Colchester, VT-based electric utility Green Mountain Power is starting to switch the majority of its fleet of service trucks to run on a biodiesel blend provided by Champlain Oil Company this month, with plans to add more as the fuel becomes more widely available.

More than 20 diesel-powered trucks operated by the utility are now running on B20 biodiesel, a 20% blend of biomaterial and 80% conventional diesel fuel as it offers significant emission reductions at an affordable price while working with existing diesel engines, said Mary Powell, COO of Green Mountain.

“Biodiesel helps us to improve our environmental footprint by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and particulate matter,” she said. “The use of biodiesel is important for climate protection as well as local air quality.”

According to the Vermont Biofuels Association, an estimated 100 million gallons of biodiesel will be produced in the U.S. by the end of 2005 -- an increase of more than 75 million gallons over the past two years, the group said.