Auto dealer Jim Hand, recently recognized for his efforts to “go green” when he won the USA Today Dealer Innovation Award, says he owes it all to one of his kids. “It really started with my son,” he says. “He was involved in environmental projects” while attending college in Vermont several years ago. In fact, his son was part of a group of students who traveled across the country in a bus that ran on vegetable oil, making stops at schools and colleges to raise awareness of the benefits of alternative fuels. “This kind of spurred me on to do more at home and at the dealership,” says Hand.
Hand Motors expects to save $30,000 a year in energy costs through such initiatives as heating the mechanical and body shops with a vegetable oil and used motor oil combo; installing Super T8 fluorescent bulbs throughout the store; and adding motion detectors and programmable thermostats.
But Hand says his most important move was working with the nonprofit state utility Efficiency Vermont, which provides technical advice, design guidance, and rebates on energy-efficient products. Hand spent $35,000 to upgrade lighting in both of his buildings, and got back all but $4,000 in rebates. He also saved about $6,000 in energy costs over six months, “so I’ve got my investment back.”
- original article from the National Association of Auto Dealers