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Office of Energy Efficiency Links


Business: Transportation

How you can take action!

Canadians can make lifestyle changes – small and large – to help mitigate climate change. Whether it's installing energy-efficient appliances in our homes, lowering our thermostat or replacing inefficient incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights, we can all make a difference.

We can also cut our personal GHG emissions by reducing our vehicle use (e.g., by planning trips carefully to combine errands, walking/cycling, using public transit or ride-sharing.) For the millions of Canadians who drive vehicles every day, they can still take steps to help reduce their fuel use and slow down the rate of climate change by making a commitment to drive more fuel-efficiently. For example, planning trips carefully to combine errands, driving at the posted speed limit, avoiding jackrabbit starts, maintaining proper tire pressure, or even walking or taking a bus can result in significant fuel and CO2 reductions.

One of the easiest actions that Canadians can take – with a simple turn of a key – is to avoid unnecessary idling. Idling is not only a waste of energy and money – after all, we're burning fuel but going nowhere – it is also a needless source of greenhouse gas emissions. While reducing vehicle idling alone won't solve the climate change problem, it's a step in the right direction and it's easy to do! Keep in mind that if we each do our part, our individual actions add up.

If you're going to be stopped for more than 60 seconds – except in traffic – turn the engine off. Unnecessary idling wastes money and fuel, and produces greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

Turning the engine off when a vehicle is parked for more than 60 seconds (except in traffic) can reduce GHG emissions and help create a healthier planet for us all.

Change your habits

  • Turn off the engine if the vehicle is going to be parked for more than 60 seconds (except in traffic).
  • Drive the vehicle to warm it up‚ rather than idling the engine. (On cold winter days, usually no more than two to three minutes of idling is enough warm-up time.)
  • Use remote car starters wisely to avoid excessively long warm-ups.
  • Use a block heater on cold winter days to warm the engine before starting it (ideally, the block heater should be turned on by an automatic timer 2 hours before starting).

Remember‚ the best way to warm up a vehicle is to drive it at a moderate speed.