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Getting Started With Biodiesel

Fuel retailers interested in biodiesel should answer these questions

Have you been looking for ways to increase your fuel margins? Introducing biodiesel blends to your product offering is a great place to start.

There are fuel retailers that have increased their margins by several cents per gallon after adding biodiesel blends to their fuel lineup. That doesn’t mean there aren’t questions you should consider before calling a supplier to place your first biodiesel order.

Should I buy blended fuel or blend myself?

Starting out, you will need to decide how you want to purchase biodiesel. One option is to buy diesel fuel that already has biodiesel blended into it. You can see if your current diesel supplier has a biodiesel blended option or can make one available. If not, you can seek a fuel distributor that does.

The other option is to do the blending yourself. This often provides the best margin opportunities for you but also comes with additional considerations. You will need to install a dedicated biodiesel storage tank and blending system. While the initial cost may seem expensive, it can provide a relatively quick payback of between six to 18 months. A number of states offer grants and loans to help retailers finance these infrastructure upgrades, so research those options.

If you purchase biodiesel from a producer, you will need to decide if you want the biodiesel with or without Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). Every gallon of biodiesel produced generates 1.5 RINs. These can be traded for a monetary value, with the value fluctuating based on market conditions. If you buy the biodiesel without RINs, the RIN value should be captured in the price of the biodiesel. If you buy it with RINs, you will want to trade the RINs either by using a thirdparty vendor, which will likely charge a commission, or by trading them yourself. 

Do I have a reliable supplier?

Whether buying blended fuel from a fuel supplier or straight biodiesel (B99/B100) from a biodiesel producer, you should ensure the biodiesel meets ASTM D6751 standards for biodiesel and that the producer participates in the voluntary BQ-9000® quality assurance program. This is the best way to give your customers a quality product. Also look for suppliers that are knowledgeable about the fuel retail industry and have a reliable and cost-effective supply chain to your locations.

What is the right blend level?

In every state, biodiesel blends of up to 5 percent can be sold without additional labeling at the pump. This is because the blended fuel still meets ASTM D975 diesel fuel specs. Blends from B6 to B20 are a good option to maximize profits with positive blending economics but do require additional labeling. Weather can also be a factor, but maybe not as much as you think. Proper storage, handling and additive use allows retailers to sell B20 year-round no matter their location, but if you are in a colder climate you may feel more comfortable dialing the blend back a bit in the winter.

What economic incentives are available to me?

Speaking of positive blending economics, many states recognize the benefits of making biodiesel more available and offer incentives to retailers that sell it. In Iowa, for example, outlets that sell B5 blends get a 4.5-cents-per-gallon tax credit, plus an additional 3-cents-per-gallon tax rollback on B11 and higher blends. In Texas, retailers can save up to 4 cents per gallon on the state fuel tax, depending on the blend level. If you operate stores in more than one state, familiarize yourself with each state’s regulations.

Answering these questions will help you get started so you can take advantage of the benefits of adding biodiesel to your locations. However, you don’t have to do this alone. REG has a team of experts to help you.

Get started today by talking with Jon Scharingson, Executive Director, Sales and Marketing for REG at (515) 239-8042 or Jon.Scharingson@regi.com.

 


(844) 405-0160 regi.com

© 2017 Renewable Energy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BQ-9000 is a registered trademark of the National Biodiesel Board, used with permission.

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TRS Question of the Month

Question of the Month: How can I compare the energy content of alternative fuels and gasoline or diesel? What implications does this have for overall fuel and vehicle comparisons?

Answer:

Alternative fuels have varying energy densities and are measured using a number of different units, which can make comparing them tricky. The gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) unit allows drivers to make apples-to-apples comparisons of a given quantity of energy from alternative fuels and assess which fuel best suits their needs. Understanding the energy content of fuels can help inform comparisons of fuel prices and vehicle driving range.

What is a GGE? How about a DGE?

A GGE is a standardized unit used to compare the energy content of all fuels. This unit quantifies the amount of alternative fuel that has the equivalent energy content of one gallon of conventional gasoline. For medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fuel applications, diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) is often used.

How are GGE and DGE values determined?

Energy content is measured in British thermal units (Btus) per gallon of fuel, and is often referred to as the lower heating value of the fuel. To calculate GGE and DGE, the energy content of one gallon of gasoline or diesel is divided by the energy content of the comparison fuel. For example, conventional gasoline has an energy content of 116,090 Btus per gallon, while propane has an energy content of 84,250 Btus per gallon. As such, 1.38 gallons of propane has the same amount of energy as one gallon of conventional gasoline.

The table below displays the energy content, GGE, and DGE values of conventional and alternative fuels.

Fuel

Energy Content*

Quantity of Fuel in 1 GGE

Quantity of Fuel in 1 DGE

Gasoline

116,090 Btu/gallon

1.00 gallon

1.11 gallon

Low Sulfur Diesel

128,488

Btu/gallon

0.90 gallon

1.00 gallon

Biodiesel (B20)

126,700 Btu/gallon

0.92 gallon

1.01 gallon

Biodiesel (B100)

119,550

Btu/gallon

0.97 gallon

1.07 gallon

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

923 Btu/cubic foot (ft3) or

20,160 Btu/lb

125.77 ft3

or

5.76 lb

139.21 ft3

or

6.37 lb

Liquefied Natural Gas

21,240 Btu/lb

5.47 lb

6.05 lb

Ethanol (E100)

76,330 Btu/gallon

1.52 gallon

1.68 gallon

Ethanol (E85)**

88,258 Btu/gallon

1.32 gallon

1.46 gallon

Electricity***

3,414

Btu/kilowatt hour (kWh)

34.00 kWh

37.64 kWh

Propane

84,250 Btu/gallon

1.38 gallon

1.53 gallon

Hydrogen

288.88 Btu/ft3

or

51,585 Btu/lb

401.86 ft3

or

2.25 lb

444.78 ft3

or

2.49 lb

*Lower heating value. Source for CNG and hydrogen (Btu/ft3): Transportation Energy Data Book, Edition 35. Source for remaining values: Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) Fuel Properties.

** E85 that is sold in the United States today actually contains, on average, approximately 70% ethanol. Therefore, E85 energy content calculated as [(.70) x (E100 energy content)] + [(.30) x (gasoline energy content)]

*** Electric vehicles are more efficient (on a Btu basis) than combustion engines, which should be taken into account when calculating and comparing miles per GGE (see below).

The values in the table above can help standardize fuel amounts for comparisons. For example, if you have 10,000 ft3 of CNG, you can determine the equivalent number of GGEs by dividing by 125.77 ft3 to get 79.5 GGE. Similarly, to determine the number of DGEs, you would divide by 139.21 ft3 to get 71.83 DGE.

How are GGE and DGE used to compare fuel prices?

Fuel prices can be represented in dollars per GGE or DGE for consistency in pricing between fuels. For that reason, the Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Price Report shows prices on an energy-equivalent basis (Table 3 in recent reports, http://www.afdc.energy.gov/publications/search/keyword/?q=alternative%20fuel%20price%20report). If values for price per GGE or DGE are not available, you can do the calculation on your own. For instance, if one gallon of E85 is $2.04, you would multiply by 1.32 (see table above) to find that this price equates to $2.69 per GGE after adjusting for energy content.

What are the factors that impact how far I can drive between fill ups?

The energy content of fuels is one factor that affects driving range. Filling up with a less energy-dense fuel often means that you will not be able to drive as far. However, tank size and vehicle efficiency also play a significant role.

Some alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) have similar tank sizes to conventional vehicles, while others have larger fuel tanks to compensate for the difference in energy content. For example, vehicles that run on propane and biodiesel typically have similarly sized fuel tanks as their conventional fuel counterparts. As you can see in the table above, both of these fuels have lower energy densities than their conventional fuel counterparts, which subsequently can result in lower fuel economy and shorter range per tank. In the case of propane, bi-fuel vehicles are available that can operate on both conventional fuel and propane for extended driving range. In addition, propane and biodiesel offer many other benefits that can offset this difference.

CNG and hydrogen vehicles, on the other hand, often have larger tanks to offset the lower energy densities associated with these fuels. Fleets and drivers purchasing a CNG vehicle may have the option to install an additional CNG storage tank onboard the vehicle. Alternatively, bi-fuel CNG vehicles are also available to extend the range. As for hydrogen, these vehicles tend to have larger fuel tanks overall.

Tank size is not the only other factor that affects range; vehicle efficiency also plays a role. For instance, all-electric vehicles (EVs) are significantly more efficient than conventional gasoline vehicles. According to FuelEconomy.gov, EVs use anywhere from 59% to 62% of the electricity from the grid to power the vehicle, while conventional gasoline vehicles can only convert 17% to 21% of the energy from gasoline to power the vehicle (https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/evtech.shtml). This is one reason why EVs have such significant fuel economy advantages over conventional vehicles, even when you are comparing the fuels on an energy-equivalent basis.

 

Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team
technicalresponse@icfi.com
800-254-6735

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DERA Funding Available

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


EPA Clean Diesel News - 4/19/17

DERA Funding Available

2017 Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program

Deadline for Proposals - June 20, 2017

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is excited to announce the availability of $11 million inDiesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA) funds to support projects aimed at reducing emissions from the nation's existing fleet of older diesel engines.  Under this competition, between 20 and 80 awards are anticipated to be made to eligible applicants.

Eligible applicants include regional, state, local or tribal agencies, or port authorities, with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality.  Nonprofit organizations may apply if they provide pollution reduction or educational services to diesel fleet owners or have, as their principal purpose, the promotion of transportation or air quality.

Learn More at: www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-national-grants

If you have questions, please contact cleandiesel@epa.gov.

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VW Settlement Update

Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Issues Public Notice on Volkswagen Civil Settlement

Friday,  March 31, 2017 

On Jan. 4, 2016, and as amended on Oct. 7, 2016, the United States, on behalf of the Environmental Protect Agency (EPA), filed a complaint against Volkswagen (VW) alleging violations of the Clean Air Act regarding approximately 500,000 model year 2009 to 2016 vehicles containing 2.0 liter diesel engines and approximately 80,000 model year 2009 to 2016 motor vehicles containing 3.0 liter diesel engines. The complaint alleges that each of these vehicles contains, as part of the computer control modules, certain algorithms and calibrations that cause the emissions control systems to perform differently during normal vehicle operation and use than when undergoing emissions testing. The use of these prohibited defeat devices caused the vehicles to produce NOx emissions significantly in excess of those allowed by law. On June 28, 2016, the State of California, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), filed a similar complaint against Volkswagen.

Partial Consent Decree

The consent decree provides for the establishment of an Environmental Mitigation Trust to provide funds to the states to remediate the air quality impacts of the 2.0 liter vehicle emissions. Louisiana’s initial share is approximately $18 million over a three-year period. The $18 million to be distributed from the trust fund will pay for defined eligible projects also known as eligible mitigation actions. These include projects to reduce NOx from heavy duty diesel sources near population centers, such as large trucks, school and transit buses. A complete list of eligible mitigation actions is found in Appendix D-2 of the Consent Decree. The goal of each Eligible Mitigation Action shall be to achieve reductions of NOx emissions in the United States.

Louisiana Projects

The state has announced that it will distribute the Mitigation Trust Fund dollars among lasting, sustainable solutions. To this end, the state will give preference to projects proposed by public agencies that offer long-term benefits to the community at large.

The state is considering the replacement of or repowering of publicly owned school buses as provided in the Consent Decree and the replacement of or repowering of aging state-owned heavy equipment fleet vehicles that are eligible under the mitigation trust. The vehicles will be replaced with new cleaner vehicles and or new cleaner burning engines.

As identified in Appendix D, other options are available for consideration. 

How to Apply

All proposals must be received by the LDEQ no later than 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, 2017. Proposals may be submitted by email at perry.theriot@la.gov; faxed to 225-219-0000; mailed to the Department of Environmental Quality, Attn: Perry Theriot, P.O. Box 4303, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4303; or it may be hand delivered to 602 N. Fifth Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802. 

 

View the Full Public Notice: How to submit your RFP to LDEQ  

 

The full Partial Settlement, including Appendix D is available for review at: https://www.justice.gov/opa/file/871306/download

Related Links

 

Want to learn more?

Register to attend the LCF Odyssey Day celebration on April 20th in Baton Rouge to hear LDEQ Secretary, Dr. Chuck Carr Brown speak on how the state plans to distribute the funds.

 

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TRS Question of the Month

A photo of a white EV sedan plugged in to a charging station located inside of an employee parking garage.

Question: What factors do employers need to consider when establishing a workplace charging program?

Answer: While there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for workplace charging, there are a number of resources available to help employers design, implement, and manage the right program for their organization.

Assess Demand

Employers considering whether workplace charging is right for their organization will want to start by assessing employee demand with an employee survey (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/downloads/sample-employee-survey-workplace-charging-planning). Once this assessment is complete, employers may set goals for meeting workplace charging demand, either by planning to meet the entire need (i.e., all drivers that have expressed or will express interest in PEV charging) or by dedicating a percentage of parking spaces to PEV charging. For example, Google has a goal to dedicate 5% of all parking spaces to workplace charging.

Procure and Install

Employers should determine what types of charging stations to purchase. There are a few decisions to make, including the following:

  • Charging Level: There are benefits and drawbacks to both Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations in the workplace. Employers must evaluate which option is best for their facilities. For more information about the differences between charging levels and their merits for workplace charging, see the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Workplace Charging Station Basics page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-station-basics).
  • Networking: Charging station networks provide maintenance, customer service, and energy monitoring capabilities, and collect payment on behalf of the station owner. However, networks require a fee, and employers will need to consider whether the convenience of charging networks outweighs the financial cost. For more information, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Level 2 page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/level-2-charging-workplace).

Employers should also be sure to get quotes from a number of charging station providers. For more guidance, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Sample Request for Proposal document (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/downloads/request-proposal-guidance). Employers will work with their electrical contractor to determine charging station placement; station installation can be an expensive process, but employers can minimize costs by siting stations in locations that require minimal trenching, boring, and electrical panel upgrades. For more information about siting and installation, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Equipment and Installation Costs page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-equipment-and-installation-costs).                                                              

Manage

A well-managed, well-planned workplace charging program can ensure station access to all employees, promote strong communication between employers and station users, and encourage responsible station use.

  • Registration and Liability: Many employers require employees to register their PEV, which allows the employer to identify the number of vehicles using their charging stations. For example, employers can give registered vehicles a mirror hangtag or window sticker that identifies the vehicle as having permission to use the charging stations. A registration form may also include language that requires vehicle owners to agree not to hold the employer responsible for any damage to the vehicle that occurs while it is parked at the charging station. For more information, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Registration and Liability page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-management-policies-registration-liability).

  • Station Sharing: It is important to emphasize that workplace charging is a privilege, not a right. Employees may be obligated to share stations with their colleagues and comply with established charging time limits. While an employer can set up systems for sharing stations, such as reserving the station (similar to how an employee would reserve a conference room) or establishing a set schedule for use, most employers allow users to resolve station-sharing conflicts themselves. However, it is important to establish consequences for violating station policies, such as using a station for less than four hours. By framing workplace charging as a privilege, an employer reserves the right to restrict access for employees that routinely violate company policy. For more information about how to establish workplace charging policies and encourage station sharing, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Station Sharing page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-management-policies-sharing).

  • Pricing: While most employers offer workplace charging for free, charging for station use can be a good way to manage demand. Employers may charge for electricity (e.g., per kilowatt hour) or for time (e.g., per hour), depending on preference and applicable regulations. Employers can motivate employees to move their vehicles and share the stations by charging a nominal fee (or no fee) for the first set number of hours (e.g., four hours) and then raise the fee for subsequent time that the vehicle is parked in the space. For more information, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Pricing page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-management-policies-pricing).

For more resources about workplace charging, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging website (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging), explore the Clean Cities’ Workplace Charging Toolkit (https://cleancities.energy.gov/technical-assistance/workplace-charging /), or contact the TRS at technicalresponse@icf.com.

Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team
technicalresponse@icf.com
800-254-6735

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OEMs announce new offerings at NTEA this week

Ford expands its Qualified Vehicle Modifier program and Cummins Unveils New Engines at NTEA

NEW FORD EQVM PROGRAM ELECTRIFIES WORK TRUCKS


  • Ford expands its Qualified Vehicle Modifier program to include companies that develop and install electrified and hydraulic hybrid powertrains for commercial vehicles, retaining the original powertrain warranty.
  • Ford eQVM program launches with three developers – XL Hybrids, Lightning Hybrids and Motiv Power Systems

INDIANAPOLIS, March 14, 2017 – Ford is expanding its Advanced Fuel Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) program to include companies that develop and install electrified and hydraulic hybrid powertrains for Ford trucks and vans.

The new eQVM program, unveiled at The Work Truck Show, helps fleet and commercial customers meet their unique and specific needs for durable, reliable electrified and hydraulic hybrid work trucks that retain the original powertrain warranty.

Ford is committed to being a leader in electrification. The company is investing $4.5 billion in 13 new electrified vehicles in the next five years. These include an all-new fully electric small SUV, a high-volume autonomous vehicle, a hybrid F-150, a hybrid Mustang, a Transit Custom plug-in hybrid and two new pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicles.

“Ford supports electrification for a variety of vehicle types,” said Richard Cupka Jr., Ford sustainability and QVM program manager. “The eQVM program extends that support to the vocational truck industry where customers need relatively small numbers of specialized vehicles – there is no one-size-fits-all work truck.”

The eQVM program kicks off with three developers – XL Hybrids, Motiv Power Systems and Lightning Hybrids. These companies offer electrification or hydraulic hybrid solutions for a range of Ford vehicles popular with fleet and commercial customers, including F-150, F-250 to F-550 Super Duty, F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks, Transit and E-Series vans and chassis, and F-53/F-59 stripped chassis.

The Ford QVM program includes more than 200 companies dedicated to modifying the automaker’s broad commercial vehicle lineup for customer applications in a number of industries, including motorhome, school bus, mobility, emergency services, conversion van, police and limousine. Additionally, QVM upfitters install a wide range of equipment onto Ford trucks and vans to transform them into the work trucks that help build America’s infrastructure and keep it running.

Ford’s thorough QVM qualification process includes on-site assessments at each location to verify the operation meets manufacturing, assembly, workmanship, customer service and quality requirements and that it has processes in place to produce vehicles that meet federal regulations. Vehicles modified by a Ford QVM in compliance with Ford guidelines retain their factory warranties.

The eQVM program builds on the success of the Advanced Fuel QVM program Ford launched in 2010. Through that program, customers can obtain Ford Transit Connect, Transit or E-450 vans and chassis, F-Series trucks and F-53/F-59 stripped chassis that run on compressed natural gas or propane. The eQVM program expands available alternative power options to include electrification and hydraulic hybrid systems.

The eQVM developers are:

  • XL Hybrids: Offers a hybrid electric drive system for Ford Transit, E-350 and E-450 chassis, F-250 to F-550 Super Duty trucks, F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks and F-53/F-59 stripped chassis; as well as a plug-in hybrid upfit for the F-150 pickup. xlhybrids.com/
  • Motiv Power Systems: Offers an all-electric powertrain for the Ford E-450 and F-59 chassis. motivps.com/
  • (LCF Member) Lightning Hybrids: Offers a non-electric hydraulic hybrid energy recovery system for the Ford E-350 and E-450 chassis, F-350 to F-550 Super Duty trucks, F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks and F-59 chassis. lightninghybrids.com/

Attendees at The Work Truck Show in Indianapolis this week can explore several vehicles modified by the eQVM developers. The Ford booth, No. 3239, features a 2017 E-350 chassis cab with the XL Hybrids hybrid electric system installed and an F-59 stripped chassis equipped with the Motiv electric powertrain. Lightning Hybrids will show a Ford E-350 box truck equipped with its hydraulic hybrid energy recovery system at its booth, No. 5475. XL Hybrids will also display a Ford Transit with hybrid electric system and new plug-in hybrid F-150 in booth

No. 425. Test drive a walk-in van built on a Ford F-59 chassis equipped with the Motiv electric powertrain at The Work Truck Show Ride-and-Drive on Wednesday and Thursday.

 

Cummins Westport Natural Gas Engines

Via Worktruckshow.com

Now in full production for bus, medium-duty truck and vocational applications are the ISB6.7 G and the ISL G Near Zero. Based on the B Series diesel engine platform, the ISB6.7 G is a natural addition to CWI’s portfolio of natural gas engines to help power the more than 40,000 natural gas-powered trucks and buses operating in North America. 

“Our most compact natural gas offering – the ISB6.7 G – offers strong performance, reliability and durability to customers requiring low-emissions vehicles. With the publicly available natural gas fueling infrastructure growing across North America, the ISB6.7 G offers MidRange customers operating in local areas a low-emissions, cost-effective solution,” said Rob Neitzke, President, CWI. 

Also now at the forefront of cost-effective and dependable emissions-reduction strategies is the ISL G Near Zero – the first MidRange engine in North America to receive emissions certification from both the EPA and Air Resources Board (ARB) to meet the optional 0.02 g/bhp-hr Near Zero oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions standards. The NOx emissions of the ISL G Near Zero are 90 percent lower than the 2010 EPA standard of 0.2 g/bhp-hr.

“Based on the reliability and operating improvements of the base ISL G engine, the ISL G Near Zero is a game-changer,” Neitzke said. “The engine offers customers the benefit of performance with the lowest emissions at a much lower cost than battery electric-vehicles. It is zero-emissions technology at conventional propulsion system values.”

Both the ISB6.7 G and ISL G Near Zero operate exclusively on compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) or renewable natural gas (RNG), and both utilize CWI emissions-leading and proprietary spark-ignited stoichiometric combustion with cooled exhaust gas recirculation (SEGR) technology. In addition, the engines feature electronic controls with programmable features, a closed crankcase ventilation system and a maintenance-free Three-Way Catalyst (TWC) aftertreatment.

For more information, visit cummins.com.

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TRS Question of the Month

Question: What are state and local governments doing to incentivize alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs)?

Answer: There are many notable incentive activities at the state and local levels. Many states offer incentives for alternative fuels that advance specific environmental and energy security goals, while cities provide even more localized support.

States are targeting vehicles, infrastructure, and other means to encourage AFV adoption. Below are various types of incentives, as well as hyperlinked examples of each:

  • AFV Purchase Incentives: States offer grantsrebates, and tax credits for the purchase of AFVs. While some states may focus vehicle incentives on a particular fuel type, such as electric vehicles, others are more general in their support. States provide AFV purchase incentives to consumers, commercial fleets, and public fleets, such as schools and government agencies. Different incentive mechanisms tend to be more appropriate for different categories of vehicle purchasers; for example, grants are often limited to certain types of entities. Public fleets may not be liable for taxes, so they usually benefit more from grants than from tax credits. Private fleets can benefit from grants, rebates, and tax credits.

  • Fueling Infrastructure Purchase and Installation Incentives: Similar to AFV incentives, states provide grantsrebates, and tax credits for alternative fueling infrastructure. States usually create incentives for the physical fueling infrastructure, but many programs also support installation costs. Some states also offer a tax credit or tax reduction for the production or purchase of alternative fuel itself. Fueling infrastructure incentives may stipulate that the fueling or charging station must be available to the public, which helps to increase the availability of alternative fuels to a broader range of entities.

 

Municipalities are also playing a role in supporting AFV deployment. Cities and counties incentivize AFVs in a number of ways, including by offering free or discounted parking, expediting permitting processes, and providing vehicle and infrastructure grants. For example, New Haven, CT, provides free parking on city streets for AFVs, while Los Angeles, CA, offers instant, online residential electric vehicle supply equipment permitting approval. The Alternative Fuels Data Center’s (AFDC) Local Laws and Incentives page provides more information on these and a greater array of other local options; while the page regarding local laws and incentives is not meant to be comprehensive, it provides users an idea of the different municipal programs and policies that exist (http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws/local_examples). If you are aware of an innovative way that municipalities are supporting alternative fuels and vehicle acquisition, please contact the Clean Cities Technical Response Service at technicalresponse@icf.com to share the details.

For more information about state and local alternative fuel incentives, see the AFDC Laws and Incentives page (http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws). 

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Why Employers Are Hiring Industrial Assessment Center Graduates

Posted by: Michele Capots, via energy.gov

There are 28 primary Industrial Assessment Centers located at colleges and universities across the country.

When Mary McElhiney, vice president of business operations at ERS, is looking for new hires for her energy efficiency engineering firm she knows exactly where to look – the Energy Department’s Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) program.

ERS, headquartered in North Andover, Massachusetts, was founded by an IAC graduate. Its core services of energy program evaluation, engineering assistance, planning and implementation, and sustainable development help utility, government, and large commercial and industrial clients solve energy and resource problems in cost effective ways. Thirteen of its 94 employees are IAC graduates.

INDUSTRIAL ASSESSMENT CENTERS

Map of Industrial Assessment Centers

There are 28 primary IACs located at colleges and universities around the country. These centers send engineering students, supervised by faculty, to small and medium-sized manufacturers to provide energy assessments and recommendations for cost- and energy-savings solutions. With the professors’ guidance, these students analyze manufacturers’ facilities, energy bills, waste and water systems and more.

INDUSTRIAL ASSESSMENT CENTER IMPACT

To date, more than 17,000 manufacturers have benefited from IAC assessments. An average IAC assessment leads to a 5-7% implemented energy savings and energy productivity improvement. Through each assessment, IAC students apply their engineering knowledge and skills to analyze a unique set of circumstances. No two assessments are the same, instead students learn how to adapt and solve problems. 

THE PERFECT MATCH

When McElhiney came to the company 12 years ago, it was very difficult to find engineers who understood the energy management work that the company did. IACs became a recruiting ground because they already had the hands-on experience ERS seeks to provide its clients with the valuable skills needed to meet their business needs.

Satyen Moray, an engineer with ERS at the Rock Hill, Connecticut facility, has been with the company for 15 years. Moray, is also an IAC graduate from the University of Dayton and credits the program with getting him where he is today.

He said he could study textbooks and course materials all day long, but to actually see it is a whole different awareness. During the IAC program, he visited roughly 50 facilities.

“The hands-on nature is instrumental,” said Moray.

Marcus Wilcox couldn’t agree more.

Wilcox is CEO of Cascade Energy, which helps to provide technical services for energy efficiency programs. He co-founded the Portland, Oregon-based company in 1993 and has 120 employees, nine of which are IAC graduates. Wilcox was the first student to join and graduate from the Energy Analysis Diagnosis Center, now known as the Oregon State University IAC. He believes the IAC program changed his future.

 “It taught me how to be an engineer in the real world by mapping all the knowledge I had and put it in the context of experience,” he said.

Industrial Assessment Center infographic on graduates in the workforce

MOVING FORWARD

Today, Wilcox’s advice to students going through the IAC program is simple. He suggests students gain field work experience because there’s real value working with real processes, problems, and people.

He also notes that graduates will be working with people who have been doing their jobs for decades. Energy might not be a priority for some clients and graduates need to learn how to explain the value of energy management practices. Finally, he says skip using the smartphone, email, and social media because personal contact and building relationships will help graduates strengthen their professional skills and their work will be that much more enjoyable.

It was similar advice that has been priceless for Moray.

“It was the best learning [experience] I received in my whole life,” he said.

Moray is a perfect example of why McElhiney continues to rely on IAC graduates to help make the business a success.

“IACs have experience in exactly what we’re doing because they’ve done it before,” she said.  “They help these companies even before they come here. I’m a big advocate for the IAC program.”

 

 

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DOE and the Department of Transportation Announce Collaboration to Support Smart Transportation Systems and Alternative Fuel Technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a collaboration to accelerate research, development, demonstration, and deployment of innovative smart transportation systems and alternative fuel technologies. The agencies formalized this collaborative relationship through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)that was unveiled yesterday at a symposium called Achieving Zero-Emission Mobility: The Role of Innovative Electric Vehicle Companies, hosted by the University of California Center on Economic Competitiveness in Transportation in Berkeley, California.

The MOU will facilitate coordinated actions to leverage the two agencies' expertise in transportation energy technology and safety systems to accelerate analysis, tools, and applications of those technologies.

This joint initiative follows DOT Secretary Foxx's announcement of the Smart City Challenge, which aims to select one U.S. city to be awarded up to $40 million in Federal Highway Administration money and $10 million from the department's private sector partner, Vulcan Inc., for demonstrating and deploying vision-forward smart city and mobility solutions. This city will become the nation's first to integrate innovative technologies such as self-driving cars, connected vehicles, and smart sensors into their transportation network. After receiving 78 applications, DOT has chosen seven Smart City Challenge finalists to receive a $100,000 grant to refine their full proposals.

DOE intends to provide in-kind support of DOT's Smart City Challenge in the form of expertise and resources including DOE's extensive experience in transportation electrification and alternative fuel vehicle fleet deployment through the DOE SMART Mobility consortium, EV Everywhere, and Clean Cities.

The Energy Department's support for Smart City-related activities aligns with the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's (EERE) strategic goal to accelerate the development and adoption of sustainable transportation technology. Learn more about EERE and its efforts to accelerate development and facilitate deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality.

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Louisiana, It’s Air Quality Awareness Month

LCF Observes Air Quality Awareness Month

The National Air Quality Awareness week runs from May 2 through May 6, however, Governor John Bel Edwards has proclaimed May as the Air Quality Awareness month for our state.  Whether it’s taking your bike to work or carpooling, you can do your part to help improve the local air quality and reduce your carbon footprint. 

Last week, LCF's Executive Director Ann Shaneyfelt appeared on WBRZ's morning show with Vannetta, Environmental Scientist with DEQ and talked to viewers about Air Quality Awareness Week and how individuals can participate. View the interview on the WBRZ website.

Why care about air quality?

The overall quality of the air, or ozone, can affect your health if exposed to high levels.  Ozone levels usually rise with warmer temperatures, and higher levels can contribute to breathing problems such as increased asthma attacks.   Understanding what ozone is, how it forms and how it can affect your health is vital in the hot summer months.

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) strengthened the air quality standard for our state from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb.  The updated standards will reduce exposure to ozone to improve the public’s overall health protection but particularly to at risk groups including children, older adults and people of all ages who have lung diseases. 

While this standard calls for cleaner air and increased public health, it could create a halt in Louisiana’s industry development, affecting our economy.  It’s important that industry as well as the public work together to meet the designated air quality standard to protect our health and our economy. 

How to get involved

You can sign up to receive daily ozone forecast emails through the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s (LDEQ) EnviroFlash program. Additionally, EnviroFlash will notify you when an Ozone Action Day is announced.

The public can also do their part by avoiding using lawnmowers or other lawn care equipment and fueling their car on ozone action days or waiting until late in the day to do so.  Avoid using VOC-based paint and using lighter fluid for barbequing on Ozone Action Days.  You can also minimize use of your vehicle by walking or biking, carpooling or by using public transit.

For more information on air quality, please visit LDEQ’s website.

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