02 September 2021

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How a major utility provider started out on the journey to saving £80,000 a year in fuel, using Allstar fuel cards.

Electricity North West is the electricity provider for the North West of England, with a network that connects communities and helps keep the power flowing every minute of every day. Regulated by Ofgem, it is responsible for maintaining and upgrading 13,000 km of overhead power lines and over 44,000 km of underground electricity cables.

The company’s assets include a fleet size of 750 commercial vehicles and around 300 company cars. Its team of engineers are a proactive workforce that must also work reactively and be anywhere at any time throughout the North West of England, whenever a fault is discovered.

Allstar Business Solutions has been supporting Electricity North West very effectively for a number of years with a fuel card solution that meets their needs. Its breadth of network coverage meaning engineers were never far from a fuel station they could use.

The challenge

With electricians needing to cover such vast territory, from Cumbria down to Macclesfield, fuel stands as one of the biggest expenses this essential service provider must account for.

With a new fleet manager in place, Electricity North West had a clear objective: Driver accountability and delivering efficiencies.

To accomplish this the Allstar One registration based fuel cards were replaced with driver named cards to achieve two main objectives:

1. Reduction in cost

With fuel costs accounting for a significant proportion of the fleet’s total operating costs. Electricity North West needed to better understand drivers’ fuel purchasing behaviour and ensure drivers were accountable for the cost of fuel spent on their card.

2. Security

To prevent any potential threat of fuel card misuse or fraud. The change in cards ensured full responsibility for purchases made while on the road

Vehicle registered vs driver registered fuel cards

The company launched its strategic pilot of driver registered fuel cards, focussing on one sector of the business before rolling it out company-wide. As a result, there are now 750 new Allstar One cards in active use and the company remains on track to reach its annual target of saving £80,000 on fuel expenditure.

This builds upon the many benefits that Electricity North West were already experiencing through the Allstar card, including substantial savings on fuel via the Allstar One Discount Diesel network, and the UK’s largest fuel card network, covering 90% of the UK - including all major oil brands and supermarket forecourts.

The switch enabled greater visibility and control over its drivers spending and served as the catalyst to launch more efficient procedures when it came to refuelling. This helped to make drivers accountable for purchases, encouraging the use of discounted locations and supermarkets, but minimising the need for drivers to deviate off route.

Using its extensive expertise in fleet management, Allstar has always offered the ideal combination of flexibility and control that would best suit the organisation’s unique financial and operational needs.

A strategic win

Although generally considered a major expense for a fleet, fuel costs are a constant challenge from a strategic perspective. However, in our view, accurate fuel monitoring and control will always represent the Holy Grail of fleet strategy and management,” said Patrick Nolan, Fleet Manager at Electricity North West.

From the very beginning, I’ve been delighted with Allstar. Having worked with them previously, I knew coming into Electricity North West that they were the right partner for the pilot we were looking to launch. Allstar’s customer service team are excellent at really helping us lead the way forward. We couldn’t ask for more.

Electricity North West is currently making the best of their Allstar One cards by maximising the use of supermarket brands and discount diesel locations, keeping their fuel expenditure to a minimum.

They are also working with Allstar on a driver education strategy, educating their drivers not just on fuel pricing but also planning their journeys and avoiding running their vehicles when idle.

Going forward, and in line with government’s new deadline of 2030 on the banning of fossil fuel vehicles, Electricity North West plan to work with Allstar to help with the electrification of its fleet.

Download a copy of the Electricity North West case study here.

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