Idle Free BC

Idling reduction program that delivers large returns on simple actions that require minimal training


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About the project Edit

Idle-Free BC is where the rubber hits the road. We work to build awareness among fleets and the public about the economic, environmental and health costs of idling and support them in implementing their own idling reduction programs.

We recognize that some idling is required when operating vehicles. Our goal is to help identify ways that fleets and the public can reduce unnecessary idling with minimal impact on day to day operations. Idling reduction programs deliver large returns on simple actions that require minimal training. However, these programs are only successful if implemented with careful thought and engagement from everyone involved.

Take advantage of the existing resources and best practices to ensure your program is successful.

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Idling reduction programs are in place across Canada, and the results speak for themselves:

• Union Gas (Ontario) saw a 19% improvement in fuel efficiency after three months of its idle reduction initiative.
• The Beer Store (Ontario) was able to increase their fuel efficiency by 14% and decrease idling by 51% in one year through their program.
• Toronto Hydro had a 10% improvement in fuel efficiency and a 47% reduction in idling in just 5 months.
• Molson Canadian estimates an average annual savings of $225,000 in reduced fuel costs as a result of their idling reduction program.
• City of Richmond saved $117,000 in fuel costs during the first year of implementing an idle reduction driver training program.
• The City of Armstrong has implemented a driver-training program, and is now idle-free.

Idling reduction is starting to gain momentum in BC. A number of organizations have started to implement great programs. For example North Vancouver, Whistler and West Vancouver currently have anti-idling bylaws in place.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

Unnecessary idling wastes fuel and results in emissions that degrade local air quality and contribute to climate change. Vehicle idling reduction programs can save your operations up to 20% on your annual fuel budgets — not to mention the added air quality, health and environmental benefits.

For example, Paradise Island Foods has dropped their idling time from 15-20% down to 1.4% using data tracking technology, automatic idle shut down timers, and driver incentives of half the fuel savings.
Since signing up with Idle Free BC, the City of Salmon Arm has become idle free, only idling when necessary to operate equipment.

If vehicles avoided idling by just three minutes a day, over the year Canadians would collectively save 630 million litres of fuel, and $945 million in fuel costs (assuming a fuel cost of $1.50/L). This would also save 6.3 billion kilograms of GHG emissions.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

If vehicles avoided idling by just three minutes a day, over the year Canadians would collectively save 630 million litres of fuel, and $945 million in fuel costs (assuming a fuel cost of $1.50/L). This would also save 6.3 billion kilograms of GHG emissions.

• Fact: Excessive idling can damage your spark plugs, cylinders and exhaust system.
• Fact: Molson Canada saves approximately $225,000 in fuel costs with their idle reduction program.
• Fact: Idling costs money, affects air quality and community health.

Why turn it off?
Rising fuel prices, falling budgets, environmental issues as well as community health and safety are of concern to fleet managers and the public. Here are just a few reasons to turn of your engine:

High fuel costs
• Idling gets you nowhere; with oil prices soaring at over $100 a barrel, every litre counts! Gasoline engines consume 2.5 to 4 litres of gas per hour of idling, while diesel engines consume 1 to 4 litres, depending on various factors.

Higher maintenance costs
• Idling will lead to more rapid engine oil contamination, due to increased residue in the engine, resulting in an incomplete combustion cycle and condensation of unburned fuel on cylinder walls. Idling decreases the operating life of engine oil by 75%.
• In addition, the unburned fuel residue will damage the engine, and will result in more frequent servicing and repairs of vital parts of the vehicle.

Increased emissions
• While a vehicle idles, it emits pollutants into the air, including greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, and other pollutants that create smog. These contribute to global warming, and threaten public health with poor air quality.

Health risks
• Idling in places where there is high pedestrian traffic creates a public health risk of respiratory illnesses, such as asthma. Schools are a particularly dangerous place to idle a vehicle, since children's lungs are less developed, and thus more susceptible to poor air quality.

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