Fleet Idling Reduction




An idling reduction strategy works to eliminate vehicle and equipment emissions that get zero kilometres per litre.

An idling reduction strategy results in the elimination of unnecessary and wasteful idling of vehicles and The City of Kamloops implemented a four month idle free and fuel management program and realized an estimated $42,000 is fuel savings. / Idle Free BC, 2007equipment. It is an effective and publicly popular way to kick off reducing GHG emissions from your fleet. [1]

Local governments across BC have seen up to 10% reductions in fuel use, and significant financial savings, as the result of idling reduction strategies. [2] The City of Richmond was one of these. Since beginning their idling reduction program in September 2004, the City has saved approximately $117,000 worth of fuel and reduced GHG emissions by approximately 220 tonnes.

An idling reduction strategy works to dispel any myths and change driving habits. The most important output of the strategy is an idling reduction policy. Idling awareness and training programs are also key elements to success. Incentive programs should be developed when necessary.

Idling Reduction Policy

Idling reduction policies  mandate specific rules to minimize fuel wastage from idling. The policies should be consistent with awareness and training programs. [1]

Idle Free BC is an excellent source of information on how to successfully reduce idling. The City of Dawson Creek and the City of Williams Lake both developed idling reduction policies as a first step in reducing fleet GHG emissions. In Williams Lake, some vehicles saw fuel savings of 50% in the first year, despite a January temperature of -10ºC.

This excerpt from the Williams Lake idling policy makes it clear that idling is to be reduced and communicates why it is being reduced. / City of Williams Lake, 2006

Idling Awareness Program

An idling awareness program communicates corporate idling policies and techniques. It explains the environmental and financial importance of eliminating idling as much as possible and the numerous benefits that come along with doing so.

An idling awareness program should be developed alongside an idling reduction strategy and idling reduction policies with the success of those items as a primary goal. It can include, but is not limited to:

  • Workshops.
  • Regular meetings.
  • Workplace posters.
  • Idling tips resources.
  • Personnel pay stub tip inserts.
  • Group emails.

Numerous local governments across BC have used idling awareness programs, including the City of Victoria and the Township of Langley.


Avoiding the unnecessary act of getting zero miles per gallon results in some surprising benefits, including:

  • Reduced GHG emissions and related pollutants.
  • Improved fuel performance.
  • Reduced vehicle wear and maintenance costs.
  • Reduced vehicle downtime.
  • Improved resale value.
  • Improved public image.
  • Higher driver, work environment, and community satisfaction.
 [Use the tab above to learn HOW to reduce emissions with this tool.]

[1], (2006). E3 Fleet. Fraser Basin Council. www.e3fleet.com.

[2], Jim Vanderwal. Innovations in the Transportation Sector. Fraser Basin Council.

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