City of Lake Charles eyes possible propane switch - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

City of Lake Charles eyes possible propane switch

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

As gas prices continue to rise, the City of Lake Charles is looking at ways to potentially save money by switching over to propane for public works equipment.

Like many cities across the country, switching to cleaner energy has become a better solution to saving money, according to officials.

"We've looked for several years about trying to go to some kind of alternative fuel," Director of the Department of Public Works, Mister Edwards said.

Edwards said the city researched the propane program for the past five years. He said public works will test the use of propane on a few lawnmowers before making the transition to propane on all of the utilities and even the vehicles.

"We just want to make sure that we're not getting into something that is not going to be feasible for us and we don't want to buy a bunch of equipment for it not to work out," Edwards said. "We want to be responsible with the taxpayers' monies and make sure that there are savings out there."

But the converter kits will come at a cost. 

It will cost between $500 and $1,200 more per lawnmower. And for vehicles, the city could expect to pay $4,500 to $6,000 more per vehicle for the propane conversion kits.

Edwards said by switching to propane, the city would save more money on maintenance costs and fuel costs in the long run.

"I think this is the way of the future," Edwards said.

"I think that it may not be propane. It may be compressed natural gas. It may be diesel fuels (which are) getting cleaner and cleaner, they're doing more with diesel fuels now. I think this is definitely something that we have to get in the game on and make sure we're not being left behind," he added.

Edwards said the city and the Department of Public Works are looking at all the details before going "full fledged" into the propane program.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved. 

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