Environment Picture

Car dealership saves big energy $$$

Dick Genthe Chevrolet, a 90-year-old, family-owned car dealership located in Wyandotte, has reduced energy costs 30% annually and saves close to $40,000 each year as a result of implementing Keen Technical Solutions efficiency plans.

Their energy use declined so significantly that their energy provider, DTE Energy, took notice. According to Andrew Genthe, one of the family members that owns the dealership, the utility sent a team over to take apart the dealership’s power box to make sure there was no theft or technical malfunction that reduced demand so significantly.

Andrew Genthe says they achieved their energy savings primarily through more efficient lighting, which also improved the quality of light in their lots. According to Genthe, their return on investment is just three years, and their savings have been good for business.

“The more liquid our company is in our cash flow, it allows us to be more aggressive in our business,” said Genthe. “We are able to focus that money in areas we weren’t able to before.” He adds that they have expanded their service area, adding 10 employees. The energy savings helped to make that possible.

As for working with Keen, Genthe said it was like working with friends. One of the Keen employees Genthe worked with most closely, Robert Underhill, even ended up buying a Chevy Volt from the dealership. Genthe was so satisfied with their savings that they have helped Keen get in contact with dealerships around Michigan and even outside of the state.

Company: Dick Genthe Chevrolet
Investment: $122,200 (after $25,000 DTE rebate)
Return on investment: 3 years
Annual energy savings: $39,497.93
Annual displaced energy: 356,066 kWh
Displaced capacity: 106.9 kW
-Kate Madigan, MEC
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