Utilities, Industrial, Sourcing Renewables  -  September 17, 2019

Southern water utility drops emissions by 75 tons with renewable diesel program

The largest public water utility in the Southeast reduced emissions by approximately 75 tons in three months by switching thirty-four of its diesel vehicles to a cleaner-burning renewable diesel.

Charlotte Water sourced the clean diesel from Renewable Energy Group starting in May, the utility announced Sept. 17. If the company continues on the same path, they will cut emissions by almost 300 tons over the course of a year, equivalent to over 732,000 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle. 

Compared with ultra-low sulfur diesel, renewable diesel reduces particulate matter by nearly 40%, carbon monoxide by 25%, nitrogen oxides by 15% and total hydrocarbons by over 10%.

"As a public utility, we believe we have an obligation to protect the environment," Kathy Gibson, fleet manager of Charlotte Water, said in a statement. "Fueling diesel vehicles with 100% renewable diesel instead of petroleum diesel is a way to promote sustainability in the communities we serve, and the results have been very encouraging."

The company also reported a positive performance from the diesel-fueled vehicles when run on the renewable fuel. The pilot program is expected to last approximately six months, at which point it will be evaluated before expansion is continued.

Based in Ames, Iowa, REG is an international company that produces and distributes cleaner-burning fuels like renewable diesel and biodiesel that help customers reduce their emissions while keeping fleet performance strong.

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