A new programme aims to help reduce emissions from Irish heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

The Greener HGV Programme will see 1,000 fleet vehicles across Ireland fitted with technology which will enable drivers to reduce carbon emissions.

3 Counties Energy Agency has partnered with Corcra Ltd to launch the prorgramme, which it expects will help save fleet companies around 10% of their annual fuel costs.

3cea's pilot project indicated a potential saving of €17,000 per vehicle over five years based on an investment of €2,800 per vehicle.

A previous trial resulted in savings of 1,766.79 tonnes of CO2, which it said is similar to removing 866 cars from our roads for one year.

The participating fleet companies saw an increase in fuel efficiency arising from the reduction in over-revving, harsh braking and engine idling time by the drivers, leading to a significant reduction in energy consumption.

The Greener HGV Programme will run for two years, having secured €1.4M funding under the Governments Climate Action Fund.

3cea is coordinating the subsidy grant available for Irish fleet companies to install the technology and provide driver efficiency training.

"Smart telematics including tracking, fuel, remote tachograph downloads and compliance software, live footage cameras and driver awareness panels are all part of the technology that will be used to deliver these sustainable measures," explained Paddy Phelan, CEO of 3cea

Robert Steele from Corcra said they use hardware to gather real-time data which allows them to record baseline driver and vehicle information.

"After approximately six weeks, the data is analysed and we arrange the professional driver training and activate the in-cab Driver Awareness Panel, which is a driver aid.

"The new technology with gained knowledge from the driver training helps drivers to achieve more efficient driving and long-term sustainable energy practices," he explained.