Car dealerships use more energy per square foot on average than a typical office building does. Despite this, there are cost effective opportunities that exist to substantially reduce energy usage for lighting, heating and air, and other necessary services while maintaining quality lighting, safety, and customer comfort in your car dealership.
1. National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Membership
Founded in 1917, the NADA represents the interest of car and truck dealers to the public, media, Congress, and vehicle manufacturers. NADA has an Energy Stewardship Initiative you can participate in to save money while also demonstrating your commitment to environmental protection through energy efficiency to your employees and customers.
As a car dealership, you can participate in NADA’s Energy Stewardship Initiative to be granted access to free resources from NADA and Energy Star, such as:
- Technical resource guides and materials for improving energy efficiency
- Energy efficiency tracking tools and training
- Recognition for achievements in energy efficiency
2. Establish an Energy Management Program
Establishing an energy management program for your car dealership provides a step-by-step plan for continuous improvement. The first step is to make a commitment. Next, asses your current performance and set goals. Use your assessment to then create and then implement an action plan. Set benchmarks and evaluate your dealership's progress to recognize your achievements, and then re-assess your performance and set new goals for a new action plan, repeating the process.
3. Join Energy Star
Energy Star is an international standard for energy efficient consumer products created in 1992 by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy. Joining Energy Star can aid car dealers in building an energy program, benchmarking energy use, improving your energy performance, and earning recognition for your dealership.
4. Learn How to Build Benchmarking and About Other Energy Efficiency Topics
Benchmarking works best when it is done consistently and over time; this will help drive action and guide your energy management program. Other energy efficiency topics that are important for car dealers to follow include best practices for energy management, new energy programs and policies, and financing options for energy strategies and incentives.
5. Benchmark Facility Energy Consumption
Benchmark your dealership’s energy consumption by measuring and tracking energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. You can do this using your energy bills and basic building information to set energy use targets and then compare your energy design with that of similar car dealerships nationwide.
6. Use Energy Efficient Products to Save Energy Throughout Dealership
Simple changes you can make in your car dealership to promote energy efficiency and save your business money include adjusting temperature set points, ensuring lights are not on when they are not necessary, and utilizing energy efficient lighting in your showroom and parking lot. Investigating renewable energy systems and staying on top of energy advancements will also help you keep up to date on which energy efficient products you can integrate into your business to improve energy usage.
There are countless ways to improve energy efficiency for car dealerships, and these 6 are just the start.