The two most recent commercials I have seen by car manufacturers highlight a self-sensing detection and braking system and a wifi enabled car. To me this is technology moving much faster than the posted limit. Yet the dealerships I have visited recently haven't seemed to adapt this same technology leap in regards their energy systems. Let's highlight three areas auto dealers should consider energy improvements before 2017 models are on the showroom floor.
1) Interior Lighting - Shop areas require a variety of lighting on at all times to fully service a clients vehicle. Fluorescent task lights and HID high bays are inefficient systems that many folks still perform work under. Showrooms and sales areas, which typically have long run hours, are often illuminated by traditional fluorescent troffers and halogen track lights. LED lamps and fixtures will provide much better lighting and save significant energy for these applications.
2) Exterior Lighting - Most Auto Dealerships far exceed the recommended exterior lighting at their store locations. The reason so many dealerships go above and beyond with exterior lighting is for advertising purposes. It catches driver’s eyes, especially at night, and makes their products look enticing and clean. LED parking lot lighting is a much more focused light. A thoughtful lighting design will still shine bright on the dealerships inventory and provide ample security, at a fraction of the energy that current inefficient systems do.
3) Air Compressors - If you've ever stepped on a shop floor, or peaked through to the mechanic's area it's likely you have seen (and heard) components of a compressed air system. Air leaks in the delivery system can waste as much as 30% of a compressor's output. Identifying and fixing leaks, installing metering for ongoing leak detection, and installing air-entraining nozzles can result from a proper air compressor audit.
The Auto Industry comprises one of the most lucrative, active, and wasteful industries in the world, and as such, carves out an energy footprint that is hard to mitigate. By addressing these energy efficient systems auto dealers can drive down a more sustainable path.