The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) has been honored by the Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition (KCFC) for the agency’s work to improve the environmental performance of its state vehicle fleet. DEP earned the status as an “Achieving” member of the Green Fleets of the Bluegrass program.
The department’s participation in Green Fleets supports the governor’s energy plan, which calls for a 30 percent improvement in the fuel economy of the state vehicle fleet by 2015 and a 50 percent improvement by 2025. A key strategy of the governor’s plan is the development of purchasing criteria to increase the overall fuel efficiency of the vehicles in the state fleet.
“The department has made great strides in downsizing and ‘right-sizing’ its fleet,” said DEP Commissioner Bruce Scott. “In addition to substantially cutting fuel costs, these actions are having a positive impact on public health and the environment, since transportation accounts for an estimated 30 percent of all air emissions in the U.S.”
Participating fleets are evaluated on an annual basis for improvements in seven areas – vehicles, fuel, maintenance, operation, partnerships, strategy, and transparency. Fleets are recognized with an annual Green Fleets of the Bluegrass rating on a three-tier scale: Improving, Achieving, and Leading. DEP earned the rating of “Achieving” because it has made progress in all seven categories in the past year.
DEP is operating fewer conventional vehicles and driving a larger percentage of miles utilizing its 20 hybrid-electric vehicles. While the department’s work necessitates the use of SUVs and trucks, DEP has substantially “right-sized” its SUV fleet by replacing full- and mid-size SUVs with more compact SUVs. Additional fuel efficient vehicles are being added to the fleet in coming months.
Additional strategies for improving fleet efficiency could include:
- Adoption of an idle reduction policy
- Establishing a renewable fuel standard for the fleet
- Improved maintenance such as proper tire inflation.
For more information about GreenFleets of the Bluegrass, visit http://www.kentuckycleanfuels.org/greenfleets.htm.