MANCHESTER - Hand Motors is no stranger to energy efficiency. Five or six years ago, It underwent a major lighting change, cutting the kilowatt hours used to light Hand Motors by more than half. But that was only the beginning. Since then, this family-owned car dealership in Manchester has undertaken a wide range of environmental projects, both in efficiency and other arenas.

"When my kids were in college, they got me interested in the environment," said Jim Hand, one of the owners of Hand Motors. "Over the years, we've done tons of projects that have both been good for the environment and good for the bottom line."

That first lighting project was to switch the company over to more efficient CFL bulbs. Since that time, Hand Motors has upgraded to LEDs and estimates that on lighting alone, they are saving $1,400-$1,600 per month. Also, within the last year the company replaced a 40-year-old oil furnace with a new, efficient propane furnace. The year-over-year savings on that project will not be apparent until September 2013, but Hand said it's obvious when he sees the bills that it was a good move.

"I would want to emphasize that these measures not only help the environment, they are great for the bottom line," said Hand. "How often in business do you get a 25-30 percent return on your investment? A lot of these measures are a no-brainer."

Hand Motors is now participating in the Business Energy Action challenge, which is being overseen by Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility.


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With so many efficiency measures in place, is Hand Motors worried about meeting the 5 percent reduction in energy use goal?

"We'll beat it," scoffed Hand.

"We love to work with businesses like Hand Motors who are taking the Business Energy Action challenge," said Andrea Cohen, Executive Director of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. "They represent a lot of Vermont businesses-local, family owned, with the Vermont fighting spirit that breathes some extra fun into the challenge. The full range of environmental projects that they have taken on is truly impressive."

About VBSR: Founded in 1990, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) is a non-profit, statewide business trade organization with a mission to advance business ethics that value multiple bottom lines: economic, social, and environmental. VBSR members employ more than 13 percent of Vermont's workforce and general more than $4 billion dollars in revenue annually. They strive to help members set a high standard for protecting the natural, human and economic environments of the state's residents, while remaining profitable. VBSR's mission is advanced through education, public influence and workplace quality. Visit the website at www.vbsr.org.