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NGVAmerica Submits Comments on Reduced EV Fueling Demand Charges Proposal, Calling for Parity

New York Public Service Commission Considering Fast Charger Incentive Program

Washington, DC – Earlier this month, NGVAmerica commented on a proposal before the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) to encourage fast charging facilities for electric vehicles, arguing that natural gas vehicles (NGVs) also provide sizable greenhouse gas emission benefits and face many of the same hurdles that electric vehicles face in terms of gaining market acceptance, thereby warranting equal regulatory incentives.

Natural gas fueling stations – like electric charging stations – can be negatively impacted by high demand charges related to expanded electricity use needed for gas compression.  As with electric vehicle charging, higher demand charges for a station’s needed electric compressor operation discourage investments in natural gas fueling infrastructure.

“It is good to promote low carbon alternatives in the transportation sector, but this proceeding fails to recognize that there are other options that need equal incentives,” said Andrew West, Founder and CEO of American Natural Gas and a member of NGVAmerica’s Board of Directors.  “Renewable Natural Gas in the transportation sector is the only solution that is carbon net negative, meaning that carbon emissions are reduced by more than 100 percent.  These technologies should receive the same incentives.”  American Natural Gas, headquartered in Saratoga Springs, New York, builds CNG and RNG fueling stations across the nation for Class 8 fleet vehicles.

Commissioners are currently evaluating a consensus proposal submitted by New York utilities that asks the PSC to authorize payments and reduced rates for EV infrastructure developers.  The incentives are intended to address the initial high costs including demand charges associated with developing charging infrastructure.  The proposal includes providing up to a total of $30 million in direct payments and unspecified amounts of other incentives.  The stated purpose of this proceeding is to advance electric vehicles to help New York achieve its goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In its comments, NGVAmerica contends that because natural gas stations are using electricity, providing increased base load for New York, delivering strong greenhouse gas benefits, and supporting economic development, they similarly should receive economic support.  Providing incentives for NGVs will provide greater opportunity for the state to achieve its greenhouse gas reductions targets as NGVs are available in varied applications that are not yet feasible or practical to power with electric batteries.  Therefore, encouraging increased NGV deployment will enable the state to address more total emissions than if it only encourages electric drivetrains.

NGVAmerica’s comments also highlighted recent developments related to the use of renewable natural gas, pointing to the significant increase in total amount of renewable natural gas now occurring in the marketplace.  Renewable natural gas now accounts for more than 30 percent of total on-road fuel consumption and by the end of 2018 is expected to account for nearly 37 percent of total natural gas use in on-road transportation.  Furthermore, EPA recently set levels for 2019 that will ensure that renewable natural gas use continues to grow.

NGVAmerica’s filed comments can be accessed at its online Resource Center here.

 

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NGVAmerica is a national organization of over 200 companies, environmental groups, and government organizations dedicated to the development of a growing, profitable, and sustainable market for vehicles powered by natural gas or biomethane.  NGVAmerica member companies produce, distribute, and market natural gas and biomethane across North America, manufacture and service natural gas vehicles, engines, and equipment, and operate fleets powered by clean-burning gaseous fuels.  Find out more at: www.ngvamerica.org.

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