A new rebate program from Oklahoma Natural Gas to help pay for compressed-natural gas vehicles has proved so popular that a waiting list has developed, company officials said Monday.
More than $80,000 in rebates has been paid since applications started being processed in August, said Cherokee Ballard, ONG spokeswoman.
New applicants are being told the program could start paying out again by February.
“It just shows that Oklahomans are really embracing compressed-natural gas vehicles,” Ballard said.
ONG's program offers rebates of $2,500 for a dedicated CNG vehicle; $1,500 for a dual-fuel vehicle conversion; and $2,500 toward the cost of a CNG home-filling station. Those rebates come on top of existing state tax credits for CNG vehicles, conversions and home-filling stations.
Funded by surcharge
Money for the rebates comes from a 25 cents per gallon gasoline equivalent surcharge on natural gas bought from ONG's public fueling stations. The surcharge was approved by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission in June. ONG began collecting it July 1.
Ballard said ONG has paid out 37 rebates, with about two-thirds going to the dedicated CNG vehicle rebates. One rebate was for a home-fueling station, and the rest went to dual-fuel conversion rebates.
About 40 applicants are on the rebate waiting list, Ballard said.
Since the rebate money comes from the CNG surcharge, it takes some time before the fund replenishes and rebates can be paid again.
Ballard said high-profile efforts such as Gov. Mary Fallin's CNG fleet purchasing plan have helped raise the awareness of the benefits of CNG vehicles.
Honda, the only automaker to offer CNG vehicles from the factory, also offers a $3,000 CNG fuel card with the purchase of a new CNG Civic.