Mountaineer moves forward with natural gas vehicle transition - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Mountaineer moves forward with natural gas vehicle transition

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Mountaineer Gas Company has filed with the Public Service Commission a request to establish a rate for natural gas used for fueling vehicles.

The prospect of using natural gas, now produced more readily in-state and in-region due to activity in the Marcellus Shale, has sparked a conversation about domestic energy supplies in the state. The utilization of natural gas in vehicle fleets reduces the use of oil, one of the most frequently imported commodities in the U.S.

According to Mountaineer's filing, an amount of gas equivalent to a gallon of gasoline is about $1.50 to $2 cheaper. Carbon dioxide and other pollutants are also emitted at lower levels.

The schedule of monthly rates included in the filing would be a $9.95 customer charge per month for residential natural gas vehicle fueling and $31.10 for retail or fleet fueling. The commodity charge listed in the schedule of monthly rates is $7.937 per Mcf.  

If the rate is approved, customers will also be eligible for a $1,000 credit for each new natural gas vehicle account. The credit is intended to help offset the cost of the new fueling dispenser or natural gas vehicle.

"Mountaineer Gas Company hopes to support the development of the NGV fleet in West Virginia," said Tom M. Taylor, president of Mountaineer Gas Company. "The action today is a first step to make low cost natural gas available for use as a transportation fuel."

In order to qualify for the credit, customers must connect to the service with one year of approval of the credit and use the balance of the credit within three years.

In its filing with the PSC, Mountaineer said it wants to make natural gas vehicle fuel more readily available for residential and commercial purposes.

"Increased demand for West Virginia's abundant natural gas will strengthen the natural gas industry in West Virginia, stimulate West Virginia's economy, and create jobs for West Virginian's," the filing states.