Utility company Rocky Mountain Power has implemented a new “idle-free” policy that prohibits its fleet drivers from unnecessarily idling, thereby reducing emissions. The company is also installing GPS tracking equipment in its service vehicles to monitor idling and driving habits in order to reduce fuel use and optimize drivers’ routes.

"Idling is bad for the environment, bad for public health and bad for business because of its impact on fuel costs," said Curt Mansfield, Rocky Mountain Power managing director of transmission and distribution support services. "We've partnered with states, counties, cities and community organizations to reduce carbon dioxide and other vehicle emissions and we're working to eliminate all idling of company vehicles with few exceptions, such as when a bucket or other equipment needs to be lifted using power from the truck's motor."

The company has a total fleet size of 2,169 fleet assets, a Rocky Mountain Power spokesperson told Automotive Fleet. Out of those, 227 are bucket trucks, 296 are light-duty pickups, 388 are service trucks, and 169 are passenger cars and SUVs, with the rest consisting of construction equipment, trailers, derricks and cranes, and other miscellaneous vehicles.

The company said better communication with employees regarding idling and the overall policy change is part of this new program.

"We're doing more to communicate with employees about idling in addition to our policy changes and technology advancements," said Mansfield. "We've also developed reports to track and compare fuel economy across our vehicle fleet to help drive the improvements we expect to achieve."

The company said it received help in developing its anti-idling program from another company with a fleet in the region, Kennecott Utah Copper. Rocky Mountain Power said Kennecott shared what it had learned from its own idle-reduction policy and from using GPS monitors in its vehicles.

Rocky Mountain Power added it made these changes to stay in compliance with anti-idling laws in the region.