ASHBURN, GA (WALB) - Propane is most commonly used as fuel to heat our homes in the winter. But it can also be used to run your car, at a cheaper price. Everyone is feeling the pain at the gas pump and city officials in Ashburn decided to do something about it. Ashburn has been in the propane business for years and now their saving money because of it. They've already converted two of their city vehicles to run off propane instead of gasoline.
"We started looking at this when we noticed, along with every other city and every other employer in the state and in the nation when gas prices started escalating, and we noticed that propane costs weren't escalating as high as gas," Ashburn City Manager Ben Taylor says. Not even close. Average gas prices are around four dollars a gallon. Ashburn sells their propane for about $2.70 a gallon. Now that's a deal. But saving money at the pump isn't the only benefit.
"The engine life is longer, because it's clean burning fuel, so of course it's better for the environment, and we've found that there is actually more horse power with our vehicles, after they've been converted," says Taylor. It's also safe. If you have a wreck, this converter box shuts off. But what if you have an emergency, and are low on propane? No need to worry, you can still make a stop at the nearest station. Inside the vehicle, a button is installed that switches the vehicle back to gas operating. But propane isn't the only trend catching on in Ashburn. The city water meter reader, and even the Mayor can be scene driving around in a golf cart! "My truck gets 13 miles to the gallon and this golf truck is going to get 40-50 miles to the gallon," Mayor Jim Hedges says.
So how can you save money? Well, you can purchase a golf cart, or you can make the switch from gas to propane. "Yes we definitely encourage folks to convert over, I mean it's a reliable fuel, and since we're in the business we'd like to sell them the fuel," says the city manager.
A propane conversion runs about 3500 dollars. But that price is paid off after about six months with the money you save at the pump. The Ashburn City Manager encourages anyone interested in converting their vehicle to contact City Hall at 229-567-3431.