Now we’re into a new year, and hopefully feeling refreshed after a well-deserved break, it’s a good time to reflect on how you can save some money on your fuel bill for the coming year.
EECA (the Energy Efficiency and conservation Authority) has found that many people still don’t realise the savings that can be made from fuel efficient driving. “While many people know that fuel efficient driving improves fuel economy, we’ve found that many don’t think it’s going to make much of a difference,” says EECA spokesperson Simon O’Brien.
Yet, if you make a few small changes on an on-going basis, you can improve fuel efficiency by around 10%. For the average Kiwi motorist, this could mean saving around $250 a year, or 20 cents per litre!
EECA ENERGYWISE [link to www.energywise.govt.nz/fuel-economy-tool] has launched a new tool on its website that illustrates how small changes to how you drive and maintain your car can lead to big savings. It’s really easy to use and full of helpful tips.
1. Take it easy behind the wheel
Fuel efficient driving isn't about slow driving; it's about keeping to the speed limit, accelerating smoothly and anticipating the road ahead so you can decelerate gently.
How you drive affects your car's fuel economy because bursts of acceleration require gulps of fuel, making your car thirstier. If the roads are busy, chances are overtaking a couple of cars just to get stuck in the next queue won’t save you much time. It’s better to relax and enjoy the journey.
Potential savings: Around 5 - 15% if you drive smooth and steady.
2. Keep your tyres pumped
It’s simple, free and a very effective way to reduce your fuel usage. Tyres naturally lose pressure, at about 1-2 psi per month (3-6%), so you should check them monthly.
There’s usually a sticker inside the passenger door or the petrol flap telling you what tyre pressure you need for your vehicle. So pop into your local Z to have them pumped up.
Potential savings: If your tyres are under-inflated by more than 20% your car may use 4% more fuel than if they were perfectly pumped.
3. Unload your boot and roof
Once you’ve reached your destination, unload your car. Driving around with excess weight can mean you use 10% more fuel.
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