Monday, September 27, 2010

Clean Cities Technical Response Service (TRS) Question of the Month

Welcome to the September installment of the Clean Cities Technical Response Service (TRS) Question of the Month.

Question of the Month: Which fleets are regulated under the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct 1992) and subsequent regulations and directives, and what are the requirements?

Answer: EPAct 1992 established several transportation-related regulatory activities, including mandating that certain federal agency, state agency, and alternative fuel provider fleets in the United States acquire alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) or reduce their petroleum use in other ways. Subsequent regulations and federal executive orders have modified the EPAct 1992 requirements over time, but the basic elements and compliance structures remain intact. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for overseeing compliance with these regulations through the Vehicle Technologies and Federal Energy Management Programs. Additional information about “covered fleets” (fleets subject to EPAct 1992 requirements) and the requirements associated with compliance for each of these fleet types is outlined below.

Federal Fleets
Covered Fleets
Federal fleets are considered covered fleets if both of the following conditions are met:
• They own, operate, lease, or otherwise control 20 or more non-excluded light-duty vehicles (LDVs; vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 pounds or less) that are used primarily within a single metropolitan statistical area (MSA)/consolidated metropolitan statistical area (CMSA). Excluded vehicles include emergency, law enforcement, and nonroad vehicles.
• Those same 20 vehicles are centrally fueled or capable of being centrally fueled.

EPAct 1992 Requirement
At least 75% of federal non-excluded LDV acquisitions in covered fleets must be AFVs.

Compliance for federal fleets is met using AFV acquisition credits, which are granted based on the number of AFVs acquired and the quantity of biodiesel fuel used. If an agency’s total AFV credits divided by the number of covered LDV acquisitions in a fiscal year equals 75% or greater, the agency is considered to be in compliance. Federal fleets earn credits as follows:
• One credit for every bi-fuel or flexible fuel vehicle acquired.
• One additional credit for acquiring a dedicated AFV.
• Three credits for acquiring a dedicated medium-duty vehicle.
• Four credits for every dedicated heavy-duty vehicle acquired.
• One credit for every 450 gallons of neat biodiesel (B100) or 2,250 gallons of B20 (20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel) purchased for use. The biodiesel must be in blends of B20 or higher. Federal fleets are allowed to use these credits to fulfill up to 50% of their AFV acquisition requirements.

Federal fleets are subject to several additional requirements for AFV acquisition, alternative fuel use, and infrastructure development. For more information, including reporting requirements, reference DOE’s Federal Fleet Guidance document ( and the Federal Energy Management Program’s Comprehensive Federal Fleet Management Handbook (

State Fleets
Covered Fleets
State fleets are considered covered fleets if all three of the following conditions are met:
• They own, operate, lease, or otherwise control 50 or more non-excluded LDVs.
• At least 20 of those vehicles are used primarily within a single MSA/CMSA.
• Those same 20 vehicles are centrally fueled or capable of being centrally fueled.

State fleets may use the following resources to determine whether their fleet is covered:
• Decision Tree for State Government Fleets:
• State Government Fleet Compliance with the Energy Policy Act of 1992: Self-Audit Procedures:

EPAct 1992 Requirement
At least 75% of state non-excluded LDV acquisitions must be AFVs.

Compliance Methods
Covered state fleets may meet their requirements through one of two compliance methods:
• Standard Compliance: Under Standard Compliance, fleets may meet their requirements by acquiring the requisite number of new or used AFVs, obtaining AFV credits from other covered fleets, or converting conventional vehicles to run on an alternative fuel within four months of acquisition. Each qualified light-duty AFV is worth one AFV credit. Medium- and heavy-duty AFVs are also eligible for credits that may be banked for future use, but only after the annual AFV acquisition requirements are met with light-duty AFV acquisitions. Covered fleets may also meet as much as 50% of their AFV-acquisition requirements by using biodiesel blends of at least B20. One credit is earned for every 450 gallons of neat biodiesel (B100) or every 2,250 gallons of B20 purchased for use.
• Alternative Compliance: Under Alternative Compliance, covered fleets may obtain a waiver from the AFV acquisition requirements of Standard Compliance by submitting and then implementing an approved plan to reduce petroleum consumption. The plan must result in petroleum reductions equal to what the fleet would have achieved if all its AFVs were running on alternative fuel all the time. The plan must also include a sufficient level of data and information to support the fleet’s compliance requirements, particularly information on fuel use.

Alternative Fuel Provider Fleets
Covered Fleets
An alternative fuel provider is any entity that meets one of the following conditions:
• The entity’s principle business involves producing, storing, refining, processing, transporting, distributing, importing, or selling any alternative fuel.
• The entity’s principle business involves generating, transmitting, importing, or selling electricity at wholesale or retail.
• The entity produces, imports, or produces and imports in combination, an average of 50,000 barrels per day or more of petroleum, and 30% or more of its gross annual revenues are derived from producing alternative fuels.

An alternative fuel provider is not covered if its principal business involves:
• Transforming alternative fuels into products that are not alternative fuels; or
• Using alternative fuel as a feedstock, or fuel, in the manufacturing of products that are not alternative fuels.
In addition to meeting this definition, alternative fuel provider fleets are also subject to the same conditions for inclusion as state fleets (see above).

Alternative fuel provider fleets may use the Decision Tree for Alternative Fuel Provider Fleets ( to determine whether their fleet is covered.

EPAct 1992 Requirement
At least 90% of alternative fuel providers’ non-excluded LDV acquisitions must be AFVs.

Compliance Methods
Covered alternative fuel provider fleets are subject to the same compliance methods as state fleets (see above).

Additional information on state and alternative fuel provider requirements and compliance, including annual reporting, can be found on the DOE’s State and Alternative Fuel Provider Fleet Coverage and Compliance Web site ( and/or contact the Regulatory Information Line at or 202-586-9171.

As always, please contact the TRS with other questions, or if you have suggestions for additional resources or a future Question of the Month.

Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Salt Lake City Mayor Becker recognized for being a Clean Vehicle Champion!

Clean Cities Technical Response Service (TRS) Question of the Month

Welcome to the June installment of the Clean Cities Technical Response Service (TRS) Question of the Month.

Question of the Month: Why is idle reduction important? What are the alternatives to letting a vehicle idle?

Answer: Idling vehicles in the United States use upwards of one billion gallons of fuel and emit large quantities of air pollution and greenhouse gases unnecessarily each year. On average, a heavy-duty vehicle consumes fuel at the rate of 0.8-1.0 gallon/hour at idle. A typical light-duty vehicle consumes 0.5 gallons/hour while idling. These rates are based on a number of data sources, including reports from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Argonne National Laboratory. The actual rates may be more or less depending on the type of vehicle and engine. Using EPA’s assumptions for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from each gallon of diesel and gasoline burned (
• The average diesel-powered heavy-duty vehicle emits between 17.8 and 22.2 pounds of CO2/hour while idling.
• The average gasoline powered light-duty vehicle emits approximately 9.7 pounds of CO2/hour while idling.

One of the most common myths about engines, particularly diesel engines, is that they need to idle for several minutes or more to warm up prior to driving. While some diesel engines do need to warm up, most engine manufacturers recommend that newer engines need no more than three minutes of warm-up before driving; drivers should check their engine manufacturer’s recommendations and/or owner’s manual about guidelines for engine warm-up. See the Additional Resources section below for more idling information.

Idle Reduction Regulations
Many states and localities have enacted regulations that restrict drivers from idling for extended periods of time. Reference the Incentives & Laws database available via the Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC; for state-level idle reduction regulations. In addition, the American Transportation Research Institute maintains a compendium of state and local idle reduction restrictions (

Idle Reduction Technologies
Heavy-Duty Idle Reduction Technologies
EPA research shows that certain heavy-duty vehicle idle reduction technologies can reduce idling fuel consumption by up to 96% and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by up to 99%. Available heavy-duty idle reduction technologies include:
• Auxiliary power units are portable, truck-mounted systems that can provide climate control and power for trucks without idling. These systems generally consist of a small internal combustion engine equipped with a generator and heat-recovery system.
• Automatic engine stop-start controls automatically turn the engine on when the sleeper cab temperature is too warm or cold.
• Cab and block heaters are fuel-fired heaters that provide heat to the cab and the engine block.
• Truck stop electrification is an alternative to onboard idle reduction equipment that allows truckers to “plug in” vehicles to operate necessary systems (e.g., air conditioning, electrical appliances) during required resting periods at truck stops without idling.

Light- and Medium-Duty Idle Reduction Technologies
Light- and medium-duty vehicles, including personal and commercial vehicles, use significant amounts of fuel to idle. The following technologies are available for light- and medium-duty vehicles:
• Coolant heaters draw gasoline or diesel from the fuel tank to heat the vehicle's coolant and pump the heated coolant through the engine, radiator, and heater box.
• Air heaters operate on engine fuel, but are separate, self-contained units that directly blow hot air into the interior of a vehicle.
• Energy recovery systems use the vehicle's heat-transfer system much like a coolant heater but without a separate heater. A very small (1/10 amp) electric pump is connected to the water line, which keeps the vehicle's cooling system and heater operating after the engine is turned off, using engine heat that would otherwise dissipate for energy.

Driver Behavior
In addition to the technologies mentioned above, all drivers, regardless of the type of vehicle being driven, can use the following techniques to reduce idling:
• Turn off the engine when parked or stopped for more than a minute.
• Encourage local schools to enforce a no-idle zone for school buses and personal vehicles.
• Consider the purchase of hybrid electric vehicles, which limit idling at traffic stops.
• Avoid using a remote vehicle starter, which encourages unnecessary idling.
• Avoid drive-thrus: park the car and walk inside instead.

Additional Resources
For additional information about idling, see the following resources:
• AFDC - Idle Reduction (
• EPA - What You Should Know About Truck Engine Idling (
• EPA National Idle Reduction Campaign (
• EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership - Idling Reduction (
• Idling Reduction Network News (

As always, please contact the TRS with other questions, or if you have suggestions for additional resources or a future Question of the Month.

Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

GM Hydrogen Announcement

At the AFVI conference today, GM announced they are partnering with The Gas Company of Hawaii to move hydrogen throughout the gas lines on the island of Oahu. This will be the beginning of a full Hydrogen build out for fueling on the island, and the true beginning of Hydrogen mass implementation.

CNG Taxis

A new OEM, Vehicle Production Group, will be producing EPA certified CNG Taxis starting this fall

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

AFVI Is Just Around The Corner

Follow us next week as we travel to Las Vegas for the Alternative Fuels and Vehicles National Conference and Expo! Look for daily updates for any important announcements or discoveries that are made.

Friday, April 23, 2010

SLVHD TV Coverage

If you haven't had a chance yet, visit FOX 13 to see how Earth Day 2010 was celebrated at Salt Lake Valley Health Department. You will also be able to learn who our very own Batman is.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Last Friday Utah Clean Cities Coalition along with its stake holders hosted the 2010 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant kick off! Pictured above are all of the grant participants.

Monday, April 5, 2010

ARRA Grant Under Way

Our $14.9 million in stimulus money is being put to good use. Contracts are being signed, stations are being upgraded, vehicles are being purchased, and more new stations are about to open. Stay tuned on our website at as we begin to post grant progress updates!

Friday, March 19, 2010

For those interested in Solar Energy

Register Today for the 2010 Utah Renewable Energy Conference
• Get your renewable energy project off the ground with an exciting new limited time rebate offered by the State Energy Program for homes and businesses - more than 50% of the cost of a new solar energy installation could be covered with available tax credits and the new rebate!
• Learn how to make your home or business more energy efficient and the rebates available to make it more affordable than ever.
• Learn about the latest solar technologies and applications.

WHEN: Saturday, March 27, 2010, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (lunch provided)
WHERE: Salt Lake Community College Miller Campus (9750 South in Sandy, UT.)
Admission: $5 individual, $10 for families or groups of 2-5.
Your conference admission will get you $100 off a solar energy system from any of the solar installers participating in the conference!

Don't miss the 2010 Utah Renewable Energy Conference hosted by the Utah Solar Energy Association. The half day event will feature representatives from the Utah State Energy Program presenting details about the brand new renewable energy rebate, presentations on energy efficiency and high performance building by Utah Clean Energy, and solar technology seminars offered by Utah's solar industry leaders.

The event will also include a variety of clean energy companies and experts in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies who will be on-site to answer specific questions about how energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades can work for your home or business.

For more information, visit
Or contact Levi Belnap by emailing or call 801.836.2420
10:00 - 10:50 Registration, welcome.
11:00 - 11:45 Utah Renewable Energy Rebate Presentation Chris Tallackson - Utah State Energy Program
12:00 - 12:50 Lunch break/Q&A with Utah’s clean energy companies at sponsor booths
Lunch provided by Jason’s Deli
1:00 - 1:40 Everything you need to know about solar hot water & cooling Bob Dudley - Harris Dudley Heating, Plumbing, & Solar
2:00 - 2:40 Solar electric (Photovoltaic) technology 101 Ken Gardner - Gardner Engineering Alternative Energy Services
3:00 - 3:40 Start saving money today with energy efficiency and high performance building Sara Baldwin - Utah Clean Energy

Monday, March 15, 2010

Utah Bike Summit

Utah Clean Air Conference - April 10th

Electric Vehicle/Infrastructure Webinar

Below are the call and web login details (for participants) for the March 24th, Electric Vehicle/Infrastructure Webinar-Discussion Group.


Passcode: 1770065


Conference number: PW6566213
Passcode: 1770065

Participants can also join the event directly at:

Monday, March 8, 2010

NREL Electric Vehicle/Infrastructure Webinar

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory will be holding a webinar on March 24, 2010 from 11-12:30am MT and will feature a vehicle and infrastructure discussion by Jim Francfort, INL and Don Karner, eTEC. Jim works on DOE's Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity (AVTA) conducted jointly by the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The AVTA is part of the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program. The primary goal of AVTA is to provide benchmark data for technology modeling, and research and development programs, by benchmarking and validating the performance of light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles that feature one or more advanced technologies, including:

• Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle technologies
• Hybrid electric, pure electric, and hydraulic technologies
• Advanced electric drive technologies and engine technologies
• Advanced energy storage (i.e., batteries) technologies and chemistries
• Advanced climate control, power electronic, and other ancillary systems technologies
• Internal combustion engines burning advanced fuels (i.e., 100% hydrogen and hydrogen/CNG-blended fuels)

Also contributing to this effort is Don Karner, President/CEO of eTEC, of Phoenix, AZ. eTEC was mentioned by President Obama in his latest State of the Union Address and is the project manager for a DOE ARRA grant that includes 40+ project partners that will conduct the largest-ever rollout of electric vehicle infrastructure in the United States.

Jim and Don will give an overview of issues that will be of interest to many coordinators with respect to establishing electric recharging strategies in their communities. Particular areas of interest covered include types of recharging systems available, battery electric and plug-in electric vehicles and their timing for market introduction, the current state of deployment issues such as codes and standards, permitting, standardized training and more.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Back from Washington DC

We made it back from our trip to Washington. We had a highly productive week meeting with other Clean Cities Coalitions, supporters, and politicians. We were able to meet with Senator Hatch, Congressman Matheson, Congressman Bishop, and staff of Senator Bennett and Congressman Chaffetz. Now we will have to just wait and see what happens in Washington!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Energy Independence Days

Hello from Washington DC! Robin and I are attending Energy Independence Days with our fellow coalitions from across the nation to work and help educate our policy makers on what we do. Tomorrow we will be meeting Senators Bennett and Hatch as well as Congressmen Matheson, Bishop, and Chaffetz, to help educate them on everything Clean Cities has done and has the potential to do in Utah.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Federal and State Alternative Fuel Incentives

Do you find yourself wondering what monetary rewards you can earn for driving an alternative fuel vehicle? Then click on the link below to see what the latest federal and state incentives and laws are.

RFS2 Webinar

The National Renewable Energy Lab will be hosting a Webinar on RFS2 this Thursday. Feel free to attend!

"Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) ruling and what it means for the industries affected. We have two speakers, Robert White, Director of Market Development at the Renewable Fuels Association and Paul N. Argyropoulos, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Transportation & Air Quality at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who will be presenting during the webinar."

The webinar will take place on Thursday, February 25th at 11am ET (not 11:30am as previously mentioned).

Call and web login details are below:

pass code: 4828165

Conference number: PW6146008
pass code: 4828165

You can also join the event directly at:

Monday, February 8, 2010

GM unveils BioDiesel Trucks

GM announced today that it will join Ford and Chrysler in the Biodiesel frontier. Later this week at the Chicago Auto Show, GM will be unveiling their 2011 heavy duty trucks and vans. These next generation vehicles will be B20 compliant for the first time.

National Biodiesel Conference Day 1

Good Morning Everyone

Today is the first full day of the National Biodiesel Conference. We will be updating this blog later in the day with news and information. For now feel free to follow the conference's blog at

Monday, February 1, 2010

Welcome to the new Utah Clean Cities blog! We will be using this to keep everyone updated on conferences and large training events we attend. Stay tuned for the first posts coming to you next week from the National Biodiesel Conference and Expo.