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October 14, 2013  |   Comments (3)   |   Post a comment

Florida district cuts diesel use by 151K gallons in a year

Reduced idling, biodiesel and new buses have helped Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools lessen the amount of diesel used by its yellow fleet.

Reduced idling, biodiesel and new buses have helped Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools lessen the amount of diesel used by its yellow fleet.

Florida’s Orange County Public Schools actively measures key performance indicators (KPIs) to manage its operations.

One of the many strategies implemented in the last school year was to reduce the amount of diesel fuel utilized by the district’s yellow fleet. Jim Beekman, senior director of transportation, said that the effort is being carried over to this year as well.

Here is an example of a report on objectives from the operations division’s publication on performance, which is sent to the school board on an annual basis:

Department objective: To reduce the amount of hazardous waste produced and to increase the amount of recycling of hazardous and non-hazardous materials generated by the department

Measure: Reduce idling time
Target: 468.7 hours per school day
Result: 442.5 hours per school day

The measure determines how long buses are idling before, between and after runs. District officials said that this is important to monitor because it has a direct influence on fuel expenditures as well as the amount of emissions placed in the air.

The department measured 100% of its route buses for idling in 2012-13, which resulted in reducing idling time from 520.7 hours per school day to 442.5 hours.

Based on a fuel cost of $3.55 per gallon, a total of $61,025 dollars in fuel costs was avoided last year through the anti-idling program. As for the environmental impact, the effort reduced the fleet’s carbon matter output by 170.3 metric tons.

Lessons learned from this new measure have pushed the goal out to managers’ scorecards to be monitored on a weekly basis, in order for the department to be more responsive to any spikes in the data that may occur.

Additionally, Orange County Public Schools has utilized biodiesel fuel and, through its capital campaign, has purchased more fuel-efficient buses to replace older buses.

The combined initiative of anti-idling, biodiesel and fuel-efficient buses resulted in an overall reduction of 151,788 gallons of diesel fuel this past year. The economic benefit was a cost avoidance of $538,847 in fuel costs to the district, and the environmental benefit was a reduction of 1,503 metric tons of carbon matter output.

Orange County Public Schools, which is based in Orlando, transports 67,618 students per day on 906 route buses, traveling about 16.6 million miles per year.

News from another of SBF's Top 100 School District Fleets:

Oregon district adds riders but decreases route buses

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Read more about: biodiesel, efficiency, Florida, idling reduction

A recent Forbes article reported that In 2014, the U.S. will use almost 5 billion bushels of corn to produce over 13 billion gallons of ethanol fuel. The grain required to fill a 25-gallon gas tank with ethanol can feed one person for a year, so the amount of corn used to make that 13 billion gallons of ethanol will not feed the almost 500 million people it was feeding in 2000. This is the entire population of the Western Hemisphere outside of the United States. Forbes article asks, Can we stop pretending biofuel from corn is helping the planet and the environment? There are other serious issues involving biofuel. Search for the Forbes article: It's Final -- Corn Ethanol Is Of No Use

jkraemer    |    Apr 30, 2014 09:22 AM

Copied from document,Oak Ridge National Laboratory Sustainable Campus Initiative~ this may help you understand the numbers. 1 Hour idling = 1 gallon fuel = $3.80 1 hour idling/day × 5 days/week = 5 hours/week × $3.80/hour =$19/week 50 work weeks/year × $19/week = $950/year (per vehicle) = 250 gallons fuel (per vehicle) Greenhouse emissions from idling Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation are directly tied to the amount of fuel used: the greater the fuel economy, the lower the GHG emissions, namely CO2 from fuel combustion. This means that idling increases the GHG emissions from vehicles as it lowers miles per gallon of fuel. Using the Argonne GREET (Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation) model, the GHG emissions per gallon of diesel fuel consumed are 20.2 lb CO2eq2/gallon of diesel fuel and 19.6 lb CO2eq/gallon of gasoline. For the above example with a heavy duty vehicle idling 1 hour per day, the annual GHG savings would be around 5050 lb of CO2eq.

Starr Strickland    |    Oct 23, 2013 07:44 AM

Who did the math on this. How can not burning 600 tons of fuel save 1250 tons of carbon emissions.

Bentley Burruss    |    Oct 15, 2013 01:16 PM

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