The two-compressor station is located at their Tamarac headquarters and warehouse location, and will be used to fuel their fleet of new CNG-powered delivery trucks – which will service the surrounding communities.
“It is exciting to see new market segments take advantage of all the things domestic CNG has to offer – and the Koenig family, long known for their eye toward environmental responsibility, is one the first furniture delivery companies we’re aware of that is converting their fleet to CNG,” said TruStar Energy Vice President, Scott Edelbach.
The Koenig family has been involved with the furniture retail business in Florida since 1971, first with a series of waterbed stores – which eventually evolved into the City Furniture franchise in 1994. They then expanded by forming a formal partnership with Ashley Furniture HomeStores in 2005, with several joint ‘superstores’, throughout south Florida.
As the company grew, late founder Kevin Koenig and his brother, City Furniture President Keith Koenig, began to understand the importance of environmental sustainability. In recent years, the company has led its industry in incorporating sustainable building practices into their stores whenever possible. That same focus led Keith Koenig to take a hard look at CNG to fuel their delivery fleet.
“We made the decision after extensive due diligence – researching vehicle manufacturers, speaking with station builders throughout the U.S. and abroad, and meeting with owners of CNG stations and county leaders aware of the (CNG) technology,” said Koenig. “The DOE’s Clean Cities Coalition helped us understand how to make this happen, and TruStar Energy has been terrific in guiding us through the process. We concluded that the ROI payback was strong for our company’s future, the environment and the communities we serve.”
TruStar Energy President Adam Comora said the financial viability of CNG throughout the transportation sector was a game changer going forward. “Fuel savings from 30% to 50% create significant value for fleet operators and their partners,” said Comora, adding, “Natural gas is better for the environment, better for domestic energy independence and better for the bottom line – truly a win-win-win solution.”
TruStar Energy has historically focused on constructing “behind the fence” private stations, such as this one for City Furniture. Over the past few years it has built approximately 60 such stations in the United States. TruStar Energy has recently expanded out to build public/private fueling stations as well as deliver CNG fuel from its own stations. The full complement of TruStar Energy’s product offerings are represented by their Florida customers, with private and public CNG station builds, fuel-provider partnerships and a portable-fueling-station client. The City Furniture station is the first they’ve built for a furniture retailer, but illustrates the expanding interest in CNG.
“I like to think that my late brother Kevin, who founded the company, had an inkling of this opportunity when he chose a site for our headquarters and distribution center that’s above a natural gas pipeline,” said Koenig. “He was a visionary and a true ‘Made in America’ entrepreneur, and I know he’d be proud that we’re leading the furniture industry on CNG.”
Koenig said City Furniture plans to convert its entire 90-truck fleet to run on CNG by 2016.