BSOG Step 3 – don’t miss out on the incentives
Over the years the DfT have introduced incentives to boost operators BSOG payments – from increased rates for using Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) equipment and smartcard ticket machines, through to additional payments for operating Low Carbon Emission Buses (LCEBs). For some operators, these incentives have a significant impact on the BSOG claim value.
To ensure you don’t miss out on incentives that you are entitled to, ask yourself the following questions when preparing your BSOG claim:
1. Are you maximising your AVL incentive?
The AVL incentive provides operators with an additional 2% BSOG for fitting their fleet with equipment that provides locational GPS data to a back-office system.
The payment is based on the percentage of the fleet fitted with fully functioning equipment at year end. Therefore, where the AVL equipment has failed and not reported data, the vehicle will be excluded and your claim value will be reduced accordingly.
Tip – in our experience, operators usually have a number of systems in place that would qualify for the AVL incentive: such as those used for RTI, driver telematics, ticket machines, vehicle tracking, etc. Where a vehicle might not qualify under the main AVL system, you should check other systems that provide locational data which will enable you to claim all of the incentive.
2. Do you have any LCEBs?
The LCEB incentive pays operators an extra 6 pence per kilometre for those vehicles certified as being low carbon. When first introduced in 2010 this mainly applied to hybrid vehicles. However, with the advancement of technology, including the fitment of start / stop systems, lighter bodies, etc. more and more diesel vehicles are now able to meet the LCEB qualifying criteria.
We have come across several instances where operators have introduced these ‘efficient diesels’ into their fleet, but the person compiling the claim has been unaware that the vehicles have been certified as Low Carbon – thereby running the risk of not maximising the LCEB claim. It should be noted that the DfT will request to see a copy of the manufacturer’s LCEB certificate for each vehicle, confirming that they qualify as LCEBs.
Tip – ensure that the person responsible for your claim is aware of vehicles that qualify as LCEBs. The certificate should be placed on the vehicle maintenance file, with a copy sent to the certifying auditor in advance of year end. For those users of the EPM Vehicle; Fuel & Miles (VFM) system we suggest that the vehicle type is denoted as such to ensure the correct vehicles are captured.
3. Are your LCEB mileages correct?
The LCEB incentive is based on the mileage operated by the vehicle, therefore it is imperative that the mileage reported is correct. However, where mileage recording equipment such as cab-odometers, hub-odometers, etc. fails during the year, you need to ensure that the mileage reported for the low carbon claim is correct.
Tip – where odometers fail, mileage should be estimated by applying the average mpg for the vehicle type to the fuel issued. For users of the EPM VFM system the ‘estimate mileage’ function can be used to perform this calculation.