NCWM DISCUSSION OF DGE STANDARD TAKES WRONG TURN
This past week, the National Conference of Weights and Measures (NCWM) held its 2014 Interim Meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. NCWM for the past year and half has been considering a proposal that would allow retail fueling stations to sell CNG and LNG in diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) units. In 1994, the NCWM adopted a gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) standard for CNG and that standard has remained in place since. The DGE standard is necessary because currently there is no standard for retail sales of LNG. Moreover, retailers have expressed the desire to sell CNG and LNG in DGE units when servicing heavy-duty truck owners who in most cases are using CNG and LNG in lieu of diesel fuel.
At last week’s meeting, NCWM voted to make the proposed DGE standard a voting issue this summer. NCWM, however, amended the proposal previously under consideration. As amended, the proposal would allow retailers to use the DGE and GGE units as the primary method of sale at retail stations but beginning as early as 2016 fuel retailers would have to use kilograms as the primary method of sale. Retailers would have the option of also displaying DGE or GGE units but that would be in addition to also dispensing in kilograms. Importantly, the move to kilograms would also impact CNG retail sales as well.
At the meetings in New Mexico, NGVAmerica and several member companies in attendance voiced concern and opposition to the proposal as it will result in added costs and potentially confuse fleets and consumers who are not familiar with purchasing fuel in kilograms or mass units. NCWM appears intent on moving forward with the proposal even though there does not appear to be any industry support for the proposal. It is absolutely imperative that state regulators hear from industry, particularly retailers and fleets who oppose this proposal. We are hopeful that in the coming weeks and months that there may be a chance to amend the current proposal. But this is not likely to happen if industry does not start making itself heard. Also, it is very important that the regulators hear from fleets and affected customers.