BuildSense has been participating as an active member of the Triangle Clean Cities Coalition for about one year. Your reaction to this may be, "What's that?". Triangle Clean Cities Coalition works with stakeholders across the Triangle area to reduce the use of petroleum based fuel. There are over 100 similar "Clean Cities" groups across the country. They are also the group from whom we won a grant for assistance to convert the majority of our fleet to run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
The Department of Energy requires that Clean Cities programs be re-designated every three years. Essentially they have to prove they are making a difference. The evaluation took place in March. In order to achieve re-designation, coalition staff completed a six-month evaluation process, culminating with a presentation to Department of Energy officials and representatives from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. Triangle Clean Cities Coalition Coordinator Lacey Jane Wolfe made the presentation, along with Chairperson Jeff Barghout, Vice Chairperson Jeff Andre (of BuildSense), and Advanced Energy.
"Triangle Clean Cities Coalition has a tremendous impact not just in the Research Triangle area but also as a state leader encouraging fleets to adopt alternative fuels, electric vehicles and other petroleum displacement strategies," Barghout stated during the presentation. As part of the re-designation process, more than 40 stakeholders agreed to speak with Department of Energy representatives. Those contacted were asked about the coalition's strengths and weaknesses, and that information will be incorporated into the coalition's operating plans moving forward.
Preliminary data from the annual report suggest that our coalition displaced more than 3.3 million gallons of gasoline equivalent in 2012. This is a 28 percent increase in offset fuels from the previous year. The recent re-designation will allow Triangle Clean Cities Coalition to continue their efforts to reduce petroleum dependence in the Greater Triangle Area for years to come.
The BuildSense CNG operation, while small, is a measurable part of that effort. We undertook this project to align our vehicle use with our overall corporate philosophy, reducing our environmental impact whenever the opportunity arises. I expect that BuildSense will continue to be an active participant in the Triangle Clean Cities Coalition for many years.