Through idle-reduction, NPL Construction saved more than $180,000 in fuel costs in six months. (PHOTO: NPL Construction)  -

Through idle-reduction, NPL Construction saved more than $180,000 in fuel costs in six months. (PHOTO: NPL Construction)

For more than 40 years, NPL Construction Company has been a major player in the natural gas pipeline industry. The industry has changed during those years, and so, too, has NPL. Since its inception, the company has added electric, fiber, telecom, cable TV, and other utilities to its lineup, offering a full line of distribution infrastructure services in markets throughout the U.S.

With its rapid growth, NPL’s fleet is comprised of more than 2,400 vehicles nationwide, traveling more than 32 million miles annually.

To put that into perspective, that is 60 miles a minute, every hour, every day of the year.

Creating a Campaign

But, there is a price associated with all those miles both in dollars at the pump and in the impact emissions have on the environment. While NPL must operate vehicles to conduct business, one area the company saw as an opportunity for improvement was reducing the amount of fuel consumed when idling.

“Through the use of telematics we identified that our vehicles were consuming an excessive amount of fuel while idling,” said Chad Fay, NPL’s director of fleet operations. “Recognizing and coaching this behavior presents not only an opportunity for cost savings, but also an opportunity to reduce our impact on the environment, and increase vehicle life expectancy.”

Beginning April 2014, NPL and its fleet management department, which includes six regional fleet managers dispersed across the nation and two fleet analysts, created a grassroots, company-wide idle reduction campaign, setting a goal to reduce and ultimately eliminate unproductive engine idle time.

“The pathway to success in reaching this goal was to raise awareness across all our locations focusing on the impact idling has on fuel spend, vehicle maintenance, and the environment,” said regional fleet manager Bill Ursic, who was appointed co-chairman of the campaign. “All of our vehicles are equipped with telematics, which makes it easy to track unnecessary idling. Our department then provides each company location with monthly progress reports, newsletters, and bi-weekly educational pieces (signs and posters) to keep the awareness up throughout the campaign.”

After six months, NPL has reduced its CO2 footprint by 1,088,765 pounds and calculated a fuel savings of more than $187,298.

“The results have been fantastic,” added Neil Holladay, NPL’s Chicago-based regional fleet manager, who has assisted with managing the campaign. “Quite simply, the company goal is to eliminate unnecessary vehicle idle time. The word is out and our drivers are making it happen. NPL’s ‘Culture of Personal Responsibility’ has been vital to our progress towards reaching this goal, and we look forward to building on our initial success.”