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The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), an EPA Energy Star partner, has long recognized that improving energy efficiency is an effective way for consumers — as well as  new-car and -truck dealers — to cut costs and at the same time reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

NADA also championed the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) law, which requires vehicles to achieve 35 mpg by 2020, a 40 percent increase in fuel economy over today’s standards.

Through its Energy Star partnership with EPA, NADA encourages its roughly 20,000 dealer members to meet the Energy Star Challenge of reducing energy consumption by at least 10 percent.

In 2007, EPA granted NADA its Energy Star Award for Excellence in Energy Efficiency to recognize the association's efforts  to conserve energy in dealer facilities and operations across the U.S.

Also in 2007, EPA awarded three new-car and -truck dealerships its EPA Energy Star Small Business Award, recognizing them as “great examples of financial and environmental stewardship” for their success in achieving greater energy efficiency at their facilities. To date, nearly 1,000 new-car and -truck dealerships nationwide are members of the Energy Star Small Business Network.

2008 NADA Chairman Annette Sykora (L) and USA Today Dealer Innovation Award winner Jim Hand, Hand Motors, Manchester, Vt.

Each year, NADA, in a partnership with USA TODAY, awards one dealer the prestigious Dealer Innovation Award, which recognizes those who have taken a leadership role in implementing effective initiatives to save energy, reduce utility costs and help protect the environment. 

NADA also has launched an ambitious national Green Campaign to encourage dealers and consumers to “go green.” Not only are dealers encouraged to improve the energy efficiency of their facilities, but consumers also are encouraged to save gas by “driving green” and by making sure their vehicles perform as efficiently as possible.

To this end, NADA has launched a program of Green Checkups nationwide. These free checkups analyze vehicle operating systems that directly affect fuel economy and CO2 emissions, such as spark plugs, filters and tire air pressure.

Although NADA’s main focus is on its Green Campaign and promoting Energy Star programs to dealers, the association itself has begun a systematic plan of monitoring and reducing energy at its McLean, Va., and Capitol Hill offices. The biggest change to date: installation of an energy-management system for 33 air handlers in the 11-story building in McLean.

Other changes include a switch to more efficient lighting. All bulbs, computers, glass bottles, white paper, and newspaper are recycled. Aluminum cans are recycled to the local fire department, which sells them and uses the proceeds for internal programs. NADA is undertaking an energy audit and expects to consider other options for cutting energy use, including solar photovoltaics, a technology that converts light directly into electricity.

We invite you to examine this Web site to better understand what dealers are doing — and what you can do — to reduce greenhouse gases.

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