Green Dealer Spotlight: Acura of Stamford’s Energy-Saving Measures
By installing energy-saving measures to reduce its environmental impact, Acura of Stamford in Connecticut is using 40% less energy than other dealers in the same zone, which includes states from Maine to Virginia. Owner George D’Angelo accomplished this with the help of the Acura Environmental Leadership Program – often referred to as the “Green Dealer” Program – which has helped more than 600 Honda and Acura automobile, powersports and power equipment dealers across the U.S. collectively reduce CO2 emissions. The program provides ongoing expert guidance on existing and new dealership construction, remodels, and energy and water-saving measures to reduce both costs and environmental impact.
“I learned through experience that it’s easier to build in energy-saving measures than to try to retrofit an existing structure,” said D’Angelo, after he built the current Acura of Stamford facility two years ago and saw an opportunity to take advantage of every efficiency possible. “One of the first things we did was to install insulation, which I think is the main contributor to our low energy usage. It’s amazing how insulation has made it possible for even a small amount of sunshine to really heat up the place.”
In addition to insulation, Acura of Stamford installed 200 feet of low-energy glass in the front of the building, the newest and most energy-efficient HVAC, LED lighting and low-flow toilets. In the Service Department, doors are on sensors, and open and close quickly to avoid unnecessary loss of heat.
“Acura of Stamford is a great example of how incorporating energy-saving measures into a Design project can bring great value,” said Navi Uppal, manager of the Acura Environmental Leadership Program at American Honda. “Not all impacts are visually noticeable as installing solar; there are the hidden features that can make a big impact on a dealer’s energy use and energy bill. Whether a dealer is going through the new build process or wanting to make changes to an existing facility, the Green Dealer Program can support dealerships at any stage.”
The voluntary Green Dealer Program is structured as a yearly assessment to optimize existing and new facilities in the areas of energy performance, water efficiency and site practices. The program provides dealers with support for data collection, environmental assessment, expert advice, implementation and results verification. Since the program’s launch, the average dealership has reduced energy use by 20%, saving an average of $20,000 per year. Cumulatively, the program has saved Honda and Acura dealerships $34 million in energy costs over the last 10 years.
“I was immersed in a culture of environmental responsibility, and it has always been important to me,” said D’Angelo. “We’re extremely proud of our Green Dealer award. It sends a strong, positive message to your customer base, and it’s just a smart investment.”
Honda kicked off the Green Dealer Program in 2011 to demonstrate a comprehensive approach to environmentally responsible operations that extends beyond its fuel-efficient vehicles and energy-efficient manufacturing operations. Now, the program contributes to Honda’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality globally for its products and operations by 2050.