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Filling in Utah / Questar station info, Roadside Emergency Refueling etc.

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  • BeetleBailey
    replied
    Re: 19th meeting notes

    Does anyone know where Ogden City will be putting their public station? I would assume at the city building on 25th and Washington or at the bus/train hub on Wall, but just wondering...

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  • jerryl_2000
    replied
    Re: 19th meeting notes

    What is the estmated startup cost for a station like Sandy. Say 4 hoses servicing 100 cars a day?

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  • John Mitton
    replied
    19th meeting notes

    OK gang,
    Sorry I took so long to get a report out regarding the meeting this week at Questar with the Utah Auto Dealers Association. It was kind of a non-event in many ways, but there are a few tidbits of interest.

    Perhaps the most notable thing to report is that Gordon Larsen of Questar complimented the CNGchat community for being such a wonderful grass roots organization in providing information and in organizing to effect public policy. He encouraged the auto dealers to go to our web site where almost any question can be answered.

    Gordon apologized for the poor pressure we are finding at the stations these days. Up until the end of last year these stations had all kinds of excess capacity. They were primarily put into place to serve the Questar fleet, which Questar could have chosen to keep behind fences (as many utilities did) but instead decided to promote the vehicle fuel and provide as much public access as possible. Utah is the only state where an NGV driver can travel from boarder to boarder and pay for the fuel with cash.

    In 2008 they have seen over 300% jump in demand, which even if there were compressors and storage available in the marketplace right now would take months to acquire, permit and install. One immediate source of relief is that Questar has beefed-up their internal refueling capacity to take some load off the public stations from their fleet.

    It is clear that Questar is not budgeting to expand the network but rather doing all they can to assist others in bringing new public refueling to market. They feel they have done what they can to get a foundation started, now it is time for others to join in building out the infrastructure. Ogden City has ordered a station which will be open to the public. Ace Disposal is putting in a public station in West Valley. The city of Vernal is also close to ordering a public station out there too. In all of these cases the fleet will time-fill overnight when the public demand is low. There are quite a few more potential private/public stations going in but at this point in time they cannot disclose who they are working with. (I might add that last week I met with another Utah municipality who is targeting Q1/Q2 for a station, ordering CNG refuse trucks, etc.).

    Senator Carline Walker attended, asking the pointed question if Questar is going to go down the same path as so many other gas utilities have done by selling off their stations to a potential monopoly player? I thought the response from Questar was appropriate: It is no secret that any number of potential buyers have floated the idea, but in reality the stations we have here in Utah are owned by the rate payers. The only way they can be sold is if the rate payers allow the Public Services Commission to approve such a sale. At this point in time the stations are what they are and will likely be that way for quite some time.

    Another concern voiced is that we have a large natural gas supply here in the Rockies being sold to a relatively small captive market, hence our low prices at home and at the pump. Once pipelines get finished to the East what will happen to pricing of this affordable fuel? It was interesting to learn that 1/2 of the gas we consume in Utah comes from the Questar wells in the west; the other 1/2 comes from the open market (this is due to a governmental mandate so it seems). So as the Rocky Mountain gas becomes available to the larger markets (in 2010 I believe) it will probably provide some depression on those prices, which will in the end result in not too much in the way of rate hikes for Utah consumers.

    UADA provided printouts from NGV America and EPA with the certified engine platforms available and there were opportunities for the auto dealers to meet with installers of these systems. Some members are considering installing refueling at their dealerships so there was also some discussion on estimated costs, grants available, etc. from Mat Carlile from the Dept. of Air Quality.

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  • jerryl_2000
    replied
    Re: Filling in Utah / Questar station info, etc.

    Unfortunately, in this case, No news is probably bad news.

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  • taigacarol
    replied
    Re: Filling in Utah / Questar station info, etc.

    Any news from the meeting on the 19th?

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  • new2cng
    replied
    Re: Use the higher-capacity stations

    1 hose working at Questar 200 s

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  • new2cng
    replied
    Re: Filling in Utah / Questar station info, etc.

    I'd think twice. I 've been filling up at the main Questar facility on 2nd south and every time I go there are more people and less pumps working. It seems to be there are less pumps functioning every day.

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  • jerryl_2000
    replied
    Re: Filling in Utah / Questar station info, etc.

    Did the Questar Meeting happen today? (Aug 19, 2008)

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  • macsims
    replied
    Re: Use the higher-capacity stations

    Originally posted by John Mitton View Post
    Orem and Murray are two of the lowest compression-capacity stations in the system. I never think of stopping there anymore.

    Where possible fill at the following high-capacity stations:

    * Springville Flying J
    * Jordan School District 90th S.
    * Questar HQ 1100 W. 200 S. (this is the best one of all, dual compressors, huge storage, 6 hoses, and right off the carpool exit!)
    * University of Utah
    * SLC Airport
    * Clearfield

    I understand Alpine School District has significant compression as well (once they get it up and running again).
    Thanks John! This is good info to know. Alpine SD will be a great addition for Utah County once it's up. Take some load off of Orem.

    Orem has been completely hammered this last week while the Springville Flying J has been down. (2 pumps are back up.)

    I also think if people try and fill at off-peak times whenever possible it will help stations maintain better pressure.

    Leave a comment:


  • mecklen
    replied
    Re: Filling in Utah / Questar station info, etc.

    Originally posted by Dave Jensen View Post
    I have had my Honda GX for 1 1/2 weeks and have lost a lot of my enthusiam as well. ... and if I didn't like it I should sell my car
    If your sole (or primary) reason for using NG is to save money you might be unhappy in the next few years. Most people equate time with money (due partly to old aphorisms ), and the inconvenience of having to go to certain stations and put up with low pressure adds to the "cost" of the fuel.

    However, if you include other considerations (reduced foreign oil, reduced pollution, smaller carbon footprint) the value of NG compensates for the inconvenience. Many people these days treat some "inconvenient" behaviors such as sorting garbage for recycling as an investment that they hope will yield a return of different kind.

    You might ask yourself all the reasons you bought your GX and then be content that your current effort and inconvenience will have a more than ample payback if we all just stick to the plan.

    Don't worry, be happy!
    Last edited by mecklen; 08-18-2008, 09:11 AM.

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  • John Mitton
    replied
    Use the higher-capacity stations

    Orem and Murray are two of the lowest compression-capacity stations in the system. I never think of stopping there anymore.

    Where possible fill at the following high-capacity stations:

    * Springville Flying J
    * Jordan School District 90th S.
    * Questar HQ 1100 W. 200 S. (this is the best one of all, dual compressors, huge storage, 6 hoses, and right off the carpool exit!)
    * University of Utah
    * SLC Airport
    * Clearfield

    I understand Alpine School District has significant compression as well (once they get it up and running again).

    Or, just get a FuelMaker like I did. We love it Full 3600 psi bars (250 mi range), two hoses (one for the kid car)... Wish the state would provide an incentive for these in addition to the Federal $1,000 credit.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dave Jensen
    replied
    Re: Filling in Utah / Questar station info, etc.

    have had my Honda GX for 1 1/2 weeks and have lost a lot of my enthusiam as well. Several filling stations have been down this past week and I was only able to get 1.3 gallons in both Murray and Orem, due to lousy pressure. I spoke to someone at Questar who basically said that's the way it is and if I didn't like it I should sell my car because as more cars hit the market it will only get worse
    Dave

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  • kirkbenge
    replied
    Re: Filling in Utah / Questar station info, etc.

    Originally posted by 2003GX View Post
    Didn't we just have a price increase specifically to go towards building out better infrastructure? ... Did this increase go towards something else? Or is another increase planned for this purpose?
    The increase we experienced on July 1st was only State Taxes. Please see the following state codes:
    59-13-201 ( Rate -- Tax basis -- Exemptions -- Revenue deposited in the Transportation Fund -- Restricted account for boating uses -- Refunds -- Reduction of tax in limited circumstances. )
    59-13-304 ( Exemptions from Special Fuel Tax -- Clean Special Fuel Tax -- Certificate required -- Fees for certificates -- Inspection of vehicles --Exemptions)

    In addition to the price increase you experienced in July, Questar recently received approval for a rate increase... this should again increase the price at the pump somewhere in the range of 25 cents come October. So by the end of October the price of CNG at the pump will be somewhere near $1.08-1.15... (I haven't actually sat down and figured out the exact numbers on the rate increase... has anyone else?)

    When Questar speaks about the price of compressed natural gas for vehicles needing to increase in order to cover the costs of new refueling capacity, they are usually referring to the 50 cent federal incentive. Right now Questar passes the savings onto us (the consumers). The most likely scenario in the near future would be for Questar to stop passing this incentive on to us (it is intended to be used for infrastructure anyway!) If that were to happen, you can expect that the price of CNG would be at least $1.50 or so, but Questar would make about 50 cents per gge sold which would be earmarked for improving infrastructure. I think this is the most likely scenario, but Questar could certainly decide to increase rates by 25 cents, and continue to give us 25 cents off, or they could decide to increase rates in addition to taking back the 50 cent credit.... These are the decisions that need to be made, and as a community we need to make sure that we get in on the decision-making process as much as possible.

    KIRK

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  • 2003GX
    replied
    Re: Filling in Utah / Questar station info, etc.

    Something I'd love to have asked at Tuesday's meeting:

    Didn't we just have a price increase specifically to go towards building out better infrastructure? Questar's page states:

    "The price of compressed natural gas for vehicles will have to increase ... order to cover the costs of new refueling capacity."

    http://www.questargas.com/FuelingSystems/NGV/ngv.html

    Did this increase go towards something else? Or is another increase planned for this purpose?

    Leave a comment:


  • jerryl_2000
    replied
    Re: Filling in Utah / Questar station info, etc.

    My 2009 gx should be here in the next month or so. All the horror stories about Utah CNG infrastructure are giving me second thoughts. Unless there is a solid plan soon to improve the current situation I may either have to bail out of the sale or install a pump at my residence. Some of the shine of CNG is tarnishing lately.

    Leave a comment:

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