Strategy #4: Diesel Fuel Demand Reduction

Top Opportunities for Reducing Diesel Use

Reducing the need for carbon-intensive materials or services is the first consideration when developing plans for government activities and services whether conducted in-house or vis-à-vis a procurement process.

Ask these questions:

  • Is the construction, renovation or maintenance necessary to meet service needs?
  • If so, will there be a net benefit to the environment or an equity improvement?
  • Are there opportunities to reduce the use of diesel fuel through more efficient staging of the project?
  • Are there opportunities to reduce the amount of diesel used by implementing anti-idling requirements, idling measurement tools, and improved driver training?
  • Will improvements in equipment maintenance reduce the amount of diesel used as well as increase the life of equipment (assuming it shouldn’t be replaced by more efficient equipment)?
  • Are alternative, lower-carbon impact fuels available at reasonable cost for on-site equipment?

Specific strategies to reduce fuel consumption

  • Right sizing – Buying and using the correct size and type of equipment for the size of the project.
  • Route optimization – Truck route management is another key factor in fuel efficiency. A Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation system can be used to optimize routes.
  • Fuel use tracking – In addition, diesel equipment users and owners can develop a tracking system to record fuel consumption by vehicle and equipment item, to help identify fuel leaks and inefficient trucks and machinery.

Scenario of Construction Sector-wide GHG Emissions Reductions



Metric tons CO2e annually

Reduce Equipment Idling

10% reduction from all off-road diesel heavy equipment


Improve Maintenance & Driver Training

Combined practices to increase fuel economy by 3% for heavy equipment


Increase Fuel Switching to Biodiesel (B20)

Replace 10% of diesel use with B20


Improve Electricity Conservation

Combined practices to reduce total electricity use by 10%


Total Scenario Emissions Reductions



Source: EPA: Potential for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Construction Sector