NEWS — Kamloops drivers will be required to add an additional piece of equipment to their vehicles this year as part of the City’s push to meet the goals laid out in its Sustainable Kamloops Plan, according to CAO Dave Trawin.
As of July 1, all vehicles owned by City residents will be required to display an efficiency identifier, a sign showing the vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
“The City will distribute the efficiency identifiers free of charge, and they come with their own mounting system. It’s just another tool to increase awareness of our everyday energy use,” said Trawin.
“Studies in behaviour change indicate that this kind of peer pressure is very helpful in encouraging people to make good choices,” Trawin explained. The Sustainable Kamloops Plan commits the City to reducing transportation-related GHG emissions to 2.4 tonnes per capita by 2020.
“We talked about this with council at a workshop and decided that now is a good time to move ahead with this. Pollution from vehicles is one of the biggest problems with our air quality.
“Once people get used to the idea, I think we’ll see a real pay-off in terms of reduced vehicle emissions.”
Trawin expects the measure will influence people as they make their vehicle buying decisions.
The response to the proposal has been mixed so far. Cheryl Kabloona, Chair of the local Chapter of the B.C. Sustainable Energy Association, was enthusiastic.
“I think the fuel efficiency signs are a great way to make people aware that everyday choices can have a big impact on our energy footprint. You’ll use almost three times the gas driving an F150 to the corner store for a bag of groceries, compared to a Prius.”
Others were less keen. Said George Uzzler thought it must be some kind of a joke.
“The car I drive is my business – I’m paying for the gas! Why does the City care about my fuel efficiency? They should stick to collecting garbage and plowing the roads!”
There is one point of contention, and Trawin is asking the public for input. There was a heated discussion around the council table as to whether the display should be in miles per gallon (the American system, which many Canadians are still most familiar with) or in liters per 100 km (the Canadian standard).
“We’re hoping to get some direction from the public on which measurement they prefer,” stated Trawin. People can contact the City via the special page set up on their website: www.kamloops.ca/gotcha.