Idle Reduction Bylaw




Idle Free in BC

There are several programs that provide toolkits to help communities initiate an idle-free campaign like Idle Free BC and Idle Free Zone.Idle-free initiatives are a straightforward and cost-effective action that local governments can immediately take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When a vehicle’s engine is turned off instead of idling, not only does this reduce GHG emissions, but saves fuel as well.

A successful idle-free campaign can also be a catalyst for public involvement in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  An idle reduction initiative may mark a personal transition that leads to other actions on climate change and support for policies that reduce emissions. This change in behavior can be a foundation for learning about climate change and our roles.

Myths and Facts About Idling

MYTH: Idling uses less gas than restarting the engine.  Studies clearly show that idling for over 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more CO2 emissions than restarting your engine. The amount of time to offset any potential maintenance costs to the starter or battery is under 60 seconds. So, as a guideline, if a car is stopped for more than 60 seconds the engine should be turned off. [1]

MYTH: Idling warms the engine.  Idling is not an effective way to warm up your vehicle, even in cold weather. The best way to warm a car is to drive it. The tires, transmission, wheel bearings and other moving parts all need to be warmed up for the vehicle to perform well, and most of these parts do not begin to warm up until you drive. [1]

FACT: For the average vehicle with a 3-litre engine (e.g. 2000 Nisan Patrol) every 10 minutes of idling costs more than a quarter of a litre in wasted fuel or approximately 0.6 kg of carbon dioxide.

FACT: If Canadians avoided idling for just three minutes every day of the year, CO2 emissions could be reduced by 1.4 million tonnes annually, which is the equivalent of taking 320,000 cars off the road for the entire year. [1]

Community Examples

[Use the tab above to learn HOW to reduce emissions with this tool.]

[1] Office of Energy Efficiency, Idle-Free Zone, Natural Resources Canada.