Algonquin saving fuel, money with natural gas trucks
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Algonquin's two trucks running on compressed natural gas have saved the village 456 gallons of gas since they joined the village's fleet earlier this year, officials said.
The village purchased the trucks — two 2012 Dodge Ram compressed natural gas trucks — in February. They replaced two 2001 Ford pickup trucks that ran on diesel fuel. The savings are based on the village's year-to-year analysis for the first four months of vehicle operation.
Initial figures, released earlier this month, show the village will save $48,000 in fuel savings of the anticipated 10-year life of the trucks, according to Algonquin spokesman Michael Kumbera.
The public works department uses the trucks in the water and sewer utility division for hauling and for driving from site to site.
The village's fleet includes three Ford Escape hybrid vehicles in the public works department and more than 60 vehicles and pieces of equipment that operate on biodiesel fuel, including lawn mowers, one-ton trucks, backhoes, and anything else with a diesel engine, Kumbera said.
Officials hope to add many more related vehicles in the future.
"Every time vehicles come up for review, we review the use of the vehicle and certainly if we can bring in a hybrid or an alternate type of vehicle ... we certainly do try to accommodate that," Kumbera said. "We are looking at using cleaner fuel and reducing our fuel costs."
Algonquin has been going green for years.
Last month, officials agreed to renew Algonquin's membership in the Illinois Sierra Club's Cool Cities Program, which includes 59 other communities throughout the state. As part of the program, which the village joined in 2007, it will launch several initiatives that aim to save energy, money and that inspire residents to do the same in their own households.
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