The Energy Saving Trust has trained its 30,000th employee in the Smarter Driving programme which is funded by the Department for Transport. The scheme trains employees in techniques to help them drive more efficiently and reduce the likelihood of accidents. It claims to be a proven method of reducing the cost of fuel by 15 per cent.
Research suggests that drivers who complete the course could save the equivalent of 20p per litre which means a motorist who completes 12,000 miles a year could save up to £250 on fuel.
This means that training more than 30,000 employees in businesses across England has resulted in potential savings of more than £7.5 million a year.
The price of Smarter Driving sessions has been reduced from £25 to just £15 per driver for bookings of 100 employees or more, and £20 for smaller bookings.
Bob Saynor, Smarter Driving programme manager, said: “Smarter Driving helps companies to cut down their company fuel spend and makes significant reductions to their carbon emissions and green credentials.
“As a further incentive from April 2013, businesses will be able to save up to 40 per cent towards the cost of training in the new financial year.”
Staff at the University of Manchester have already seen the benefits of Smarter Driving. The institution started training its employees in January 2013.
After Smarter Driving training, employees at the university achieved an average of 39.9 miles per gallon, the equivalent of an 18 per cent reduction in fuel consumption.
Andrew Hough, Sustainable Travel Planner at the University of Manchester, said: “Nearly 100 of our fleet drivers took part in Smarter Driving Training and the overall feedback was very positive.
“The driving instructors were really friendly and experienced and their guidance will be used by our staff to save money and carbon both at work and in their private lives.
“We hope to run the training again next year, possibly extending it to staff that use their own vehicles for business journeys.”
Saynor continued: “We have seen hundreds of organisations benefit from our Smarter Driving Programme over the past four years. We now hope to reach out to even more businesses to allow them to take advantage of our significantly reduced costs.”
Training sessions start and finish at the workplace and take just 50 minutes per person to complete, so disruption to the working day is minimised. Cars, fuel and insurance are provided by the Energy Saving Trust.