Tips to Save Money and Benefit the Environment

ComEd is taking a variety of measures, such as emphasizing vehicle maintenance, promoting good driving habits, and investing in more fuel-efficient technology to offset record-high vehicle fuel prices that cost ComEd $1.5 million more year-to-date compared to the same period last year.

ComEd, with more than 3,400 vehicles, operates one of the state's largest corporate fleets. While the vehicles have consumed about the same amount of fuel this year compared to last year, vehicle fuel costs are 40 percent higher.

As part of ComEd's 12 Ways to Green campaign to raise awareness about energy efficiency and other environmental initiatives, the utility is sharing its top fuel-saving tips to help its customers save money and benefit the environment. 12 Ways to Green is part of a comprehensive environmental strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower the carbon footprint of Exelon, its subsidiaries and customers.

Fuel-saving tips

  1. Check tire pressure at least once a month and whenever there is a significant change in the temperature. Maintaining proper tire pressure can improve fuel efficiency by 3 percent.
  2. Replace your positive crankcase ventilation valve, and air, fuel and oil filters according to the manufacturer's specifications. You can improve your fuel efficiency by 10 percent by changing your air filter, according to the U.S. EPA.
  3. Drive the speed limit and avoid rapid acceleration and braking. Aggressive driving can reduce fuel efficiency by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city.
  4. Reduce the load of the vehicle. An extra 100 pounds can reduce your miles per gallon by 2 percent.
  5. Plan your trip to avoid congested areas and reduce the distance you travel. Combine errands instead of taking several short trips.

"These tips can lower your fuel costs and benefit the environment through lower emissions," said Dan Gabel, ComEd's fleet manager. "Our mechanics and drivers are focusing on these points to minimize the impact of higher fuel prices and operational costs, which ultimately helps us save customers' money."

Gabel also said ComEd will continue to invest more in technology such as mobile dispatch, which allows the utility to route crews most efficiently for the work that needs to be done, and electric hybrid vehicle technology that improves the fuel economy of ComEd's fleet.

Fuel savings from mobile dispatch

With mobile dispatch, ComEd field crews have computer terminals in their vehicles with access to a variety of customer information. Each computer is equipped with a global positioning system (GPS) that allows dispatchers to identify crew locations in real time and can help cut down unnecessary crew travel. ComEd is gradually expanding its investment in mobile dispatch and plans to have about 1,600 crews equipped with the technology by the end of 2009.

Hybrid vehicle savings

ComEd continues to expand its fleet of electric hybrid vehicles. The utility has about 90 hybrid SUVs, or about 40 percent of its SUV fleet. The average hybrid SUV gets about 28 miles per gallon (mpg), compared to 20 mpg for its non-hybrid counterpart. More than half of ComEd's 100 garage mechanics received a unique certification in hybrid maintenance this year. The expertise gained by the certification is expected to reduce the amount of time the SUVs are in the shop and keep them on the road longer, resulting in savings to the company and improved customer service.

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