Fuel Costs

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Fuel costs have become a large factor in budgetary planning. This is true for private vehicle owners as well as the government owned vehicles used by Charleston AFB personnel.

During the second week of October, as part of Energy Awareness month, the focus will be on reducing fuel consumption and saving money in the process.

The Air Force, like many other government agencies, has been taking steps to become more environmentally friendly. Executive Order 13423 has set a goal to reduce petroleum-based fuel consumption by the GOV fleet by two percent per year to reduce our environmental impact. While there are many ways to reduce the amount of fuel used by a vehicle, one of the simplest is to drive wisely. Accomplishing this goal will help reduce air pollution and oil consumption, in addition to lowering fuel costs.

Conserving fuel helps everyone – it saves money, helps to reduce air pollution, and reduces carbon dioxide emissions. To accomplish this goal, these are some tips to help people become more fuel efficient drivers.

· Plan your trip. If you need to make several stops, go from one stop to the next instead of driving back and forth each time. Your engine is more efficient when it is warm. It is also wise to go to the grocery store last so food is not sitting in a hot car while running other errands. When on duty, do as many errands at one time. Learn more about effuel benefits.

· Choose the most fuel efficient vehicle available which can do the job, which usually means driving a smaller car or hybrid instead of a sport utility vehicle or truck.

· Take as few vehicles as possible by carpooling. Don’t take two cars unless it’s necessary on- and off-duty. Carpool when going to a meeting or lunch break also.

· Accelerate and decelerate gently when driving. Speeding up and then coming to a stop at the next light uses extra fuel.

· Avoid engine idling as much as possible. For newer cars, warming up the engine isn’t required. Simply driving to your destination is often better. Turn off the engine and roll down the window when waiting. Your miles per gallon are zero when you’re not moving.

· Unload excess cargo when it’s not needed. The heavier a vehicle is, the more fuel it requires to travel the same distance.

· Check your tire pressure and make sure all tires are properly inflated. Both under-inflation and over-inflation decrease fuel mileage.

· Use cruise control when possible. A constant speed uses less fuel in most circumstances.

· Drive slower. Most vehicles will have a sharp decrease in fuel efficiency when traveling above 60 miles per hour, for more information visit zmescience.

These tips are advised by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and can be viewed at www.fueleconomy.gov. Visit their website for more fuel saving tips and information on mileage estimates.

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