The National Automobile Dealers Association recently introduced what it’s calling a fully automated online energy usage survey as part of a national effort to understand energy consumption trends among dealerships in the United States.
NADA explained that data derived from the survey will aid in the development of a national ENERGY STAR energy performance scale for dealerships by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Officials highlighted the newly automated survey, created in partnership with energy management systems provider GridNavigator, can be completed by NADA member dealerships in just one step by entering energy usage data and other key dealership information. This anonymous information will then be analyzed by EPA to develop an ENERGY STAR energy performance scale for dealerships.
Once an ENERGY STAR energy performance scale becomes available for dealerships, NADA noted those that achieve a score of 75 or higher on the 1-to-100 scale may be eligible for the ENERGY STAR 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.
“Dealerships across the country are on the leading edge of energy reduction initiatives, which are a win-win by helping the environment and driving down operating costs,” said NADA chairman Bill Underriner.
“We believe consumers want to know about these efforts in their communities,” Underriner continued. “By streamlining the survey process for developing the ENERGY STAR certification tool, more dealerships will be able to participate and share that important accomplishment with their customers.”
NADA pointed out that past ENERGY STAR Small Business Award winners saved an average of nearly $35,000 annually in energy bills, according to EPA.
The association believes all dealerships participating in the survey will gain cost-cutting insights by being able to compare their energy use improvement to their baseline and, with the new tool, to others nationwide through the ENERGY STAR energy performance scale for dealerships.
“An ENERGY STAR certification provides a financial discipline and baseline for any asset upgrade, with the added benefit of improved property value,” said Al Cabrini, chief executive officer of GridNavigator.
The association noted energy reduction for dealerships may include such steps as investing in cost-cutting heating and cooling systems, using more efficient lighting and working smarter, among other examples.
NADA members were emailed a unique user name and password to access the newly automated energy usage survey at www.CarbonIndex.com.
All surveys must be completed by July 6 to be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification.