it appealing to you to purchase a CNG vehicle?

Really the comfort of the Honda Civic NGV, reduced operating costs and the ability to have a natural gas fueling device installed at my home is what sealed the deal.  Although there are several commercial CNG fueling stations around town the thought of filling up in your own driveway is a super-commuter’s dream come true!

 So, which vehicle did you purchase and how long have you had it?

I purchased a brand new 2012 Honda Civic NGV from Honda Mall of Georgia.  Once I felt as though I had a solid solution to my commute challenge I “introduced myself” to Robert Thompson at HMoG (he has likened me to a Rat Terrier…persistent and high energy!).  We exchanged several emails about the car, service, pros, cons, etc.  Then in late February 2011 Robert called me to say one of the “magic” cars had arrived on the lot.  We set an appointment for later that day and for me it was “love” at first sight!  Took a test drive, talked some more and did my best to charm Robert…as he had several other folks interested in the car too.  The next morning I called, made an offer and two days later signed the papers…and rode off into the sunset…literally.

The next big hurdle for really making the car an easy one to drive was to get the special home pump installed.  Robert hooked me up with several folks and I started making calls.  Chuck Moon and his folks at Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) were absolute gems to work with.  As I’m usually in a client support role for my work it was really nice to be treated like a “client.”  Chuck’s team took really good care of me and helped get all the permits, paperwork and information rolling.  It took about 30 days (granted I was one of the first real home installations) from start to finish.  The Fuelmaker Pump was on its way from Italy to AGL and as soon as it arrived the gears were put in motion to get it installed.  Tony, from AGL and Kenny Greene, the installer, came out to the house and by the end of the day the pump was in and I was fueling.

How do you fuel up?

Carefully!  Just kidding 🙂  I lease the Fuelmaker Pump from AGL.  They came out and installed it directly to my home’s natural gas line.  So literally I fuel up in my driveway.  Attach the hose to the car, hit start and tah-day! the pump starts filling the tank.  Really super simple!

And how long does one tank last?

The Honda Civic NGV’s tank will hold the equivalent of 8 gallons.  So based on the average highway mileage per gallon I can go between 240 – 300 miles before I have to refuel.  The pump at my home fuels at the rate of 1 gallon per hour – so a short overnight pump has me totally refueled and ready to roll the next morning.  The furthest distance I’ve traveled so far in my “magic” car has been to the Blairsville area in North Georgia and back – approximately 250 miles RT…so I had plenty to spare. Plus, I know if needed I could always hop off at Honda Mall of Georgia and get a quick couple of gallons in an emergency on my way back home.

How do you like driving your CNG vehicle? And would you recommend switching to CNG to others?

So this adventure has been almost two years in the making.  All my original apprehension evaporated quickly once all the pieces fell into place.  I’ve been driving my “magic” car on average 90 miles a day.  As the car has an AFV tag, I don’t get hit with any PeachPass fees and I can cruise in the HOV lane all the way to and from the office or airport.  And I have a great home natural gas partner in Gas South!  My commuting expenses have dropped from an average of $18+/day to around $6/day and I’m saving 20-30 minutes in traffic each way.  Talk about a win-win!

I definitely recommend looking at the options available and then matching up your needs against the possible solutions.  I really like CNG because the infrastructure is in place now it’s just a matter of building the CNG driving community to really make it less alternative and more mainstream.  Every time I pass a gas station I just giggle at the price per gallon and keep on driving!

And then another surprise…in a great way…my CPA was able to get me $1000 in tax rebates for owning an AFV and also having the home CNG pump…this just keeps getting better and better 🙂

Thank you, Robyn! What a great story. For more information on compressed natural gas, visit Gas South’s CNG program page here.

Nov
15

Hit the clutch & shift your mindset on natural gas

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak to the Georgia Hotel and Lodging Association (GHLA) and area business leaders about natural gas as a fuel option for vehicles. I spoke about the need for a shift in our collective mindset concerning natural gas powered vehicles. This shift is imperative to the prosperity and sustainability of Atlanta’s economy.

It is essential that business leaders, municipalities and the public understand the benefits of natural gas. Not only is natural gas a viable domestic fuel offering savings of over $1.50 a gallon when compared to diesel and gasoline, it provides reduced emissions and greenhouse gasses for Atlanta’s air.  With the efforts of compressed natural gas (CNG) companies like Clean Energy, AFS, AGL, Trillium and private companies such as Frito-Lay, AT&T, UPS, Waste Management and Coca-Cola, stations are being built and the “Chicken and Egg” question is being answered.

On November 18th -21st, Atlanta will be hosting the National Natural Gas Vehicle Conference and Expo at the Georgia World Congress Center.  This will be an opportunity for Atlanta’s business community to see, feel and touch the technology, as well as learn about the savings and environmental benefits that it provides.

In 1996, Atlanta showcased natural gas powered vehicles to the masses when Marta transitioned city buses from petroleum to clean burning natural gas.  I think it’s time for the transportation hub of the southeast to once again show leadership by choosing a fuel that is domestically sourced, provides savings for businesses and reduces the impact on the air we breathe.

What is stopping your business from making the switch to CNG?

Oct
18

Clean Energy Fuels the CNG Revolution

Exciting news in the CNG world this week as Clean Energy and Honda are teaming up to bring natural gas vehicles to the market in our home state of Georgia. Last week, the two companies announced they will be offering a $3,000 fuel card at any of Clean Energy’s compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations for anyone who purchases a 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas Vehicle. With CNG prices hovering around $2.30 a gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE), $3,000 dollars will provide enough CNG to drive 40,000 miles, based on Honda’s 27 miles / GGE City and 38 miles / GGE HWY fuel economy ratings.

On October 17th, Clean Energy, PS Energy and Clean Cities Atlanta opened Georgia’s 7th CNG facility, located on Whitehall Street in the heart of downtown Atlanta. Clean Energy is continuing to help fuel the CNG Revolution. The recent improvements in CNG infrastructure in Georgia, along with incentives from companies like Honda, will continue to make CNG attractive and viable.

Gas South is excited about these opportunities around Georgia and will continue to keep you informed of developments in the promising CNG Revolution. If you have any questions regarding this program or other questions on CNG in general, please comment below or email me at CNG@gas-south.com.

Does a $3,000 fuel card make purchasing a natural gas vehicle more practical for you?

Oct
12

Compressed Natural Gas Revolution

This week, Gas South had the opportunity to attend the opening of two new compressed natural gas (CNG) facilities right here in Georgia; the DeKalb County Station at Seminole Landfill and American Fueling Systems (AFS) station off of Buford Highway. These stations, along with other public and private locations in Georgia are the reasons why our state is continuing to lead the southeast in the field of alternative fuels. The development of CNG stations around the state have been facilitated by initiatives like Atlanta Gas Light’s (AGL) CNG Infrastructure program and public/private partnerships such as AFS’s fueling station in DeKalb will be on the leading edge of the CNG revolution. This revolution has huge local and global implications that could impact the fueling, automotive and the political landscape of our state and country. Learn more about alternative fuels in Georgia at Clean Cities Atlanta and CNG Now.

CNG or compressed natural gas is a readily available alternative fuel that is made by compressing natural gas to less than 1% of its volume at standard atmospheric pressure. CNG can then be used to fuel automobiles ranging from your personal car to dump trucks. At the moment large companies such as UPS and municipalities like DeKalb County are benefitting from savings of almost a $1.50 a gallon and switching their fleets, buses, and vehicles to CNG. Currently, Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) has a leasing program that allows residents to rent a device that refuels your CNG vehicles in the convenience of your garage. To get more information regarding CNG in Georgia, feel free to comment below or email me at CNG@Gas-South.com.

So what would it take for you to buy a CNG car and be part of the CNG revolution?