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Transportation Emissions Management. Conservation Resources Director. Bob Balzar. Presentation Topics. Seattle City Light – A Carbon Neutral Utility Increasing Vehicle Efficiency Biodiesel: Citywide and at Skagit Electric Plug In Efforts Reducing Vehicle Use City policy

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Transportation Emissions Management

Conservation Resources Director

Bob Balzar


Presentation Topics

  • Seattle City Light – A Carbon Neutral Utility
  • Increasing Vehicle Efficiency
  • Biodiesel: Citywide and at Skagit
  • Electric Plug In Efforts
  • Reducing Vehicle Use
  • City policy
  • Street Light Relamping Trucks
  • Smart Grid and Transportation Emissions

Transportation Emissions Management

Seattle City Light – Carbon Neutral Utility

  • Carbon Neutral since 2005
  • Greenhouse Gas Advisory Committee recommendations:
  • Mitigate 610,728 metric tons of CO2 using
  • a mix of projects and purchasing carbon offsets.
  • Equivalent to about 135,000 cars off the road for one year.

Increasing Vehicle Efficiency


King County Metro buses, City of Seattle fleets, Rabanco

Waste Haulers and Washington State Ferries.

City Light’s fleets and City of Seattle fleets use a blend of

B40 (40% biodiesel, 60% conventional diesel) – except for

city emergency vehicles.

City Light pays price difference for biodiesel in city, metro,

and ferry fleets. Calculated as part of carbon neutral status.

Biodiesel tends to gel in extreme cold – suppliers could

provide an anti-gelling agent.


IncreasingVehicle Efficiency

Plug In Electric Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV)

  • Three City of Seattle Fleet Prius’ converted
  • to plug-in electric hybrids:
  • City Light part of a national effort to study
  • PHEV’s integration with the electric grid.
  • Information from data loggers on cars used by City Light
  • to study the effect on electricity grid load.
  • U.S. Department of Energy and City Light are funding the
  • pilot project.

Increasing Vehicle Efficiency

Plug In Electric Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV)

Greenhouse gas emissions from PHEV Prius’ 25-50% lower

than standard Prius.

National Resources Defense Council and the Electric Power Research Institute Report states:

“Scientists have confirmed that unlike gasoline cars,

plug-ins will get cleaner as they get older -- because

our power grid is getting cleaner."


Increasing Vehicle Efficiency

Plug In Electric Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV)


California Cars

Extensive database on PHEV’s


Report on PHEV’s


Reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled

Street light maintenance trucks

  • Study on diesel fuel use in street light re-lamping trucks:
  • Currently street light replacement crews ‘spot
  • re-lamp’ individual street lights on a first come first served basis.
  • Considering a zone or group re-lamping route for trucks.
  • Preemptively replacing all old lamps in a section of the city will help prevent random street light burn outs.

53.4 MT CO2

(projected annual)

21.0 MT CO2

(projected savings)

Reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled

Preemptive replacement may also reduce greenhouse gas emissions

from maintenance trucks:

74.4 MT CO2 (total 2007)


Reducing Vehicle Use

City of Seattle Green Fleets Initiative

Clean and Green Fleet Action Plan can be found at:

One-Tank Challenge tips:

Don’t idle unnecessarily

Use bus, pedal bikes and Segways for in-City travel

Re-evaluate use of take-home vehicles

Hold trainings and meetings “in the field”

Plan work routes efficiently

Use courier services for efficient package/mail deliveries

Carpool to meetings (75% of motor pool use is single occupancy)

Ask your fleet coordinator to downsize your vehicle

Use the City’s telephone conference bridge for conference calls

Have vendor and subcontractor meetings at your office


Smart Grid effects on Transportation

What’s all this Smart Grid talk and what does it have to do with cars?

The “grid” is all the interconnected electric lines in cities and the countryside.

Currently utilities rely on old technology that only distributes electricity.

A “smart” grid is like an electric internet – allowing the utility, residential renewable energy systems, and plug in electric hybrids (PHEV’s) to “talk” to each other.


Smart Grid effects on Transportation

  • Required for PHEV’s to pull power from and deliver power back to the grid when needed.
  • The smart grid allows active consumer (and appliance) participation – thereby reducing waste and carbon emissions.

Increasing Vehicle Efficiency

SCL’s Criteria for offsets:

1) High quality and low cost, preference to local projects:

- substituting biodiesel in city fleets and providing

electric shore power for cruise ships.

2) Mix of local projects and lower price national projects.

-Invested in mitigation efforts at DuPont Freon

manufacturing facility in Louisville, KY.


Increasing Vehicle Efficiency


Skagit River Hydroelectric Dams

Timothy Epps – Senior Warehouse Vehicle Manager

Biodiesel explored but not used at Skagit.

Cold weather problems – biodiesel gels and

gums up engines.

5% (B5) Biodiesel – even 5% biodiesel gels in cold.

Supplier can provide an anti-gelling agent, but was

not explored further.