Sustainability may seem like another fad or business trend, but in business the bottom line rules: by living and working sustainably, dealerships can reduce costs, increase their brand recognition, and attract more customers.
In 2006, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) formally endorsed the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Challenge, which asks that members commit to reducing energy use by 10 percent or more annually. The EPA estimates that if auto dealers cut their energy use by 10 percent (annually), they would save nearly $193 million and prevent more than 1 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2007, NADA and Energy Star launched a joint Energy Stewardship Initiative to help auto dealers improve energy efficiency in their facilities and operations. Since its launch, more than 800 dealerships have improved the efficiency of their facilities by reducing energy use by 10 percent or more annually.
Throughout the dealership, lighting impacts the customer by providing their first impression of the business and product. Lighting also is a major operational expense that every dealership must manage and control. From outside sales lots to the service garage, implementing scalable lighting solutions will significantly lower your operating cost without sacrificing quality lighting for your customers.
Typically, energy consumption is the third-highest overhead expenditure. Dealerships must consider lighting energy efficiency since reducing energy costs is a major impact. The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) reports that auto dealerships use about 18% more energy per square foot than a typical office building. The “low-hanging” fruit and the best opportunities to save energy is lighting and HVAC systems. Lighting upgrades are the simplest way to cut your operating costs immediately and be implemented at little or no cost.
Another area that dealerships can impact energy costs is by using skylights or “Daylighting”. By installing integrated daylighting systems, dealership will save energy and provide an attractive natural lighting of featured automobiles. When integrated with automatic lighting controls or energy management systems, the use of natural light can decrease the total energy costs by a third. Recent studies also indicate that skylights can increase sales.