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MPCA Offers Loan That Will Help Drivers Save $5,000 a Year


The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is offering low-interest loans to help owner-operators and small businesses purchase idle-reduction devices or auxiliary power units (APU).

APU’s are either small, 15-horsepower diesel engines or battery pack systems that can run air conditioning, heaters and electricity to power laptops while the truck’s main engine is shut off. The APU’s cost, on average, between $8,000-$10,000. APU’s use 1 pt. of fuel per hour of idling, verses the 1.5 gallons of fuel per hour with the truck’s engine.

Many cities across the country are imposing idling bans, so the programs comes at the perfect time.

Owner-operator Paul Anles had his APU installed, on his older model truck, more than 9 months ago.  Anles, who idles an average of 266 hours per month, says he’s already seeing a $500 savings per month, after deducting the loan payment and fuel and maintenance costs.

“It was the best decision I’ve ever made,” said Anles. “I would absolutely recommend getting an APU, and the MPCA has been great to work with.”

Mike Nelson, who runs the MPCA, said, “Even if a driver just idles 150 hours per month, that’s a $600 in fuel.  A trucker would save more than $200 a month, even after the loan payment and fuel and maintenance costs. Reducing truck engine idling will also extend the life of the truck’s engine.”

The program does have a few restrictions. The applicant must:

  • be an existing small business corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership or association
  • have less than 50 full-time employees
  • have an after-tax profit of less than $500,000
  • have a net worth of less than $1,000,000
  • demonstrate an ability to repay the loan

in addition, for diesel APUs, truck engine year must be older than 2007.

To apply for the loan, please visit the MPCCA website, on or before April 23, 2012.


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