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  • Cost for home CNG

    If you have a home refueling station in Utah, what do you end up paying for CNG?

  • #2
    Re: Cost for home CNG

    Fuel Expense
    My rate at the house last month averaged $6.67 per decatherm (or 67 cents per therm). I understand the multiplier is 1.25 per therm = gge so it seems my gas is costing me 83 cents per gallon for the fuel.

    Compression Expense
    I use a Fuelmaker FMQ-2-36 which has an average power consumption of 0.9 to 1.2 kWh. I am a supporter of Rocky Mountain Power's renewable "Blue Sky" program which is $1.95 per 100 kWh so in addition to the base rate of 10 cents/hr my approx. one gallon per hour Fuelmaker is consuming 12 cents per gallon in compression expense.

    Total Cost = 95 cents per gallon to refuel at home (plus another 17 cents or so to amortize the future compressor head replacement).

    Possible Tax Credits...
    Now, since I own a business it is possible for me to have the Fuelmaker be a business asset, then keep track of the fuel dispensed and bill myself as the consumer to capture a net 31.8 cents in federal excise tax credits. (This is the 50 cent credit offset by the 18.2 cent federal road tax). This would net me a cost of 63 cents per gallon (does this number sound familiar?), however I don't do this for the following reasons:
    Paperwork: My accountant assured me that the rebate check we would anticipate for the federal excise credit as well as filing for the road tax wouldn't cover his fees to prepare them Furthermore, the 50 cent credit sunsets in Dec 2010 so if Congress does not extend it I will be still be paying the road tax without any credit to offset it

    More Paperwork: In 2009 we are going to start paying 8.5 cents per gge for Utah road tax.

    Higher Rate: Questar's tariff to home consumers (again I am paying around 67 cents) is considerably lower than their 80 cent NGV tariff (see this pdf file, page 12). Might as well not rock the boat

    On the map: I think that if I were to start applying for the credit I would show up on DOE's map of alternative fueling stations as a private station.
    The bottom line is fueling at home is almost twice that of the public stations. But I can live with a 49 cent premium to always have a full tank in the morning, and not have to fight the crowds and crappy pressure we are now facing as the Questar infrastructure struggles to keep up with the demand. $1.12 sure beats $4 gasoline.

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    • #3
      Re: Cost for home CNG

      Originally posted by John Mitton View Post
      Fuel Expense
      My rate at the house last month averaged $6.67 per decatherm (or 67 cents per therm). I understand the multiplier is 1.25 per therm = gge so it seems my gas is costing me 83 cents per gallon for the fuel.
      John:

      Does your GGE include some empirical data to account for heat rejection (I think that's what it's called) in the combustion chamber? My number for a GGE is 1.14 Therms.
      (I usually think of it as 8/7ths) Therms. Of course, I am only about 600 ft above sea level...
      Last edited by Andy-Paul; 05-25-2008, 05:45 PM. Reason: dropped a unit

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      • #4
        Re: Cost for home CNG

        Thanks John,

        I heard somewhere that you can get a cheaper rate from Questar if you have a home fueling station installed.

        Just an urban legend

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        • #5
          Re: Cost for home CNG

          Andy-Paul,
          I took the 1.25 multiplier from a number of threads here at CNGchat, as well as doing some googling "therm gge" which all seemed to bear out the same result. Maybe you are right, which will provide 78 cents instead of 85

          dewdean,
          In the PDF tariff rate document I referenced from Questar there is likely a lower rate for year-round natural gas users. Someone at Questar told me that I should apply for this, as my gas usage in the summer will be almost as much as the winter. If someone wanted to wade thru the tariff to find this, I'm sure many here who have Fuelmakers would like to know

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          • #6
            Re: Cost for home CNG

            John-
            How have you calculated the purchase and maintenance expenses for the Fuelmaker unit? What cost do you put on the time value of money for those expenses? It seems that the gge cost should be higher than the 78 to 85 cents that you indicate if those costs are also taken into account. Am I missing something?
            _____________________________________
            '12 Blue Mist Metallic Civic Natural Gas; '03 Galapagos Green Civic GX; '07 Alabaster White Civic GX

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            • #7
              Re: Cost for home CNG

              The purchase of the FM to me is like acquiring living room furniture. You buy it once and it serves you a lifetime.

              I think the onsite compressor head replacement is around $700 to $1,000. So after 6,000 gallons this adds another 17 cents to the cost per gallon. Still worth it to me for staying in the HOV lane and never stopping for fuel.

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              • #8
                Re: Cost for home CNG

                If I buy a used FM, how do I get it installed?

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                • #9
                  Re: Cost for home CNG

                  Originally posted by dewdean View Post
                  If I buy a used FM, how do I get it installed?
                  Get a manual and do it yourself. Pull your own permit, have the required inspections, etc. In my case, since I'm so busy, I probably will have my wife do it.

                  However, if you had to go to college, it may be too hard to figure out

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                  • #10
                    Re: Cost for home CNG

                    In your power cost the .02 per kwh for the blue sky is in addition to the .10 per kwh you pay to pacificorp (.10 includes taxes and is the base rate).

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                    • #11
                      Re: Cost for home CNG

                      Hey John, you brought up a really good point with all the compressor issues. I think i'm going to get a fuelmaker installed. Who would I talk to about getting a quote?
                      You can do anything except light a paper match, on a marshmellow, underwater!

                      R.I.P. Taylor and Chris

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                      • #12
                        Re: Cost for home CNG

                        I've weighed it all out, and I REALLY wanted one, but the payback doesn't really seem to be there, and I'm averaging about $2.42 per GGE at fast-fill stations. Convenience would only be a minor thing for me, since I have the new PG&E station a few blocks from home.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Cost for home CNG

                          Originally posted by twitzel View Post
                          In your power cost the .02 per kwh for the blue sky is in addition to the .10 per kwh you pay to pacificorp (.10 includes taxes and is the base rate).
                          I see. That bumped my compresison cost to 12 cents/ gge. I updated the top post. This brings me to 95 cents + another 17 when you amortize the compression head replacement at 6,000 hours. Total $1.12 / gge

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                          • #14
                            Re: Cost for home CNG

                            What kind of permit is needed for an install? If I buy a used fuelmaker, and pipe it in (I used to be a pipefitter)......who would care?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Cost for home CNG

                              Originally posted by philbert View Post
                              What kind of permit is needed for an install? If I buy a used fuelmaker, and pipe it in (I used to be a pipefitter)......who would care?
                              It wouldn't bother me at all

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