A car dealership in Sydney’s Northern Beaches is expected to halve its energy bill through an LED upgrade of over 1000 lights and the installation of around the same number of solar panels.

The first stage of the project, which has been financed under the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Commonwealth Bank’s Energy Efficient Loans program to the tune of $320,000, will see a 100-kilowatt solar PV system and LED lighting installed by sustainable energy company Autonomous Energy.

On completion, the solar PV will be boosted to 260kW, with the inclusion of a solar car park shading structure for the dealership, Col Crawford Lifestyle Cars.

Col Crawford managing director Stephen Crawford said going green “simply makes good business sense”.

“The car manufacturers we work with have been working tremendously hard over some decades now to build green cars, from currently available hybrid vehicles to full electric cars,” Mr Crawford said. “I see that the buildings in our dealership can evolve in a similar way, using energy in a sustainable, non-polluting way.”

Autonomous Energy director Mark Gadd said the project set a new standard for car dealerships.

“This project is genuinely ground-breaking as approximately half of all the solar panels are integrated into a new solar car park shading structure that generates pollution-free solar electricity at the same time as providing shade and cover from rain for parking,” he said.

CEFC chief executive Oliver Yates said the installation showed solar and energy efficiency could be applied across a wide range of commercial activities, making a positive difference to the bottom line.