Energy Star Scores for Vehicle Dealerships
Anyone who has bought a major appliance in the past 30 years is undoubtedly well aware of the Energy Star rating system. What began as a humble undertaking to promote more efficient lighting systems in commercial and industrial buildings blossomed into the rating system we know today.
Brought to you by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), you would be correct in concluding that Energy Star is a program that rates appliances based on their energy efficiency. However, it is so much more than that.
For example, did you know that in addition to providing ratings for dishwashers, refrigerators, air conditioners, or ovens, Energy Star also provides building owners and people interested in purchasing homes a way to see how a structure compares to others in its energy performance? In those cases, the buildings in question may have an Energy Star certification attesting to their energy performance as compared to similar buildings.
Does this apply to car dealerships?
Now, the EPA is rolling out a similar rating system for car dealerships. Owners or managers can use the Energy Star Portfolio Manager, an EPA online tool, to help them. Energy Star Portfolio Manager sets a benchmark for commercial and industrial buildings to use in their efforts to understand how their buildings’ energy performance compares to others. A significant portion of these buildings in the United States already use this tool to great effect.
Using the data gleaned from other users and other sources, car dealerships can measure not just their use of energy but also their consumption of water, the amount of waste they generate, and the Green House Gas (GHG) emissions produced by their facility. Buildings then receive a score from 1–100. Those with a score of 75 or higher may be eligible for a certification from Energy Star.
After a public comment period, the rating system for car dealerships was finalized. On November 14, the EPA released the Energy Star rating system for car dealerships, making it available in its Portfolio Manager tool. The rating system will use details like the size of the dealership, hours of operation, the number of vehicles, the dealership location, and the number of employees, among other data, to establish individual scores.
According to the EPA, the scoring system will apply to dealerships that sell new and used “light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty cars and trucks.” The EPA is also updating Energy Star scores for multiple other industries like hospitals, multifamily structures, and data centers.
Ultimately, the use of Portfolio Manager in obtaining a score for a car dealership is to help operators identify where issues are in the performance of their buildings and take corrective action to address the problems. Portfolio Manager can help dealerships by identifying industry-wide best practices that they could use to improve performance and provide them with access to a tool that will allow them to measure their performance every step of the way. That will help dealerships ensure reductions in their consumption of resources are also resulting in cost savings for their operation.
Tens of thousands of commercial buildings and industrial facilities in the United States have obtained Energy Star certifications and managed programs to improve their energy efficiency using the Portfolio Manager tool. The result has been cost savings for the building owners and a significant reduction in GHG emissions, which is a win-win for everyone. Now, car dealerships can also participate in the rating system.