A colleague of mine who works a lot with credit unions shared some great news with me this past week. An Oklahoma credit union has introduced an incredible new program that helps its customers affordably get access to new compressed natural gas, or CNG, vehicles, or alternatively convert their existing vehicles to a clean CNG car.
Communication Federal Credit Union has told its customers that it will finance up to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for new vehicles, in addition to the cost of conversion. Plus, for pre-owned and member-owned cars that have a CNG fuel system or a conversion installation ready, the credit union has announced that it will finance up to 115 percent of the NADA Guides retail value.
This is truly great news for all Oklahomans, and especially those Communication Federal Credit Union customers. In addition to these types of incentives being offered by credit unions like this, Oklahoma Natural Gas, or ONG, last year got an innovative incentive approved by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to create pathways for Oklahomans to readily have access to natural gas vehicles.
Oklahoma Natural Gas created a CNG surcharge incentive mechanism. Basically, a part of the surcharge you pay at a public CNG station owned by ONG goes to fund incentives for greater utilization of CNG vehicles. Oklahomans can receive a vehicle rebate in the amount of $2,500 for the purchase or conversion of a dedicated natural gas vehicle, or NGV. Plus, if you are considering installing a residential fueling CNG system, you can also get a $2,500 rebate. These really help close the funding gap for car shoppers wishing they could afford a more efficient CNG vehicle.
These two examples are excellent case studies and stories of how Oklahomans are beginning to craft a way forward for greater utilization of CNG vehicles. Plus, there are some awesome federal tax incentives as well, all that make this possibility a real reality for Oklahomans. Greater market penetration of NGVs has incredible benefits. Not only are the fuel cost savings extraordinary, but there are also significant emission reductions. Use of compressed natural gas in vehicles could reduce carbon monoxide emissions by 90 to 70 percent, reduce nitrogen oxide emission by 35 to 60 percent, reduce non-methane hydrocarbon emission by 50 to 75 percent, and emit little to no particulate matter.
Oklahoma is one of America’s, and indeed the world’s, leaders in natural gas production. Greater usage of CNG benefits not only the air we breathe, but our growing Oklahoma economy as well. Thanks to Communication Federal Credit Union, more Oklahomans can get on the road to a cleaner, cheaper commuting future.
Jim Roth, a former Oklahoma corporation commissioner, is an attorney with Phillips Murrah P.C. in Oklahoma City, where his practice focuses on clean, green energy for Oklahoma.