WASHINGTON - In a first-of-its-kind partnership between automobile dealers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) announced at the Washington Auto Show that it is joining the Energy Star Challenge. NADA is challenging its 20,000 member dealerships to reduce energy use at more than 43,000 facilities nationwide by 10 percent or more.

"America's auto dealers are delivering more than great cars," said Bill Wehrum, acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. "They are driving energy savings up and costs down, while leading the way to a healthier environment and a stronger economy. NADA's response to the Energy Star Challenge is an example of exceptional leadership at work."

According to the EPA, automobile dealerships are energy intensive operations that require high-quality lighting, both indoors and outdoors, and first-rate climate control. EPA estimates if auto dealers cut their energy use by 10 percent they would save nearly $193 million and prevent more than 1 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

The announcement by NADA and EPA expands on the Energy Star program's ongoing work with motor vehicle manufacturers in the United States to include automobile dealers. NADA members will assess and track the energy performance of their facilities using EPA's rating tool, Portfolio Manager. Setting energy efficiency goals and tracking progress are important practices in implementing an effective energy management program. The energy information entered into Portfolio Manager by NADA members will allow not only individual dealerships but also the industry as a whole to monitor the energy savings that will result from operational improvements. Other resources available to NADA members include the publication "Putting Energy into Profits: An Auto Dealer Guide" as well as Webcast training, expert support, and more.

For more information, visit www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=small_business.sb_autodealer.

Publication date:02/05/2007