Madison Water Utility working to achieve 20% fuel reduction

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

From a media release issued by the Madison Water Utility:

Madison--With an eye on achieving a 20 percent fuel savings within 10 years on its gasoline-powered vehicles, the Madison Water Utility has been going green with the types of cars and trucks it buys.

“We’re trying to improve fuel economy by replacing older vehicles with more fuel-efficient models, and also by looking for ways to save gas with our driving practices,” said interim Water Utility general manager Larry Nelson, who is also the City Engineer. “The Water Utility is on track to be the first city agency to replace its entire fleet with energy-efficient cars and trucks. Reducing gasoline consumption by 20 percent would be 10,000 gallons per year.”

As the utility’s 71 cars and trucks need replacing, it has been purchasing subcompact cars that get 30 mpg or better.

“We’re trying to downsize the vehicles to match the job at hand,” said Nelson. The larger, heavy-duty trucks should be used only for work that requires them, jobs like repairing water mains or construction. Workers are also saving fuel by reducing unnecessary idling while on the job, planning the most efficient routes for meter reading, and using a GPS system to locate and dispatch the closest repair vehicles to job sites.