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Dealerships could save up to £10,000 a year by cutting energy use

Dealers could save up to £10,000 a year on average by cutting energy use and £4,000 a year without having to spend any money according to a new report.

The findings, published in the ‘Dealer Energy Efficiency Guide’, written by an independent energy efficiency expert on behalf of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in conjunction with the RMI and the Carbon Trust, shows ways dealers can become more energy efficient, thereby saving money and improving environmental performance.

Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said it was possible for dealers to save £4,000 without spending money.

The Carbon Trust, a not-for-profit company that provides specialist support to help businesses and public sector bodies cut their carbon emissions and save energy, appointed a consultant to visit 30 dealers to identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency across the sector.

The dealerships, representing all major car brands in the UK marketplace, were of various sizes and types with differing energy spends and occupying buildings of different ages in order to be representative of the industry as a whole.

Sue Robinson director, RMI National Franchise Dealer Association (NFDA), said: “The findings of the report highlight the opportunities for dealers and provide tremendous scope by benefitting the environment and the dealer business.

“Many of the recommendations in the report have no or very little cost, other than making someone responsible at the dealership for overseeing expenditure on energy.

“Today’s dealers put a lot of resources into stock control and energy usage should be no different. Reducing the carbon footprint is a good enough reason for reducing energy costs, but saving expenses that go straight to the bottom line will be every bit as important to today’s dealers. Remember, every £ saved is an extra £ on the bottom line and a positive step for a greener environment.”

Everitt said: “Reducing energy costs will help dealerships sustain their businesses and improve the motor industry's carbon footprint.

“Our study shows some great work is being done, and highlights that more than £4,000 of savings are possible without spending a penny. Using the seven step action plan, outlined in the ‘Dealer Energy Efficiency Guide’, we will be working closely with retailers to encourage them to take action now and cut energy use for immediate energy bill savings.”

The surveys revealed real world savings including:

  • Up to £8,000 a year by resetting heating controls on the boiler.
  • £300 a year by repairing door seals.
  • £1,000 a year by installing radiant heaters.
  • Up to £5,000 a year by reducing the fan speed on air-handling units.
  • Up to £6,000 a year by adjusting air-conditioning settings.
  • £100 a year by enabling time controls on the air compressor.
  • £1,000 a year by maintaining air compressors to prevent leaks.

Based on the number of dealerships in the UK, up to £50 million worth of savings could be made across the automotive retail network per year, equating to a reduction of 300,000 tonnes of CO2.

SMMT summarises the key steps towards improving dealer environmental performance in a video and a seven step action plan hosted at where dealers can also find further information and advice about saving energy and reducing costs.

Click on the next page to see the Dealer Energy Efficiency Guide's seven steps to cutting emissions.

Dealer Energy Efficiency Guide seven step action plan

Step 1: Appoint an energy champion

Appoint an appropriate person to drive energy management and provide senior level support and endorsement.

Step 2: Develop an energy policy

Produce a written energy policy for the Group or site which is signed and approved by the most senior manager and communicated to all employees.

Step 3: Identify meters and invoices

Identify the location of all utility meters and gain regular access to all utility invoices.

Step 4: Monitor and target energy use

Read meters regularly, plot consumption, check usage against targets, identify waste and take corrective action.

Step 5: Conduct regular energy walkabouts

Conduct regular energy walkabouts identifying and recording energy waste, maintenance issues and opportunities for no cost, low cost and investment measures.

Step 6: Implement energy saving measures

Produce a clear written plan in each area with priorities for action against identified measures, with timescales, costs, savings and those responsible for action.

Step 7: Engage employees and the public

Regularly raise staff awareness, gain support/ideas, train key people and provide regular feedback on progress toward targets. Communicate objectives and successes with the public.

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