Dealer Energy Efficiency

7 Step Action Plan

Undertake the seven step action plan

Step 1: Appoint an energy champion

Appoint an appropriate person to drive energy management and provide senior level support and endorsement.

Step 2: Develop an energy policy

Produce a written energy policy for the Group or site which is signed and approved by the most senior manager and communicated to all employees.

Step 3: Identify meters and invoices

Identify the location of all utility meters and gain regular access to all utility invoices.

Step 4: Monitor and target energy use

Read meters regularly, plot consumption, check usage against targets, identify waste and take corrective action.

Step 5: Conduct regular energy walkabouts

Conduct regular energy walkabouts identifying and recording energy waste, maintenance issues and opportunities for no cost, low cost and investment measures.

Step 6: Implement energy saving measures

Produce a clear written plan in each area with priorities for action against identified measures, with timescales, costs, savings and those responsible for action.

Step 7: Engage employees and the public

Regularly raise staff awareness, gain support/ideas, train key people and provide regular feedback on progress toward targets. Communicate objectives and successes with the public.

Saving energy is easier than you think

“You don’t need lots of technical knowledge. If you do need technical advice it can be easily accessed. Energy management is essentially good management of a measureable resource and makes business sense. That is why the best run companies in the UK are the most energy efficient. It is in no-one’s interest to waste energy and everyone benefits including business performance.”

Tom Delay, Chief Executive, The Carbon Trust

£10,000 worth of savings to be made


  • Switch off lights that are not in use.
  • Make better use of natural light.
  • Replace filament and halogen lights with LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs or Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL).
  • Replace T12 fluorescent tubes with thinner, more efficient, T5 tubes.

FACT: On average, 40% of energy costs are related to lighting.

Heating and hot water

  • Switch off heating systems that are not in use.
  • Close doors when heating or air conditioning is on.
  • Save up to £8,000 a year by resetting heating controls on the boiler.
  • Save £300 a year by repairing door seals.
  • Save £1,000 a year by installing radiant heaters.

FACT: On average, 30% of dealership energy costs relate to heating.

Settings and controls

  • Save up to £4,000 a year by installing a Building Management System in workshop and bodyshop areas.
  • Use timers for car park lights and save up to £3,000 a year.
  • Save up to £5,000 a year by reducing the fan speed on air-handling units.
  • Save up to £6,000 a year by adjusting air-conditioning settings.

FACT: For every 1oC the A/C is set below 24oC, electricity consumption and costs increase by 11%.

Compressed air equipment

  • Save £100 a year by enabling time controls on the air compressor.
  • Save £1,000 a year by maintaining air compressors to prevent leaks.
  • Compressed air escaping from a 3mm hole can cost up to £700 a year in wasted electricity.

FACT: On average, 6% of energy costs relate to the air compressor.

Monitor and improve

  • Track energy use to see the difference improvements can make.
  • Energy consumption data is best taken from meters. If not available then use invoice data.
  • Analyse data in comparison to historical data to understand how your site is performing.
  • Act on findings, or contact SMMT for help by e-mailing

FACT: Reducing temperature settings by just 1oC can reduce consumption by 8%.

The above savings were found during the site visits undertaken in 2010/2011.

Next steps:

Download the full Dealer Energy Efficiency Guide or contact for further advice on how to save energy and save money.

A summary version outlining the Guide’s key steps is also available here.

SMMT hosted a webinar regarding dealer energy efficiency. Click through to download the presentation given by John Mullholland of NIFES, the Guide author.

If you would like more information, you can download a web version of the Dealer Energy Efficiency presentation from the report launch.

Industry will continue to provide insight and advice on how dealers can improve their energy efficiency. Contact to receive updated information or regularly check for updates on the SMMT dealer energy efficiency page.

SMMT has also developed some guidance and tips for saving water and how best to dispose of waste. These follow many of the same basic principles of how to become energy efficient and suggest adopting a seven step action plan for change.

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