The National Automobile Dealers Association has launched an online energy usage survey as part of a national effort to understand consumption trends, with an aim of developing an Energy Star performance scale for dealerships.
NADA member dealerships will complete the automated survey, created in partnership with leading energy management systems provider GridNavigator, by entering energy usage data and other key dealership information. EPA will analyze the anonymous information as it develops the scale.
NADA hopes the introduction of a scale will improve both efficiency and consumer attitude towards its members. Once an Energy Star performance measure becomes available for dealerships, those that achieve a score of 75 or higher on the 1-to-100 scale may be eligible for certification, which studies show is an important factor for consumers in the shopping process.
A majority of Americans are influenced by the Energy Star label, and nearly 80 percent are likely to recommend an Energy Star product to others, according to a recent report by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency. Past Energy Star small business award winners saved an average of nearly $35,000 annually in energy bills, according to the EPA.
Automakers have already launched a number of initiatives aimed at improving energy efficiency at dealerships. In April, American Honda Motor Co. launched its “green dealer” program to encourage 10 percent energy use reductions at independently-owned Honda and Acura dealers in the US. The program offers three achievement levels – Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The top-level Platinum award is reserved for dealers whose facilities earn LEED certification from the US Green Building Council.
Back in 2010, Ford began a voluntary sustainability initiative aimed at reducing energy use at its Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealers. The “Go Green” dealer sustainability initiative tested best practices at three dealerships in Florida, New York and Nevada. It was conducted in conjunction with energy efficiency organization the Rocky Mountain Institute and unveiled at the 2010 NADA convention.