Sustainable Transport for Business

Are You Eligible for a Slice of the €450,000 Energy Saving Transport Fund?


The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is Providing Funding for Driver Behaviour Training and Monitoring to help reduce our imports of oil in the road transport sector. The transport sector in particular relies almost entirely on imported oil. Options to reduce this dependency include reducing energy demand by being smarter about how we use transport and embracing new technologies in a drive to reduce fuel consumption across the sector.

While the technological advancements in truck technology is playing its part in delivering savings, sustainable savings can’t be achieved with a skilled Driver at the wheel. Professional Drivers are a key component to sustainable cost reduction in operational costs. The trained driver will not alone reduce fuel consumed per tonne/km but will also maximise a vehicles performance capabilities, while increasing the life of tyres, clutches, brake linings, suspension components and of course vehicle residual values.

The SEAI are aware that Driver behaviour training can bring about a significant reduction in HGV fuel consumption. To this end they have agreed to provide funding for Driver behaviour training in the road transport sector, through a model where the proceeds of fuel savings in the transport sector are delivered to support social housing and community group energy saving schemes.

A strategic alliance was brokered and coordinated by The Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency Ltd to form a sustainable delivery partnership between Corcra a telematics provider, Leetherm Project Management sustainable energy solutions provider for domestic and business energy retrofit, Gencat a specialist professional driver training company and Board Na Mona as the obligated party and the recipient of accumulated carbon credits to offset their CO2 target fines for 2020. The group were successful in receiving grant aid approval for the road transport sector using the social and community benefiting scheme. Over € 450,000 has been allocated in the first round of funding under this scheme and it allows for approximately 370 to 450 HGV’s participate and is available to all road transport operators regardless of fleet size, on a first come first served basis before 15th September 2016. GenCat_Transport_DriverRobert Steele is Corcra’s key account manager and he has been very active over the past three years working on accessing SEAI funding for the sector with The Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency following pilot installation in 2014 in South Kilkenny. Robert said that he has being working closely with Gencat Limited who deliver the ‘Creating a Professional Driver Culture Programme’. The training programme is key to successful and sustainable savings. Creating a Professional Driving Culture within a transport operation is crucial to reducing costs and attracting and retaining skilled professional Drivers. Professional Drivers want to work with firms who look after their interests. It’s a complex and demanding role that the trained Professional Driver just makes it look easy.

Both Corcra and Gencat have had considerable success with the combination of telematics and Driver training. Some fleets have seen their fuel consumption reduce considerably, but what is just as important as a reduction in fuel consumption they have seen the success of the team building that is generated from the programme and the emergence of a more professional attitude among Drivers becoming the norm.

To be eligible for funding of 25% of the cost of telematics equipment and Driver training, firms must be able to verify sustainable fuel saving of at least 5-10% over a five-year period up to the end of 2020. Fuel consumption is monitored by fitting the NIBC telematics system. Gencat will then complete an intensive twelve-week training programme which does not involve taking the driver or a vehicle off the road. A once off three-hour class room session is followed by weekly tutorials and behaviour feedback given directly to the Driver. After the initial 12 weeks Drivers and management get quarterly reports up to the end of 2020. The programme is designed to allow firms to continue to use the reporting system for the duration of the five-year event.

To find out more about how to participate in the SEAI fund contact Robert Steele on 0044 7939 920333 or Joe Doyle on 0877507579