Powering sustainability and customer service with propane

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 2:59 pm MST

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Erik Carlson, DISH Executive Vice President of DNS and Service Operations

At its core, DISH is a company that challenges the status quo by deploying new technologies and business models to better serve customers. Our Hopper™ Whole-Home HD DVR is a prime example of that value in action.

As the person responsible for in-home and commercial installations at DISH, I embrace the company’s drive to innovate and am pleased to announce the deployment of another technology – 200 DISH vans powered by propane autogas.

Last year, I challenged my team to lower the operational costs of DISH’s fleet of vans and to find technology that would reduce our impact on the environment. We want to reduce the cost of bringing Hopper to your home and emit fewer emissions along the way.

Over the course of several months, we evaluated the arc of available carbon-reducing fuel sources, including electric, natural gas, biofuels and others. Propane, in the end, was chosen as the single solution that makes sense for our fleet because it was the fuel source that ranked highest among these critical categories:

  • Economically Efficient – On average, propane costs nearly 50 percent less than gasoline. As a result, we expect to save $2,500 in annual lifecycle costs with each van. 
  • Operationally Effective – We can eliminate trips to off-site gas stations and save time by installing propane refueling infrastructure on-site at DISH service centers. This allows us to dedicate more time to serving customers and less to refueling.
  • Environmentally Responsible – When compared to gasoline, light-duty fleet vehicles produce 17-25 percent less greenhouse gases. We estimate that DISH will lower its carbon dioxide emissions by 12.5 million pounds over the lifetime of these vans.
  • Domestically Sourced – In the U.S., 90 percent of propane is produced domestically and seven percent comes from neighboring Canada. It’s no wonder propane is the leading alternative fuel in our country. 

We are excited to introduce these new Ford E-250 vans and to deploy them to major cities that include Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco. These vans are being fitted with propane autogas systems by our partner ROUSH Cleantech in Michigan

These vehicles represent a start to DISH deploying technology as a way to improve our fleet’s environmental footprint while also reducing operating costs and meeting growing customer demand. 

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