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Episode 15 :: Saving fuel in business

Transport is a significant cost for many businesses. But your monthly fuel spend can be reduced with a series of simple measures. Every litre saved reduces your company's carbon emissions, and delivers real savings to the bottom line.

Winstone Aggregates kicked off its fuel efficiency drive by tackling a range of issues. Driver education, regular maintenance, route planning and efficient vehicle choice all played a part. Not only is the company saving more than $300,000 every year, but the steps it took paid for themselves within a year.

Winstones' top tips for fuel efficiency:

  • Start monitoring your fuel use
  • Do your homework on your engine choice
  • Limit speed
  • Cover trucks and trailers, loaded or not
  • Reduce excessive idling
  • Keep tyres at optimal pressure
  • Plan trips and optimise vehicle use
  • Get your drivers on board

arrow icon Read the Winstone Aggregates case study

arrow icon Read the action sheet Saving energy in business: transport

Fuel-efficient driving

If your staff drive for work, their on-road habits may be costing more than you realise. There’s a surprisingly large difference between the fuel used by an efficient driver and a non-efficient one. Fuel-efficient driving is also safer - so if it becomes company policy, you’ll reduce the rate of accidents, insurance claims and fines.

Here are some tips:

  • Invest in staff training and education – whether this is run in-house or externally.
  • Follow training up regularly so people remain aware
  • Ensure that new staff are brought up to speed with driving standards
  • Monitor fuel use and provide incentives for efficient driving

arrow icon Find out more on the Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving (SAFED) website.

Choose efficient vehicles

Ensure you have the right sized vehicle for the job – not just the largest one you might need. Consider having a mixed fleet with small efficient cars for around town and larger vehicles for longer load-carrying journeys.

When choosing a car, ute or van under 3.5 tonnes look for the vehicle fuel economy label or use our vehicle fuel economy tool to compare different fuel economy ratings and to find out how far each car will travel on $100 of fuel.

arrow icon The New Zealand Transport Agency provides a guide to selecting safe and fuel efficient heavy vehicles

Vehicle fuel economy labels

When choosing a car to buy, look out for vehicle fuel economy labels which show how much fuel a car uses and its annual running costs. In New Zealand, the label must be displayed on new and late model used cars available for sale by registered motor vehicle traders and on internet listings.

arrow icon Find out more about vehicle fuel economy labels

Look at biofuels

Another way of reducing the carbon footprint of your transport fleet is by switching to biofuel blends.

Bioethanol blends can be used in place of petrol and are available at service stations in many parts of the North Island.

Biodiesel, an alternative for diesel vehicles, is being increasingly produced in New Zealand. Although it’s not available from retail outlets. It can be bought directly from producers.

Check with the manufacturer whether your vehicles are biofuel-compatible.

arrow icon Find out more about biofuels

More information