Home Pump Cuts Pocketbook Pain - 2007 Honda Civic GX Long-Term Road Test

2007 Honda Civic Long-Term Road Test

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2007 Honda Civic GX: Home Pump Cuts Pocketbook Pain

April 17, 2008

Phill home CNG unit has cut fuel costs 30%, and best is yet to come.

When we posted our methodology for computing fuel economy in the natural gas Civic GX now that we're using a home CNG pump, several people wanted to know how much the fuel cost.

We didn't have an answer back then because we hadn't received our first home gas and electric bills and had no basis for figuring out a cost per gallon.

Well, the bills are in, we've done the conversions (one therm of natural gas is the equivalent of .784 gallons of gasoline) and the math and submitted our first expense report.

We pumped the GNG equivalent of 51.888 gasoline gallons through the Phill home unit during March, and figure that electricity to run the pump cost $40.29 while the natural gas itself cost $91.69, for total cost of $131.46, or $2.53 per gallon.

That's $1.18 less than the prevailing price of unleaded regular gasoline in our part of Southern California, and anywhere from 7-cents to 32- cents a gallon-equivalent less than the various retail GNG pumps in the area are charging for their natural gas. (The range is so great because one pump is operated by a city and is priced pretty much at cost -- it was $2.60 a gallon when we checked two days ago).

But that's just the first step.

We have just received authorization from our natural gas utility for a home refuling unit discount that should drop the cost of fillling up with the Phill to well below $2 per gallon.

We're expecting the first bill that reflects the discount to arrive at the end of the month and we'll let you know what the new cost-per-gallon is as soon as we crunch the numbers.

John O'Dell, Senior Editor @ 15,147 miles.

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