The Energy Cooperative makes Pa. biodiesel delivery milestone

By Bryan Sims | October 31, 2011

The Energy Cooperative, a nonprofit member-owned Bioheat and biodiesel distributor based in Philadelphia achieved a significant milestone in October by delivering its 10 millionth gallon of biodiesel to Krapf Bus Companies, a local private bus contractor for school districts.

According to Jossi Fritz-Mauer, co-director for TEC, the organization sources B100 from in-state producer Hero BX’s 45 MMgy multifeedstock facility located in Erie, where it then blends product at a local rack and distributes blends from B5 to B20 to fleet members like Krapf.

“We’ve made a commitment for a few years now that we only source our biodiesel from within Pennsylvania,” Fritz-Mauer told Biodiesel Magazine. “Krapf is our largest member and has been for a few years, so it’s appropriate that they ended up getting the 10 millionth gallon of fuel.”

Since 2008, TEC has provided Krapf biodiesel as fuel used in school buses for local school districts in the West Chester, Downingtown and Coatesville areas, Twin Valley and the Chester County Intermediate Unit. Krapf, the country’s eighth largest private bus contractor, was the winner of the inaugural “Go Yellow, Go Green Award,” which is given to a leader in the school bus industry that has demonstrated superior commitment in its pursuit to responding to growing environmental concerns.

“Besides being a fairly large local entity, Krapf was one of the first ones to come to the table looking for environmental solutions that won’t cost them much,” Fritz-Mauer said. “Since they serve as a private bus contractor for a lot of local area school districts, we were able to put together a coalition where we provide Krapf with the fuel and then it goes to five school districts in a neighboring county.”

Originally launched in 1979 as a heating oil buying group, Fritz-Mauer said that by 2005 TEC grew and broadened its cost-saving services to customers to include distributing and marketing biodiesel to customers like the Philadelphia Eagles and the Philadelphia Zoo.

In 2006, with the help of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection’s Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant program, which covers the added cost of using biodiesel blends, Great Valley became the first school district in the Commonwealth to use biodiesel. TEC has grown to assist more than a dozen other area school districts in neighboring counties to help facilitate their transition to biodiesel.

Not only is TEC focused on the distribution and marketing efforts of biodiesel for transport fleets in school districts, but the organization also offers Bioheat, biodiesel mixed with petroleum-derived heating oil to its members.

“We started not just helping people save money on their heating oil costs that they use for their home heating oil, but also pushing the suppliers we work with to offer Bioheat,” he said. “We were one of the first ones locally to push for that and we’re continuing that here.”


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