Alberta Carbon Tax | How To Conserve Fuel
The Alberta Carbon Tax came into effect on January 1, 2017. I know many people regret not filling up their vehicles prior to the new year. I was definitely one of those people. However, let’s take a look at the breakdown of how the Carbon Tax will change how we fill up.
When you find yourself at the pump, gas has increased by 4.49 cents. Diesel has increased by 5.53 cents and Propane by 3.08 cents. For your home, Natural gas is increasing by $1.011 per gigajoule.
The government estimates the cost of the tax, based on typical fuel use and before rebates, to be $191 for a single adult, $259 for a couple and $338 for a couple with two children per year. Speaking of rebates, those could be coming our way as well depending on income, and household. You can find out more about those here.
Since this tax isn’t going away, let’s talk about how you can conserve your fuel once it’s been purchased at the pump.
This is a big one, if your vehicle isn’t running well, it will consume more fuel. Make sure your air filter is clean, a blocked filter can lead to increased exhaust emission and higher fuel consumption. Ensure that your tires are inflated properly, under-inflated tires cause drivers to use more gas because the vehicle becomes difficult to accelerate. Also, make sure to change up your tires for the seasons, the increased grip and traction on winter tires means cars use more gas, so it’s best to switch to a different set of tires in the warmer months.
Drive the speed limit, and avoid heavy footed breaking and acceleration. Maintain a consistent speed, and anticipate your stops by taking your foot off of the gas sooner. Use your air conditioner whenever possible. The wind resistance from open windows can eat up your fuel. Clean up your vehicle by removing all heavy rarely used items like recreational equipment, garbage, and general clutter. The heavier the vehicle, the more fuel it uses. When it comes to your commute, driving time can change your insurance premium as well, did you recently switch job locations, or move homes? Keep us updated with your most current information to ensure your policy is always accurate.
The Warm Up
Statistically idling a vehicle made within the last 20 years is useless. Yes, it makes scraping windows easier, and the warmth is much appreciated on the ride. However, starting a vehicle and waiting to drive it is unnecessary, you should be able to start it and go. With that being said, in the winter months plug that baby in! It will make your start quicker, and consume less fuel to turn it over. If you typically start your vehicle to warm it up, instead of doing it for 10 minutes, cut back to 5.
If you’re going to be doing errands combine as many together in one area, better yet park centrally and walk to your multiple locations. Now might also be a great time to consider carpooling, or using transit for commuting to work if it makes sense for your budget and lifestyle. Finally, this year might be a great time to take advantage of online services such as banking, insurance, and shopping if you haven’t already. Setting up accounts online saves you the hassle of going out, and using fuel.