While it’s still very new in the US auto dealer arena, “greening” the dealership through energy efficiency and alternative fuel vehicles is starting to take root in the industry. The National Automobile Dealers Association and the Environmental Protection Agency would agree with that statement – and have partnered to help new car dealers reduce their energy consumption through the Energy Star program. As part of this effort, NADA and EPA are encouraging dealerships to complete a brief survey that will give the agency a benchmark to better compare the energy usage of dealerships across the country and allow certification of those dealerships that perform well. The survey asks dealers to share their yearly utility bills, square footage – inside and out – and different types of equipment used at the dealership. Dealers that participate in the survey and reduce their power usage will be recognized by Energy Star for their efforts to reduce the dealership’s impact on the environment.
“NADA’s ultimate goal is to help dealers learn ways to save energy and reduce their costs,” said Don Chalmers, chairman of NADA’s Government Relations Committee, and a Ford and Lincoln dealer in New Mexico. “Before we can begin the Energy Star certification process, we need to benchmark the energy usage of at least 500 dealerships.”
To encourage participation, NADA has launched a new program called Energy Ally. Businesses, such as accounting, consulting and energy management firms, that assist at least five dealerships to complete the survey will be awarded an NADA Energy Ally designation. These contractors can use the recognition to market their services to other dealerships. (Information on how to apply to become an Energy Ally is available at www.nada.org/energystar).