EDMONTON, Alta. –Alberta trucking companies who’d like a hand going green can participate in a new program being run in conjunction with the provincial government.
Trucks of Tomorrow is a $2 million initiative designed to help Alberta’s trucking industry reduce its emissions while saving some money in the process. The initiative was spearheaded by Climate Change Central -which has offices in Edmonton and Calgary -which is working with the province to help green Alberta’s fleets.
Climate Change Central bills itself as “a non-profit organization that empowers Albertans to take action on climate change through consumer rebate programs, demonstration projects and educational outreach.”
As part of that mission, the Trucks of Tomorrow program also offers commercial fleets rebates as a carrot meant to help convince them to take advantage of new, “green” technologies.
According to Adam Gagnon, program manager, transportation and energy efficiency, the Alberta Environment-sponsored initiative also consists of workshops and case studies, and it will cover “the majority of the cost for a third-party fleet analysis, so a company can come in and help you review your fuel use and see if they can help you find ways to shave some corners.”
Gagnon says this means a fleet would end up paying about $200 for the analysis instead of about $2,500.
There are also cash rebates for fuel efficiency equipment fleet owners put onto their trucks, items such as trailer skirts, fairings, cab heaters and coolers and auxiliary power units.
According to the Trucks of Tomorrow Web site, in order to be eligible, an applicant must:
• Have the legal authority to modify the trucks and/or trailers identified in the application;
• Represent an Alberta company that operates vehicles base-plated in Alberta with a gross vehicle weight rating of 7,258 kg or greater (16,000 lbs or Class 5 to Class 8) in Alberta;
• Purchase and install fuel efficiency equipment from its list of Current Eligible Equipment between June 1, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2011;
• And install the equipment on a commercial vehicle or trailer base-plated in Alberta and whose registration is valid as of the date of application.
Gagnon says it’s easy to reserve the funds, after which the applicant has six months in which to have the equipment installed. After that, he says, you just have to go back and apply for the rebate.
Not surprisingly, a company’s purchases must be documented, which means an applicant must produce a copy of the purchase receipt that has included on it information such as the name of the applicant’s company (which must be the registered owner of the equipment being modified “and/ or be the lessee of said equipment with permission from the lessor to carry out modifications”). Also required to be shown is the purchase date, manufacturer and model of the fuel efficiency equipment, method of payment and proof that the total amount has been paid in full (and they won’t accept an invoice or till receipt showing the amount due, either).
Not only that, but you also have to provide the name and address of the business where the purchase and/or installation was done.
It appears to be a fairly easy process, considering that a bureaucracy is involved, and Gagnon says the money should be accessible without too much hassle (other than the steps outlined above).
“It lets you come onto the Web site and reserve the money so you know that it’s there when you do your upgrades,” Gagnon says. “It’s basically held in your name -and the process is really easy to go through; you basically just have to show your invoices and make sure the equipment is on the accepted list. The cheque is cut automatically and comes through the mail.”
Information is also available by phoning 888-537-7202.
The limit is $30,000 per company, Gagnon says, “so it’s actually pretty flexible -you can put as many pieces of technology onto as many units as you want, up to your company maximum.”
Gagnon says Alberta is taking the lead with this initiative. “There’s bits and pieces (of such a program) from the federal level and in other provinces,” he says, “but they’re all different and the rules are all different. I think our program is probably the most flexible one out there.”
The program is run at arm’s length by Climate Change Central, but it was set up by the Alberta government. “Our mandate is to help Alberta reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Gagnon says, “and one of the best ways to do it is to save fuel.”
Gagnon says the Trucks of Tomorrow initiative means that now’s a great time for anyone thinking about fuel efficiency upgrades to go forward with them, “and get a rebate to do it on as many vehicles as they can,” he says.