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City of Norman Accomplishments

  • Public Works Department - Fleet Management / Utilities Department-Sanitation  (April 2010)

Cng truckIn a continuing effort to create a cleaner, more energy efficient environment, the City of Norman has begun focusing on compressed natural gas (CNG) as a viable option when replacing traditional gasoline and diesel fueled vehicles. CNG is a fossil fuel that is more environmentally clean than gasoline or diesel.

Our goal is to have a CNG fueling facility located at our city’s North Base Fleet Facility up and running within the next year and a half. The proposed station will provide compressed natural gas for city vehicles and will potentially add public access for the citizens within a few years after its opening.

After City Council adopted the Alternative Fuel program on February 28, 2009, Fleet Management began purchasing CNG vehicles. Currently, there are 13 CNG vehicles at the City of Norman and plans are to add several more each year.

In 2009, Fleet Management began a pilot program to test CNG as a viable fuel source for City refuse vehicles. The City of Norman has purchased two totally dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) refuse vehicles with a life expectancy of between seven and eight years.  The CNG vehicles purchased for the Utilities Department are one commercial front loader and one residential side loader. The truck bodies are manufactured by Labrie and are mounted on Peterbilt cabs and chassis. Staying with the theme “Keeping Norman Beautiful” the purchase of the two refuse vehicles allows the City of Norman to lead the charge in reducing harmful emissions, protecting the environment, reducing the demand on foreign oil, and tapping into fuel resources that are readily available in the United States.

In addition to the CNG engines causing a substantial reduction in pollution, there are also significant savings in associated fuel costs. Currently, CNG costs 66% less than diesel per gallon. It is anticipated that the two refuse vehicles will be able to complete their routes on a single fill of CNG fuel. If the acquisition proves to be advantageous, more purchases will follow in future fiscal years. Not only will the City of Norman save fuel and dollars with the switch to CNG vehicles, the incremental costs to upgrade a diesel refuse vehicle to a CNG refuse vehicle was with the assistance from the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) in the form of a grant in the amount of $114,000 to be used toward the upgrade costs.

Here are some interesting facts when comparing CNG and Diesel refuse vehicles:



% Reduction with Natural Gas

Air Pollution

Particulate matter


Nitrogen oxides (NOx)


Non-methane hydrocarbons




50% (behind)
90% (inside)
98% (beside)

  • Public Works - Traffic Department (July 2015)

Norman has retrofitted all existing traffic signals and changed our specs for new signal installations to be LED. For close to three years, all of our signalized intersections have had LEDs in place of the older incandescent bulbs. In addition, all of our traffic signals currently have a Battery Back-up Power System which is designed to run a typical intersection for up to eight hours in
the event of a power loss.  Our specs have been updated to require Battery Back-up Power System on all new traffic signal installations.

Incidentally we were the first city in the State to adopt LED standards for traffic signals and had the first installation in Oklahoma (on Tecumseh Road for the Roosevelt School pedestrian crossing). Those LEDs have been in place since summer of 1997.  We were also the first in Oklahoma to be entirely LED with all of our traffic signals.

Our latest endeavor was to upgrade all of our intersection beacons and school flashing beacons to LED and to solar power.  This effort was completed in June of 2015.  Finally, we have begun implementation of LED street lighting in Norman.  Current installations exist on Main Street between Merkle Drive and University Boulevard and on Jenkins Avenue between Constitution Street and State Highway 9.  We have upgraded our specification to call for LED luminaires on all of our new traffic signal installations as well.

  • City of Norman (April 2008) 

The City of Norman drafted and adopted a fuel conservation policy in April 2008. Improved fuel economy is a key consideration across the entire fleet, both for environmental benefits and to save costs. The purpose of this policy is to reduce fuel consumption, reduce pollution and greenhouse gases, and to create a greener, greater Norman.

  • Public Works Department - Fleet Management

Fleet Management has taken several steps to go green focusing on fuel conservation. Fleet has downsized the parts & city run truck from an F-250 diesel to an F-150 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) truck, reducing the fuel usage by 21%. In addition, Fleet has bought tools and software to actively control and monitor the idle time and speed of existing and new equipment. All 2001 and newer heavy trucks are programmed at a five-minute idle time and the allowable speed is lowered to 55 MPH.

  • Public Works Department - Street Division

The Street Division is working to reclaim a majority of concrete removed from street construction projects for reuse as rip-rap in drainage and erosion control projects. This saves energy by not hauling the material to a landfill for disposal, the mining of new materials and the transport from the mines to our facility for use. This also provides a cost savings to the City by not having to purchase mined rip-rap and to pay for the disposal of the removed concrete. The Street Division is also striving to reduce fuel consumption by adhering to the guidelines set for idling, vehicle maintenance checks, and making every trip count.

  • Utilities Department  - Environmental Services Division

In 2005 the Environmental Services Division purchased the City's first hybrid vehicle to help reduce fuel usage. Because of the success of this vehicle, the Utilities Department purchased a second hybrid for the Water Treatment Facility.

  • Utilities Department  - Wastewater Division

Norman Staff Excited by Prospect of Extracting Energy from Wastewater Bio-gas The City of Norman's Green Team recently met with Mr. Ken Stamper with Production Specialties. Production Specialties is an Oklahoma based engineering and consulting company focused on energy and environmental issues. The company is developing a process which, if successful, can be used to refine naturally produced biogas making it a viable renewable energy source and a clean useful by-product of the Wastewater Pollution Control Facility.

Biogas is a byproduct of the anaerobic digestion process which is used to treat the solids that are removed from the City's wastewater. Biogas contains a significant amount of methane gas which can be burned to generate electricity or used to fuel vehicles. In addition to the methane in biogas there are several other types of gases such as hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide which makes the biogas uneconomical to use without treatment to remove these contaminates. These contaminants can compromise the value and usefulness of this resource.

Mr. Stamper has developed a process he believes can be used to remove the contaminant gases from the biogas turning it into a cost effective fuel source. He approached the City's Wastewater Treatment Division staff and members of the City's Green Team with his plan several months ago and asked if they would be willing to let him use their biogas in his trials. Seeing the potential of this project as both an energy and money saving venture the City's staff agreed to allow Mr. Stamper access to the biogas stream at the facility. The success of this trial will mean the facility will be able to generate more of their own power, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and have a useful alternative fuel source. Unlike other sulfur treating technology, this process will not produce a solid waste product.

Work on this project is sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology and XCEL Energy.

  • Police Department

Police Department has recently replaced a very antiquated boiler that heats the 23,771 square foot building. The old boiler was at best 50 to 60 percent efficient, the new boiler is 85% efficient and is approximately half the size.

  • Utilities Department

Sanitation The roof at the Sanitation Division was in need of extensive repairs. Scottie Williams, Utilities Superintendent, came through with a new roof that was selected due to it's high density foam which will help reduce the heating and cooling bill. Due to the saturation of the old roof material there was almost zero insulation value, and as we all know most of the heat loss is from the top. The insulation in the new roof has increased the insulating capacity from a R4 (at best) to an average of R39. This is a ten-fold increase in insulating capacity for the roof. So we did not just fix a leaking roof, but added insulating factor and increased the building's efficiency.