Green Dealer Support

Energy Efficiency Is About The Whole Package

GREEN-DEALER-SUPPORT-A (Custom) (3)When businesses consider doing a lighting upgrade they often think in the terms of changing to more efficient bulbs like LED or a more efficient HVAC system that is 95% efficient. These are good things to do but are only a part of the package and should not be considered alone. For example, to change from Metal Halide lamps to LED might reduce energy consumption by 50-75% but that is only part of the saving. If controls are also updated the saving can be much commercial_lighting_14higher and is often up to 85%. For lighting, these controls include photo sensors, motion detectors and rotating the timing as to when lights are on. Often they are incorporated in a complete energy management system.

What happens here is an added consideration when replacing lights or making many other investments especially in energy related devices.



Business E-waste
December 28, 2012, 10:34 am
Filed under: Going Green, Green Facts | Tags: , , , , ,

GREEN-DEALER-SUPPORT-A (Custom) (3)It is estimated that 80% of e-waste in the United States ends up in landfills. Globally 40 million tons of e-waste are sent to landfills, dumps or are incinerated. There are over 600 million obsolete computers in the United States.  Recycling e-waste can also turn into some real savings. Here are a couple of examples:

Recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,500 US homes in a year.

For every million cell phones we recycle, 35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.


About 10% of used computers are disposed of properly. Many are sent to local recyclers who ship them overseas countries where few safety regulations are followed in disposing of the material. The processes used in these countries results in workers, communities, wildlife, water and crops being exposed to hazardous materials the e-waste contains. For example an older computer may contain as much as four pounds of lead.

Proper e-waste procedures begin with the purchasing of electronics that have “green” traits. The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool that includes an electronic registry of “green” electronics. Click Here for the link to EPEAT. 

For dealerships e-waste comes in many forms:

  • Computers
  • Phones
  • Printers
  • Fax Machines
  • Networking Equipment
  • Monitors
  • DVD Players
  • PDA’s
  • VCR’s
  • Televisions
  • Etc.

When these items are no longer useful for your operation the two options are Reuse and Recycle.

Many devices are being replaced so that you have the latest features that you need or require but may still have some useful life, value and importantly are not yet ready to be thrown away. Some schools and other public organizations may be interested in a contribution. Further some groups are interested in the used products to salvage for parts prior to recycling the remainder.

For those situations where a resource for recycling or reusing is unknown here are a few links you can use:

Many states have laws that relate to e-waste recycling. Click Here for the National Electronics Recycling infrastructure Clearinghouse (NERIC) to find all the latest information on e-waste handling in your area.

If you are replacing electronic items that have data stored be sure to remove all this information before recycling or donating the item.

Green Dealer Support has experience working with car dealers who want to be responsible environmental partners. E-waste is one of the many areas that dealers will want to address as part of their eco-friendly activities.

LED; is Now The Time?
September 10, 2012, 11:40 am
Filed under: Going Green | Tags: , , , ,

A couple of years ago, I would not have recommended to anyone use LED bulbs. They were just too expensive and had a limited number of options where they could be used. Times have changed and I believe we have reached the tipping point where it is practical to recommend that LED be on the consideration list. This technology is rapidly changing and the balance between cost and benefits will continue to grow but waiting may no longer be justified.

There are a lot of good reasons to consider LED:

  • Operating cost-They require about 25% of electricity for the same light output.
  • Quality of light-The crisp output can be more acceptable to many and being able to see colors just like being outdoors.
  • Long Lasting-The numbers are huge when compared to anything else on the market. This can be especially nice if the fixture is hard to get to.
  • Cooler bulb surfaces-The heat produced at the bulb is very low especially compared to incandescent.
  • Instant on-Unlike some bulbs that require a long warm-up time they are on when you flick the switch.

Wanting to practice what I preach I recently started trying to find places in my Green Dealer Support office and in my home where installation of LED would work. It is not as simple as it might seem. I went to places like Lowe’s, Menard and Home Depot on a shopping trip to try to figure it out. What I learned is that I had a lot of decision to make.

First, the price scared me to death. I could not imagine paying $30.00 for a single bulb, especially compared to a bulb I would have paid $1.00 for in the past. It just took a long time for me to build all the advantages into my mental ROI formula.

Next, was finding the right bulb for my application; was it dimmable, would it light the work area the way I wanted, is it the right shape, etc.

In the end I spent a lot of time looking over all the material in the bulb aisle and was still a little confused. I did learn a few lessons that worked for me. First, focus on a limited number of areas at one time. Don’t try to change out the entire office or your home all at one time. At my office where I have canned fixtures with 65 watt bulbs above my work area I decided to start here but even then I did not go back to the office and screw in 13 bulbs at one time. Three  right above my desk was all I needed to get an idea as to how it would look. In the end I liked the change and put them all in. It cost what seemed like a lot of money, but I pay the electric bill for my office and I plan on being there a long time.

There are times when I am not 100% sure about these things and like to watch what others are doing. One recent endorsement of LED was a project in Lane Nora FL where a large number of lamps were replaced with LED with a very good payback. A paper written by an industry professional details many of the more technical aspects of LED lighting and how it works in the real world. Another very interesting video on LED can be found by clicking here.

Green Dealer Support’s role with dealers is to help them become as green as possible. LED lighting is one of the areas we will always be encouraging dealers to explore.

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