MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) -- Wisconsin’s truckers are benefiting from a special grant program aimed at helping purchase special equipment to reduce their operating costs and improve air quality. It’s called the Diesel Idling Reduction Grants, and Wisconsin has awarded nearly one-million dollars to several Wisconsin companies to help with the cost of Idling reduction units. These units allow truckers to shut down their main drive engines while parked overnight, while maintaining power and cab comfort with less fuel.
Department of Administration spokesperson Stephanie Marquis says the state provides these grants to help those in the trucking industry, which is a key industry in our state reduce engine idling, which has multiple benefits. “What that does is, that not only helps the company save on fuel cost, it actually helps lower our air pollution emissions.” Marquis says this program is good for the state and for the state’s trucking companies. “When you look at the bottom line, it’s really a win-win. Transportation is really such a large industry in our state. It helps them save money and save that money on their fuel, and it helps improve our air quality, and it’s just a great partnership that this year alone will help us save over one million gallons in diesel fuel just this year.” That one million gallons of fuel savings will also save trucking companies over four million dollars in fuel costs.
The program was created in Governor Scott Walker’s budget, and is funded through state and federal dollars. Marquis says the grants will help 52 trucking companies large and small with a total of 228 grants. She says these grants reduce the cost of the idle reduction units being installed on new trucks. “It provides grants to those freight motor carriers that are headquartered in Wisconsin to really have them install these units on their new truck tractors.”
Marquis expects the program to continue in future years as long as the funding is available due to its success. Truckers interested in applying for future Diesel Idling Reduction Grants can learn more online at the State Energy Office website.
(The interview with Stephanie Marquis can be heard on our website, here.)