Go a little greener

Go A Little Greener

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Top tips to help you save money on the road

Remember the protests about fuel prices in the year 2000? Back then, prices at the pumps were around 80p per litre.* Thirteen years later you’re likely to be paying between £1.34 and £1.39. And no one’s holding their breath waiting for prices to go down.

Whether you are a private motorist or transport costs are one of your business overheads, fuel is likely to make a big dent in your budget. Here’s some handy transport advice to help you save money and go a little greener. Businesses with a fleet of vehicles will benefit the most, but these tips are relevant even if you are a low-mileage motorist. So, with our foot gently but firmly pressed on the accelerator, here we go.

Share the ride

It’s obvious, but it works. Whether a car share scheme is promoted by a company or is an informal arrangement between you and a colleague – or someone who lives and works nearby – it is good news all round.

At npower’s own offices in Solihull, car sharing is encouraged through a car share database that matches people who register, and by giving priority parking to sharers. And the result? Doubling up on a 10-mile commute saves our staff around £400 a year, fewer cars are on the road and plenty of new friends have been made too.

Learn to drive all over again

Yes, we know you’re a good driver. No, we don’t want to see your no-claims bonus. But did you know that a few small changes to your everyday driving could save you a small fortune?

When London’s largest minicab firm Addison Lee offered its drivers a 50-minute session with economy driving experts from the Energy Savings Trust, the firm was amazed by results. Average mpg shot up from 38 to 43.7, with some drivers improving their fuel economy by as much as 40%. And because drivers are now looking further ahead to manage their speed, they are also having fewer collisions.

If you run a small business with a fleet of vehicles, The Energy Saving Trust could help you too. Call 0845 602 1425 or visit www.energysavingtrust.gov.uk

Get on your bike

Despite the great work of organisations such as Sustrans, latest Department of Transport statistics show that only one in 100 of us cycle to work. If you run a business you can help boost that number, and have a healthier workforce too.

For example, could you provide showers and secure bike storage to make life easier for would-be cycle commuters? And you could certainly sign up to the government’s cycle to work scheme (cyclescheme.co.uk). This scheme helps employees enjoy tax-free savings of up to 42% on a new bike.

Erm… stay at home

According to BT, teleworking can boost productivity by up to 20%, as well as cutting absenteeism. It won’t work in every occupation, and it won’t work all the time, but does some flexibility about working from home make sense in your line of business? It will certainly save on fuel.

And if you do need to drive …

…why not consider an electric vehicle or a hybrid? Most electric vehicles now offer a range of up to 90 miles between charges, which is so much further than the UK’s average daily drive of 8.4 miles.

To help you stay on the road, npower and parent company RWE have installed over 2000 charge points across Europe. The average cost for charging a vehicle is around £2.50 to £3.

Savings compared to petrol or diesel fuelled vehicles work out at around 60%. And how much difference would that make to you? To calculate your own savings – especially if your business runs a fleet – go to our online calculator at npower.com/ev

*BBC News, 7 September 2000.

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