Second Green Dealer Achieves Grid-Neutral Status
In the four years since its inception, Honda’s ‘Green Dealer’ program has made great strides in helping Honda and Acura auto, powersports, and power equipment dealers take steps toward lessening the environmental impact of their operations.
And while more than 400 U.S. dealerships have initiated environmental programs, a select few have taken the challenge to a whole new level by providing more to the environment than they take away.
Such is the case with Brandfon Honda in Branford, Connecticut, which recently became the second Honda dealer in the United States to achieve electric grid neutral status via the ‘Green Dealer’ program.
By complementing the dealership’s energy efficient design with solar power and super-efficient LEDs, the team at Brandfon Honda has created a building that generates as much or more renewable energy on-site than it uses over a one-year period, significantly reducing its carbon footprint.
The dealership, located just outside of New Haven, developed a number of projects that allowed it to reach electric grid neutral status. The installation of an 120kW solar PV system in 2014, to offset electric consumption, provides 75 percent of facility’s energy usage (energy use includes both electricity and gas). Brandfon Honda also updated both interior and exterior lot lighting to LED and added automated controls that turn lights on at dusk and turns them off at dawn. The dealership has also added an oil reclamation system to handle lubricants in its service center.
“I have been very surprised that more dealers aren’t doing it because while it helps our bottom line – more importantly it helps society as a whole,” said Jeff Brandon, owner of Brandfon Honda. “If you put pen and paper to it, it makes total sense to incorporate this into your dealership.”
American Honda launched the ‘Green Dealer’ program in FY12 to help independently owned and operated Honda and Acura dealers in the U.S. reduce their environmental impact. The program recognizes dealers who implement recommended sustainable practices with three award levels – Silver, Gold and Platinum. The award criteria are based on a verified reduction in energy use and a rigorous point system that incorporates environmental improvement measures.
Brandfon Honda began making environmental improvements to its site as far back as 2010 with the switch to LED lighting, and has reduced its electric usage more than 95 percent over the last eight years.
“The level of commitment is very big here. Jeff (Brandon) is very committed to the project. It’s important to us. We support the community, and that commitment is felt by the associates. It makes them proud to work for Honda,” said Brandfon Honda Dealer Manager Jeremy Abramson. “Honda customers are committed to the environment. It makes sense for the facility to match the vehicles. We get to do something good and it impacts our customers.”
Honda makes the Green Dealer Guide available to the public online at greendealer.honda.com, but Brandfon is an example of what is possible if you incorporate some of the suggested environmental processes.
“We are very proud of Brandfon Honda for becoming not only Honda’s, but the nation’s second electric grid neutral dealership” said Raminta Jautokas, program manager for the Honda’s ‘Green Dealer’ program. “Both Brandfon Honda and Rossi Honda, our first electric grid neutral dealership, are demonstrating to all auto dealerships that not only is it possible to significantly reduce their CO2 footprint, but it also makes business sense.”