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Oklahoma says OK to CNG with rebates

Oklahoma has approved a rebate program for vehicle purchases or conversions to run on compressed natural gas (CNG).

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) is the State of Oklahoma's regulatory agency for fuel, public utilities, and transportation. It has approved a rebate program for vehicle purchases and conversions to compressed natural gas (CNG) as well as for the purchase and installation of a residential fueling system.

The rebate will be offered through Oklahoma Natural Gas, the largest natural gas provider in the state, but is available to all Oklahomans regardless of whether they're ONG customers or not.

The rebates amount to $2,500 for the purchase of a dedicated natural gas vehicle, $1,500 for the purchase of a "dual fuel" natural gas vehicle, and $2,500 for the purchase of a residential system that allows CNG refueling at home. The program is limited to three rebates per customer per calendar year.

The rebates will be paid for through a surcharge at ONG's public natural gas filling stations. These filling stations are operated non-profit and are often cheaper than commercial facilities and the surcharge of 25 cents per gallon equivalent will still mean the ONG filling stations are generally cheaper than commercial counterparts. The surcharge helps bring them closer together, however, which may help alleviate a common complaint amongst commercial filling stations.

An OK resident who purchase a new, dedicated CNG-powered vehicle would be eligible for a $2,500 rebate and if that person also installed a CNG filling station at their house, they would be eligible for another $2,500 in rebates for a total of $5,000. The OCC hopes that this will give incentive to Oklahomans to purchase natural gas vehicles, which would then be fueled by OK-sourced natural gas rather than imported fuels.

“The program approved today represents a win for Oklahoma on at least four fronts: It encourages use of Oklahoma's vast natural resources; promotes Oklahoma's role in helping our country achieve energy independence; helps our rural communities by providing access to CNG fueling in remote as well as urban areas; and supports the viability of Oklahoma's local natural gas distribution facilities," OCC Chair Dana Murphy said. "I've continually expressed the need for innovative programs in Oklahoma and encouraged all stakeholders and the OCC to explore and work together on these types of issues. I'm pleased to see our staff and others rise to the challenge and develop a beneficial program that also offers a financial break to Oklahomans who've been hit hard in the pocketbook.”