Fuel saving tips to combat petrol increase

By Jessica Anne Wood

The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that diesel and illuminating paraffin will be decreasing, while the cost of 95 octane and 93 octane will be increasing, as will the maximum retail price of liquid petroleum gas (LPG). The price adjustments will come into effect from 3 February 2016.

“The main reason for the decrease in diesel and paraffin prices is the oversupply of middle distillates such as diesel and illuminating paraffin in the global market. This is mainly due to the fact that the northern hemisphere experienced a mild winter season compared to previous periods. China contributed to the situation by exporting diesel into the market. On the other hand, the increase in the petrol price is mainly due to tightness in the market because some major refineries in the USA were on an unplanned shutdown. The weakening of rand against the US Dollar contributed massively to the current fuel price adjustment,” said the DOE.

The fuel price adjustments are as follows:

  1. Petrol (93 and 95 octane) will increase by six cents per litre.
  2. LPG will increase by one cent per kilogram.
  3. Diesel (0.05% sulphur) will decrease by 62 cents a litre. 
  4. Diesel (0.005% sulphur) will decrease by 63 cents per litre.
  5. Illuminating paraffin (SMNRP) will decrease by 79 cents per litre.
  6. Illuminating paraffin (wholesale) will decrease by 59 cents per litre.

Fuel saving tips

The Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) offered a few tips on how consumers can save fuel. “There are some simple tips every motorist can employ to stretch the fuel in their tank, and avoid having to fill up too often. By driving sensibly and following these tips, you may find you can travel further and save some much-needed cash you can use on other essentials,” revealed the AA.

  • Tyre pressure: If your tyres are under-inflated your vehicle will have to work harder to overcome the extra drag, meaning that you are burning more fuel. According to the AA, research has revealed that having your tyres inflated to the correct pressure can increase your vehicle’s mileage by about 3.3%.
  • Stop-start driving: Stop-start driving is hard on your car’s engine and brakes. Your car has to work extra hard to get up to speed then the energy can also get lost once you brake. If you plan your route more carefully, and are more conscious of using your accelerator gently, you can save on fuel. If possible, avoid rush hour traffic as this can increase your fuel consumption.
  • Idling: If you have to idle your vehicle for an extended length of time, you will use more fuel, as well as produce more emissions. If it is safe to do so, rather switch off the engine to save fuel.
  • Drag: Extras such as a roof or bicycle rack, create more drag, and therefore the car uses more fuel. When not in use, these should be removed to reduce fuel consumption. Driving with your window or sunroof open can also increase drag.
  • Service your vehicle: If your vehicle is not maintained, it will not perform at its best. “Poor engine performance means the vehicle will not operate according to the manufacturers guidelines and will result in increased fuel consumption. Keeping your car in good condition means it is working as it should and will only use the fuel it needs. Check if your car has an ‘economy’ setting. If it does, activate it, it will make a difference,” added the AA.

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