The City of Red Deer is stepping on the pedal once again to get drivers to stop vehicle idling.
After introducing an idle-free policy within the municipal fleet in December 2008, the city is now asking businesses to do the same.
The Idle Free Business program was to be launched today at the Red Deer Public Library downtown branch during national Clean Air Day.
“Going idle-free is good for business,” said Lauren Maris, project lead.
“It saves money and fuel, and demonstrates community leadership.”
The city realized some benefits from targeting its own fleet. Between December 2008 and August 2009, the city saved 32,023 litres of fuel and nearly $32,300.
Maris said the city is approaching business owners during the summer, versus the winter when vehicle idling is highest, to help them ease into this change.
“We find it is better to launch idle-free campaigns in the summer so that people get into the habit when weather isn’t so inclement,” she said on Tuesday.
The city’s policy for municipal vehicles states no idling more than three to five minutes.
Emergency Services vehicles and other city vehicles may idle at the scene of emergency or other non-emergency situations in order to perform the job at hand.
Asking businesses to consider going idle-free is part of the city’s plans to improve local air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Both those green efforts are outlined in the city’s Environmental Master Plan.
An online toolkit at www.reddeer.ca/idlefree offers various sample signs, newsletter articles, presentations and policies to help businesses get started.
The kit also features stories from local organizations that have taken steps to go idle-free, including ATCO, Lafarge and Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division.