New GPS a way to save gas money for Town of Lake Cowichan?

Idle no more: Town examining installation of GPS units in town vehicles by firm claiming 20 per cent savings

Lake Cowichan is looking at the possibility of installing web-based global positioning systems on all of its vehicles.

It’s not an attempt to monitor employees, but an effort to save a few bucks and maybe cut down on pollution as well.

The decision was announced at the Jan. 7 meeting of Lake Cowichan’s Public Works Committee.

“We’re just doing some homework on it first and just looking into it,” said Lake Cowichan Mayor Ross Forrest of the proposal.

ACGlobal Systems, out of Trail, B.C. claims to be able to save the town more than $6,100 per year in fuel, as well as knocking back CO2 emissions by 20 per cent if all 14 vehicles are equipped with its GPS systems.

“(ACGlobal) claim there’s so much idling time they will be able to identify when vehicles are idling and stopped.”

“That’s how they claim all those savings, but I’m kind of skeptical myself if there can be a 20 per cent savings,” he said.

“But they say if you buy their system, they guarantee the savings.”

That’s just one of the aspects of the offer the PWC is looking into. The other is the cost of the system.

Last year 14 town vehicles burned nearly $31,000 of fuel.

In a letter to the town, ACGlobal said its system would cut those costs by nearly $6,200 per year, and would reduce the CO2 emissions by 20 per cent.

The company said Lake Cowichan would also notice reduced wear and tear on the vehicles, reductions in travel and idle time and see better response times for emergency repair services, garbage collection and snow plowing.

However, at a cost of $200 per GPS unit, a one time “activation” charge of $25 per unit, and an additional 33 bucks a month per unit, Forrest admitted asking the crews to turn off the vehicle engines when they’re not in use might be a more cost-efficient way to go.


“Like I said, we’re just looking at it right now,” he said.