Town of Greece, New York
Alternative Fuel Fleet Efficiency Study
In 2009 when the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Stimulus Bill, came out, lots of federal dollars were quickly on the table for energy efficiency and petroleum reduction projects. But the projects had to be planned and carried out swiftly. A planning company well versed in building efficiency studies approached Clean Fuels Consulting and asked for assistance in carrying out a fleet study. The planners had reviewed a prior study prepared by CFC and determined that we were the best qualified to take on the task. On a fast track, we generated a suggested scope of work that was presented to the Town, and subsequently granted funding from the Department of Energy through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program of the Stimulus Bill. Already familiar with the provisions of the program, and the guidelines of what it would fund, CFC tailored its approach to best meet the Town’s needs, in light of what the program covered.
An assessment was made of the Town’s 200 vehicle fleet, its fueling facilities, and existing alternative fuel infrastructure to determine if use of existing sites was an option. The fleet operated on a very modest replacement budget, and there was no room for luxuries; only the most targeted and effective improvements stood a chance of being selected by the Town task force deciding how to use the block grant money, and there was competition with building improvement programs. A list of fourteen recommendations was generated for Town consideration. Out of that list, four options were selected, and CFC utilized its network of resources to hone reliable cost estimates for those options.
After a review of different options and pricing of various fueling facility configurations, the Town chose to use its funds to purchase a hybrid bucket truck, and to construct a biofuels tank, compartmentalized to dispense biodiesel and E85, thereby augmenting its existing fueling capacity. The study had shown that the existing fueling site was aging, would likely be in need of replacement within the next five years, and was also subject to greater use by light duty vehicles that had formerly filled at a local gas station, but were now required to fuel in house. By creating an internal purchasing policy to acquire flexible fuel vehicles, which could be purchased of the New York State procurement contract at no incremental cost, the units could be fueled with either gasoline or E85, and a large percentage of the fleet could be turned over to clean, domestic biofuel within a few short years. The DPW would have extra fueling, and clean domestically produced fuel in the process. The team also suggested options on how to administer the construction project quickly in order to meet the federal timelines for use of the funds.
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