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KNOXVILLE – Tennessee truckers can get a major discount on the purchase of equipment that will save them fuel and keep air cleaner thanks to a program managed by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Under the program, called Idle Smart, certain Tennessee truckers can receive a rebate for 50 percent, up to $4,000, of the cost of an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). An APU is a device that decreases long-duration engine idling while the trucker rests in the sleeping berth by providing cooling, heating and electrical power to class 8 trucks.

Truckers taking advantage of the discount can expect to see savings on fuel immediately, and in a very short time period the savings will far outweigh the cost of the APU.

Long-duration idling is costly, racking up charges of more than $6,000 a year for fuel, according to the state of Tennessee’s Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). On average, a gallon of diesel fuel is burned in an hour of idling. The APU uses an average of 0.2 to 0.3 gallons of diesel fuel an hour. Idling also increases engine maintenance costs, shortens engine life, adversely affects driver well-being and creates elevated noise levels. Idling, particularly on older engines, also releases harmful particulate matter into the air that can cause health ailments and have a negative effect on the environment.

UT Knoxville received $1.73 million in funding for the program from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through TDEC. The goal of the agencies is to increase the use of APUs in an effort to better the environment. The rebates are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis and are only available while funds last or until September 30, 2010. Participants must first fill out a Pre-Approval Application form, and only EPA-approved APUs are eligible for the rebate.

To be eligible, you must be a Tennessee resident and registered to do business in Tennessee. You must own 30 or fewer trucks that have a 1995-2006 model year engine and are equipped with a sleeper berth. Also, final approval must be obtained in writing before the APU is purchased and/or installed on the vehicle to be eligible for the rebate.

For more information about Idle Smart, including the Pre-Approval Application, visit

Send completed Pre-Approval Application for the Idle Smart APU Rebate Program to:

Dr. Jimmy Calcagno
Idle Smart APU Rebate Program for Truckers
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
64-B Perkins Hall
1506 Middle Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-2010

For additional information, please call (865) 974-7723.

Recipients of funding will be required to report data at a regular frequency, which will allow the state to calculate actual fuel savings and actual emissions reductions for each truck.

C O N T A C T:

Whitney Holmes (865-974-5460,