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Reduce your fuel consumption and save money!

The average Australian household spends $8000 per year transport, and for many, it is much more. With fuel prices set to increase the financial burden of transport is putting a lot of stress on Australian’s. Transport is the second largest item of household expenditure in Australia (after food) and so it is vital to consider alternative ways traveling from A to B

Statistics on transport in Australia:

In 2009 the transport sector contributed around 14.8% of Australia’s total Greenhouse Gas emissions and emissions from passenger vehicles consistently remain the highest contributor to air pollution compared to all other transport types (Department of Environment and Heritage 2005).

In the Northern Territory alone, emissions from passenger vehicles increased by 60% compared to 1990 levels (AGO Greenhouse Gas Inventory 2009)

The good news is ...

The Northern Territory has significantly higher rates of cycling compared to the national average, with around 26% of Territorians riding as a way to commute in a typical week (Bicycle Victoria, 2011).

What can you do to reduce fuel consumption?

For many local journeys, opting for alternative transport is a real and viable option for getting from A to B. Over 50% of the trips made in urban areas are less than 5km and often it is even quicker to ride, skate or walk in rather than bothering with the hassle of finding and paying for a parking spot. The family car can cost 60+ cents per km to run where as the cost of buying and maintaining a bike is around 1% of this. Cycling 10 km to and from work each day will save you around $1700 (and gym fees) and 1500 kg of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

You don’t need lots of fancy gear to ride either, just a reliable bike, a helmet, bright clothes and lights. You can also sign up to Bicycle NT, a free Darwin based organisation that promotes cycling as a healthy and environmentally friendly means of transport.

If you don’t have a bike ... DON’T WORRY, there’s always walking and you can establish a ‘walking bus’ (which is done in many schools in Australia). For more information on walking go to The Pedestrian Council or Walk Safely to School Day information sheets.

Or if the journey’s a bit further have you considered car pooling, especially to and from work?

By having more people using one vehicle, car pooling reduces each person’s travel costs such as fuel, and parking, and also the stress of driving. It is environmentally friendly and sustainable way to travel and can also be good fun! To find out how go to The Car Pool or ask your colleagues at work if they want to start a car pooling group!

The Green Vehicle Guide

When buying your next car choose a less polluting one. The Green Vehicle Guide which will help you by rating new Australian vehicles based on greenhouse and air pollution emissions.|

All new passenger cars, 4WDs and commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes have to show fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions information at the point of sale on a label on their windscreen. The label indicates how many litres of fuel a vehicle will use to travel 100 kilometers and how many grams of carbon dioxide the vehicle would emit for each kilometer. The rating is based on a standard test procedure so you can reliably compare the performance of different models under identical conditions.

Eco Driving Tips

Each litre of burnt petrol produces about 2.5 kg of greenhouse gases (3kg for diesel). So a car using 10 L of petrol per 100 km and driving 15,000 km per year produces 3750 kg of greenhouse gases (4500 kg for diesel).

Driving fuel-efficiently saves you money while reducing your fuel bill and your greenhouse gases. Remember these tips:

  1. Drive at reasonable speeds and above all, drive smoothly.
    At 110 km/h you car uses up to 25% more fuel than at 90 km/h. Every time you accelerate or brake suddenly, your engine uses more fuel and produces more CO2
  2. When accelerating, change up gears as early as possible.
    Higher gears are more economical in terms of fuel consumption.
  3. Try to anticipate traffic flow.
    Look at the traffic as far ahead as possible in order to avoid unnecessary stopping and starting within the flow of traffic
  4. Keep your car well serviced and check the oil level regularly.
    Correctly maintained cars can operate more efficiently and help reduce CO2 emissions.
  5. Check your tyre pressure every month.
    Under-inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by up to 4%*.
  6. Remove unnecessary weight from your boot or back seats.
    The heavier the car, the harder the engine has to work and the more fuel it consumes.
  7. Close your windows, especially at higher speeds, and remove empty roof racks.
    This will reduce wind resistance and can lower your fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10%.
  8. Use air conditioning only when necessary.
    Hard-working air-conditioning on a hot summer day can increase the fuel consumption of your car by up to 10%. So use it sparingly.
  9. Start driving soon after starting the engine and turn off the engine when stationary for more than one minute.
    Modern engines enable you to just get in and go, thus reducing fuel consumption.
  10. Plan to do a number of errands in one trip rather than having multiple ones
    For the first couple of minutes of a car trip the engine is cold and this results in increased fuel used