TILTON – New Hampshire has among the highest electricity rates in the entire country, and this is a significant financial drain on any local business that requires lots of power to run the company.
To lower costs, the NH Automobile Dealers Association (NHADA) took energy saving seriously which has resulted in major savings. NHADA staff completed a full energy retrofit of their offices and lowered energy bills by almost $10,000. Additionally its members like AutoServ Dealerships in Tilton and Belmont heeded the call to “Go Green” and replaced its entire HVAC systems, installed computer controlled thermostats, added spray foam insulation, switched out lighting, including parking lot and service shop lighting, all to LED, and added vestibules to reduce heat loss.
These changes reduced the buildings energy footprints, which is kind to the environment. NHADA has shared these findings with its over 570 NH business members, and several more dealers are following suit. So far, members have saved well over $100,000 statewide.
“Auto Dealers have huge electricity bills, so we understand that reducing costs and improving efficiency while reducing our environmental footprint is a proven winner,” says NHADA President Peter McNamara. “By looking at our building as a whole system, we made multiple upgrades and will save a lot of money.”
Innovative grants and funding, industry rebates, and low interest loans all helped to make auto dealers’ projects a reality. Roland Gamelin, Director of Operations at AutoServ adds that “by making these changes, AutoServ has saved over $25,000 annually in energy costs and we were able to take advantage of CDFA low interest financing and PSNH incentives, that helped cover much of the cost.” In addition, NHADA and auto dealers like AutoServ hire local contractors and use local bank financing to fuel these initiatives adding a further boost to the local economy.
NH Sierra Club supports the energy saving programs with positive economic benefits for the sake of the environment. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) grants, as well as other financial tools available to businesses and homeowners alike, provide the needed incentive to go the distance to lower energy use. Measures such as energy efficiency, weatherization and even installing solar panels all do their part to lower energy demand which in turn reduces the pollution from traditional power sources, like coal and oil.
In a related program hosted by the NH Retail Association, that many NHADA members participated in as well 184 businesses from across the state participated in the program. Nearly half started to implement the energy savings measures from an energy audit and are expected to spend $620,000 less on energy because of them.
“Energy savings programs help local businesses build and expand while lowering the risks of air pollution and climate disruption for the rest of us,” Catherine Corkery Director of NH Sierra Club stated. “The recently released National Climate Assessment supports continuing investment programs like RGGI nationally by setting a new carbon health standard next month. The costs of inaction make it clear that we need to make the choice as a country to step up and lead the way for global action on climate change. Investing in our local businesses and communities help create jobs, strengthen our economy and make our future brighter for the next generation.”