by Krystal Paco
Guam - It was late last year the Office of Public Accountability conducted an audit of GovGuam's gas fleet card program only to find that almost half of GovGuam's agencies don't reconcile fuel billings to actual fuel receipts with none fully monitoring and analyzing fuel purchases. One GovGuam agency seeks to change that.
Over 270 Guam Power Authority vehicles are being outfitted with fuel tracking devices - a tool that's going to bring savings to the ratepayers according to assistant general manager of operations Melinda Camacho. "GPA implemented this pilot program for fleet tracking just to become more efficient anything we can do to save the ratepayer money to reduce our operating costs is worth it at GPA," she said.
The tool tracks not only miles traveled and the volume of fuel used, but can track speeding and idle time. Heavy equipment mechanic Tom Cruz and technician Darrell Stewart agree - idling is a gas guzzler, accounting for 30% of the GPA's transportation fleet fuel costs. "The light autos when they're idling in one place. I don't know what they're doing but they just have the car on and the idling process its burning a lot of fuel but for the bucket trucks because you have to have the truck on for them to work the aerial so we want to know which is using more fuel either the light auto or the bucket trucks," said Cruz.
"The system does tell them if they're sitting too long in one place idling the vehicle one waste of fuel is if they're idling especially with the air con on. It burns more fuel like that," said Stewart.
The data collected will help in other areas too. Camacho said, "We use that to say where can we cut costs in certain areas we can also dispatch our crews closer to problem areas rather than just dispatch crews straight from Dededo, so every little way we can improve is a bonus to the customers."
Annually GPA spends approximately $330,000 on unleaded gasoline and $187,000 on diesel fuel to keep its fleet on our streets. GPA paid $60,000 from its operational budget for the fuel tracking project. GPA's Art Perez says it will pay for itself through the fuel savings.