Propane picks up with increase in gas prices
Updated: 08/22/2012 05:33 PM
By: Chad Mira
LEXINGTON, N.C. -- With gas prices continuing to climb, people are turning to other fuel sources to fill up their car. More people are converting vehicles and mowers to run on propane or natural gas which can be nearly $2 per gallon cheaper than regular gasoline.
Harold Shelton mows about four acres of land every week. He converted his mower to run on propane back in June, and said he is already seeing a big difference.
"With the way the economy is, don't watch the dollars. You've got to look after the pennies and nickels and dimes,” Shelton said.
A gallon of propane is currently just under $2 per gallon, which can add up for Shelton.
"From week to week you're saving say $4 a week, four weeks a month, that's $16 a month," he said of his lawn mower. He said that adds up to hundreds of dollars a year.
And he is not alone. Davidson County converted nearly a dozen vehicles to run on propane, and it already had six cars running on compressed natural gas. The county is saving tens of thousands of dollars a year on fuel costs, and he says county's state-wide are starting to try it out.
"I believe all the options are on the table and i think everyone is looking at all the options across the state as again those grant funds became available i think you saw more and more folks jump into that arena," Davidson County's Director of Purchasing Dwayne Childress said.
One of the problems with converting to alternative fuel for people is the cost of the conversion. Converting Shelton's mower to propane cost about $550.
"I'm 62 years old. I've been mowing since I was a kid. How many gallons of gasoline have I burnt in my lifetime when I'm mowing that I've paid highway use tax on?" Shelton asked.
Compressed natural gas is even cheaper than propane, but Davidson County officials said the main problem they see with that option right now is the lack of fueling stations across the country.
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