Beginning April 1, customers of public compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling stations run by Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) will see reduced prices at the pump.
Specifically, the utility will lower the price of CNG at all of its 13 public-access natural gas vehicle fueling stations by $0.26/gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE).
Through a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)-approved program, SoCalGas is able to offer a reduced price by returning revenue generated from the sale of Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credits to customers.
The LCFS program, administered by the California Air Resources Board, seeks to reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions from transportation fuels by 20% through 2030. Under the program, fuels that help lower GHG emissions, such as natural gas, generate LCFS credits.
“Natural gas has played a significant role in reducing greenhouse-gas emissions under the LCFS program, while also reducing smog-forming emissions by over 90 percent,” states Yuri Freedman, senior director of business development at SoCalGas. “Lowering the cost of this clean fuel increases the benefits for trucking fleets and others that have switched from gasoline or diesel to natural gas.”
Citing the U.S. Energy Information Administration, SoCalGas notes that the average prices of gasoline and diesel in California in February were $3.24/gallon and $3.73/gallon, respectively. Meanwhile, the average pump price of utility CNG stations was $2.37/GGE.
SoCalGas also recently announced it would begin using renewable natural gas (RNG), a fuel produced from waste sources, at all of its fueling stations. Because of its low or even negative carbon intensity, RNG can generate additional LCFS program credits, the utility notes. In California, close to 70% of natural gas fleets are already fueled with RNG, according to the company.