City of Covington gets new local customer for CNG station

March 6, 2018. The City of Covington’s compressed natural gas (CNG) station welcomed a first-time visitor this morning; a Newton County School System bus. The new bus, the first CNG powered bus in the NCSS fleet, was purchased as part of a pilot program designed to explore the benefits of CNG powered buses opposed to those powered by diesel fuel.

   The purchase of the Thomas C2 bus was approved at a July 25, 2017 Board of Education meeting and the NCSS recently took delivery. Today, the bus filled up with CNG at the City of Covington’s Green Fuels Facility.

   “We are optimistic the School System will see the positives of utilizing CNG powered vehicles just like we have at the City of Covington,” City Manager Leigh Anne Knight said. “We hope they decide to add additional CNG powered buses to their fleet and if so, that will multiply the benefits they will enjoy with this first bus.”

   City of Covington Natural Gas Director Mike Jewell is confident the School System will see the advantages and not hesitate to start adding additional buses to their fleet. While CNG powered vehicles typically cost more to purchase than traditionally fueled vehicles, the cost of fuel is significantly cheaper, eventually resulting in overall savings. It is estimated the NCSS will save more than $3.000 per year using CNG versus diesel fuel.

   Another benefit to utilizing natural gas as a fuel is the stabilization of prices. Because natural gas is a domestic fuel and does not have to be shipped from overseas, rates remain more constant and aren’t as volatile.

   “CNG is just a superior fuel compared to traditional fossil fuels,” Jewell said. “It produces less emissions, is less expensive and vehicles actually see a small increase in miles traveled on a tank.”