Natural Resources Canada
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Office of Energy Efficiency Links


Communities and Government

Research and Reports

The Carrot, the Stick, and the Combo – A Recipe for Reducing Vehicle Idling in Canadian Communities (2005)
PDF  |  PDF: Appendix A  |  PDF: Appendix B
This report helps to answer one of the most common questions put forward by communities working on idling reduction: What is the most effective approach to reduce idling: public outreach, legislation or a combination of the two? The report addresses this question through providing research results and case studies on the impacts of public education versus by-laws, or an integration of the two approaches. This information will be particularly helpful for municipal environmental coordinators, not-for-profit staff, and volunteers working with community groups.

Cracking Down on Idling (2005)  |  PDF
Bringing about behavioural change is a challenging process and regulation of idling is no exception. When should a municipality consider an idling control by-law? What is the appropriate language for a by-law, and how should enforcement issues be addressed? NRCan collaborated with the Clean Air Partnership to examine these issues and to provide a model by-law and enforcement strategies to municipalities considering regulation. The results of this research are contained in Cracking Down on Idling: A Primer for Canadian Municipalities on Developing and Enforcing Idling Control By-laws.

Driver Behaviour Affecting Fuel Consumption (November 1998)
Results of 1502 telephone interviews with drivers across Canada. This study was a smaller, follow-up survey to a February 1998 survey that compared tire pressure and idling behaviour in warm versus cold weather. Respondents were asked questions on their frequency and amount of driving, descriptions of their personal-use vehicles and questions to explore their behaviour and attitudes toward idling and checking tire pressure.

Driver Behaviour Affecting Fuel Consumption (April 1998)
Results of a nationwide quantitative and qualitative study to explore and explain Canadian drivers' behaviour with respect to idling and tire pressure. This included an understanding of perceptions, beliefs, assumptions and attitudes that influenced idling behaviour. Natural Resources Canada also wanted to obtain suggestions for a communications strategy – including broad communications objectives, key messages and tools that would help it develop effective means of communicating with Canadians about the relationship between fuel efficiency, idling, tire pressure and the environment.

Survey of Attitudes, Awareness and Behaviour of Drivers (May 1998)
Follow-up survey to the 1994 survey to compare findings and track changes over a four-year period. Unlike the 1994 survey, questions were added to explore the topics of idling and tire pressure. The reason for exploring these two topics was to assess the potential for fuel efficiency gains and consequently a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions through efforts to encourage Canadians to reduce idling time and maintain proper tire pressure. The 1998 study, conducted in February, reflected winter driving behaviour. In contrast to the 1994 benchmark study, 300 interviews were added to split data for the West and compare data for British Columbia and the Prairies separately.

Survey of Drivers' Attitudes, Awareness and Behaviour (March 31, 1995)
A national survey that collected information on the awareness, opinions and behaviour of Canadians who drive. They were asked questions about their behaviour and attitudes toward their vehicles – from how often and how far they drove and what type of vehicles they drove for personal use, to factors they considered when purchasing a vehicle. Another goal was to create a benchmark against which to track changes in future behaviour, attitudes or preferences with respect to their personal use of vehicles, fuel efficiency and consumption, and related issues that have an impact on the environment.

Barriers to Individual Participation in Greenhouse Gas Reduction Activities
This study investigates the barriers to individuals participating in greenhouse gas reduction activities. Portions of this report, which was submitted to the Public Education and Outreach Table of Canada's National Climate Change Process, focused on idling activities.

The "Turn it Off" project, led by Lura Consulting and McKenzie Mohr Associates, pioneered the use of community-based social marketing techniques to address vehicle idling.