SoCalGas - Building a CNG refueling station
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Building a CNG refueling station

Natural gas vehicles (NGVs) are convenient for fleets since the vehicles usually return to the same location each night for refueling. Fleet fueling stations can be conveniently located on-site, using either the "fast-fill" or "time-fill" method of fueling. Fast-fill refueling is similar to using a gasoline pump and takes minutes to refuel. Time-fill refueling is usually done overnight, in about five to eight hours. A refueling station may be installed wherever natural gas is available.

Benefits of an on-site station

Building your own compressed natural gas (CNG) station has major benefits for your operation.

  • Fuel production control. With your own station, you know that you will have CNG available exactly when and where you need it and with the capacity you need.
  • Cost.  Producing your own CNG on-site is generally less expensive than paying a markup and buying it from someone else. This often results in the lowest available fuel cost per gas gallon equivalent (GGE).  You can also save on labor costs in the time saved to make refueling trips to remote stations.
  • Flexibility. A station of your own can be tailored to specific needs. You can build the exact number of time fill posts to refuel every NGV in your fleet. You may also choose to add fast fill dispensers, especially if you choose to offer public access.
  • Goodwill and the bottom line. If you choose to install public access dispensers ("pumps") as part of a new on-site station, it demonstrates your commitment to the community and clean air by providing the public with the ability to conveniently refuel NGVs. And, depending on how you price the CNG, a public station may also provide incremental revenue and Federal tax rebates to help offset the cost of building and operating the station.

Process for establishing CNG gas service

There is a specific process and certain requirements (PDF) necessary to establish natural gas service for a compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling station. Advanced planning is required for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas®) to design and install the facilities necessary to deliver natural gas to the CNG refueling station and information on gas flow rate, pressure and other items will be needed by you or your service provider to design the CNG refueling station.

Regardless of your approach to design and construction, SoCalGas has staff available to assist you with getting the information you need in a timely manner. Depending on the engineering and equipment involved, the entire process may take five to seven months. Starting early on the parts of the process involving SoCalGas will help keep your project on schedule. There are two key steps in the process:

  1. Complete an NGV Site Evaluation form (PDF). Based upon this form, the SoCalGas engineering team will develop a preliminary gas supply plan and calculate the available pressure at the location you have chosen (important for selecting compression equipment). Up to four scenarios can be requested without charge.
  2. Complete the Request for Non-Residential Gas Facilities form (PDF). Once a decision has been made to proceed with construction, this form will authorize SoCalGas to design the facilities needed to deliver natural gas to the location you have chosen. Once the design is complete, a final project cost, construction schedule and customer contract will be developed.

SoCalGas has compiled a list of suppliers(PDF) which includes consultants, component manufacturers, installers and others which may prove helpful to you in this process. Non-utility service providers may offer services that are the same or similar to the SoCalGas Compression Services Tariff and customers are encouraged to explore these service options.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact us at 1-800-GAS-2000 or ngvinfo@semprautilities.com.


1 Provided for information purposes only. There are numerous qualified non-utility providers of products and services needed for construction and operation of natural gas compression facilities, but Southern California Gas Company does not recommend or endorse the products or services of any particular party listed herein, or represent that the particular products or services are fit for any particular purpose or use. By publishing this list, Southern California Gas Company is not acting in an advisory capacity, and does not assume any responsibility for use of the list by customers. Although commercially reasonable efforts are used in posting this list, no representation is made that it is complete or free from error. Related information is posted at www.socalgas.com. To be added to the list, please send an e-mail to NGVInfo@semprautilities.com. Vendors are listed alphabetically and the order of listing implies no preference.

Updated 2/2014