CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Mountaineer Gas says it wants to take the lead on natural gas fueling in West Virginia. The company asked the state Public Service Commission Friday to allow it to establish a separate service for natural gas conversion vehicles.
The separate tariff would allow Mountaineer to offer natural gas for converted vehicles to its residential and commercial customers. The company is proposing it charge the same rates as its currently approved rates until it builds up a case history on how many customers will use the service.
Mountaineer Gas Director of Gas Supply Tom Westfall testified Friday the company has received a number of inquiries from its customers about providing its product for their converted vehicles. He expects that number to grow.
“We do feel like there will be a trend going forward of increased usage but we don’t have a projected number at this time,” Westfall said.
Westfall added because of a number of uncertainties connected to NGV and possible taxation it would be better to keep the fueling service separate from its residential service. There would be separate meters.
Mountaineer would not operate its own fueling stations neither would it install residential fueling equipment but it would inspect the equipment that its customers have installed to make sure its safe before hooking up the gas.
Westfall told the PSC the difference in price between natural gas and gasoline is significant.
“It’s anywhere in the range between 1 and 2 dollars per gallon equivalent depending on the type of equipment and that makes a pretty strong economic case at this point,” Westfall said.
Mountaineer’s proposal also offers a $1,000 credit on a customer’s bill for those who install fueling for natural gas vehicles. Westfall predicted that would encourage continued usage of natural gas.
The company has asked the PSC to speed up its decision make process.
Mountaineer Gas is the largest natural gas company in the state.