TORRANCE, Calif. — To help auto dealers adopt more environmentally responsible business practices while also reducing costs, Honda has released its Green Dealer Guide. This comprehensive energy efficiency guide was developed specifically for dealerships and similar commercial buildings with high energy loads. The company is encouraging auto dealers across all brands to download the guide and reduce their environmental footprint.

Honda said the Green Dealer Guide synthesizes its experience over the past three years helping its U.S. dealers reduce their energy consumption through its Environmental Leadership Program. So far, the program has helped 45 Honda and Acura dealers collectively reduce their annual CO2 emissions by approximately 5,000 tons. In addition, the dealers have cut their cumulative annual operating costs by more than $800,000.

“In researching existing green building programs, we found there was nothing ideally suited to the unique operational needs of auto dealerships, especially existing dealer facilities. We decided to create a roadmap that any dealer can use to improve energy efficiency, reduce emissions, and cut overhead costs,” said Steven Center, vice president of American Honda’s Environmental Business Development Office. “The bottom line is that green business is good business, and this guide gives dealers the tools they need to become more efficient and profitable at the same time.”

Dealerships have unique energy use characteristics that differ from other commercial or industrial energy users. Abundant parking lot and interior lighting, an auto service and repair operation, and an on-site car wash are all common features that can contribute to high energy and water demand. The company said approximately 46 percent of the average dealer’s energy use can be attributed to interior and exterior lighting, while 43 percent comes from building heating and cooling.

After finding that existing green building programs did not specifically focus on measurably reducing energy and water consumption without disrupting operations, Honda began developing and testing its own program, which includes a path to achieving zero net energy use. Highest impact improvement areas include installing high-efficiency lighting systems and motion sensors that turn lights off when they’re not needed; optimizing programmable thermostats; replacing older HVAC systems with newer, more energy-efficient equipment; and installing low-flow water fixtures. Adding solar panels is another way to significantly offset energy usage.

The Green Dealer Guide can be downloaded at

Publication date: 1/5/2015

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