The City of Pensacola, Pensacola Energy (PE) and the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) are reaping the benefits of switching to compressed natural gas fuel for fleet vehicles, a decision made in 2011 with the formation of a cooperative partnership. With a current diesel gallon equivalent dispenser price of USD 2.05, just over half the current cost of diesel, more than one million dollars is being reaped in annual cost savings.
On October 3, 2012, the partnership unveiled Pensacola’s first compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station, located on the west side of Escambia County, Florida. PE partnered with ECUA, Escambia County’s water, sewer and sanitation service, to serve more than 80 natural gas vehicles operated by the ECUA and Escambia County. Last year (2013), the program recorded fuel cost savings of USD 1.1 million. This year, with more than 130 fleet vehicles refuelling according to the Pensacola website, savings are expected to reach $1.3 million.
Furthermore, reports NorthEscambia.com, the cost savings also extend to maintenance, with over USD 350,000 able to be re-allocated, further reducing costs to ECUA customers.
According to ECUA Public Information Officer Jim Roberts, the partners in this enterprise have created a model program that is now being emulated by other utilities across America.