Driving Change Program Reduces Denver's Emissions

Driving Change, the world's first Internet-based vehicular greenhouse gas (GHG) tracking system, recently announced significant reductions in GHG emissions by the City and County of Denver as a result of online feedback on how driving behaviors impact the environment and fuel costs.

In March 2008, Denver launched a pilot test of Driving Change™ which uses telemetry technology to send vehicle operating information over the Internet to a GHG management system that provides each participating driver with individualized, online emissions and driving dashboards. These dashboards provide drivers with details of their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a breakdown of driving habits that cause excess carbon emissions, including idling and aggressive driving events (hard braking, fast starts), and the cost of excess fuel consumed.

There are 160 city vehicles and 240 citizen vehicles that have participated in the pilot. It has been estimated that GHG from vehicles accounts for 30 percent of Denver's total carbon footprint. The GHG management system was provided by Enviance, Inc., a California based company, and the telemetry was provided by Cartasite, Inc., a Denver-based company. In addition to having 30 employees participate in Driving Change, Denver-based EnCana Oil & Gas (USA), Inc underwrote the program.

Findings from the Driving Change Denver pilot program demonstrate that:

• Measurement improves performance: From May through November, there was a 10 percent overall driving improvement in participating vehicles in Denver (as measured by CO2/mile). This includes reductions in engine idling, fast accelerations, and fast stops.

• Tracking driving behavior has a great impact on engine idling: From May through November, idling decreased by more than 35 percent among participating vehicles, which equates to a reduction of 5 minutes of idling (or a little less than 1 pound of CO2) per vehicle, for every hour of operation.

• Driver education works: As participants were educated in the program's goals and tracked their results, they became more likely to turn their vehicles off. For example, participating Denver drivers provided with more extensive education reduced engine idling more than 40 percent through the end of November.

"Having provided the first Internet-based GHG management system to the commercial sector in 2005, it is exciting to prove that the GHG management power of the Enviance System can be extended to tackle vehicular GHG," said Lawrence Goldenhersh, chief executive officer and president of Enviance. "Through his leadership, Mayor Hickenlooper has provided the world with an important insight on how biofeedback and the Internet can be combined to tackle the GHG. And with idle time reduced 35 percent, the gasoline savings amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for a fleet of 2,000 vehicles confirming that what's good for the planet is also good for the bottom line."

For more information, visit www.drivingchange.org.

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