On July 21, 2015, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved The Sullivan Auto Group mPOWER financing applications for energy efficiency retrofits and solar photovoltaic installation at two dealerships: the John L Sullivan Chevrolet Dealership and the John L Sullivan Toyota & Truck Center Dealership in Roseville.

  • Energy savings from both dealership improvements are expected to be more than $267,000 in the first year.
  • For the John L Sullivan Chevrolet Dealership, energy improvements include interior and exterior LED light installation, new high-efficiency HVAC units, a cool roof and a solar system. The cost of improvements will amount to a little over $2 million.
  • For the John L Sullivan Toyota & Truck Center Dealership, energy improvements include interior and exterior LED lighting installation, new high HVAC units, a cool roof, and a solar photovoltaic system. The cost of improvements will amount to almost $3.7 million in improvements.
  • Over the next 25 years, the energy savings will not only cover the cost of the improvements but provide an additional $2.9 million in energy savings.
  • mPOWER has funded more than $53 million in energy efficiency and water conservation projects for both residential and non-residential property owners in Placer County.
  • Energy improvements for residential and commercial projects financed by mPOWER have reduced greenhouse gas emissions of 3550 tons which is equivalent to removing 678 cars from the road annually.

Three dealerships of the Sullivan Auto Group have installed an extensive $5.7 million clean-energy project that's expected to cut energy use by about 87 percent.

Some of the greatest savings are expected to come from replacing the existing lighting at all three dealerships - John L. Sullivan Chevrolet, Roseville Toyota and the Roseville Truck Center - with LED lighting. Skylights in the Toyota Truck Center are also expected to cut electric use. All three dealerships are in the Roseville Automall.

The energy upgrade work is being paid for through Property-Assessed Clean Energy financing from Placer County's mPower program, which pays the upfront cost of the upgrades, and the improvements are paid in annual property tax assessments.

This is the largest PACE financing in Placer County, and it is believed to be the largest in the region, said Alexia Retallack, a spokeswoman for Placer County. In 2013, a four-building office complex in South Natomas received a $3.2 million energy efficiency retrofit, which at that time was the nation's largest PACE energy upgrade.

The Roseville dealership project received 20-year financing, and the upgrades will pay for the work and then return an additional $2.9 million in energy savings over 25 years, Retallack said. The federally approved PACE financing allows state and local governments to let homeowners and owners of commercial property finance water and energy efficiency improvements through property tax payments over five, 10 or 20 years.

John Sullivan, owner of the three dealerships, wanted to install the systems to reduce their carbon footprint and to take advantage of advances in energy saving technology, said Christy Patton, spokeswoman for Sullivan Auto Group.

All three dealerships will install cool-roof technology as well as Climate Wizard efficient air conditioning units, which are Australian-developed heat exchangers that perform like air conditioners but use 80 percent less electricity than traditional compressor air conditioners.

The efficiency project also includes installation of solar photovoltaic arrays at all three dealerships.

It will be the largest Climate Wizard installation in the world, said Frank Wegener, president of L&H Airco in Rocklin, the dealer for Climate Wizard in California.

While the project is supposed to return a savings of $2.9 million over 25 years, it could provide more savings than that, Retallack said. "We're a conservative bunch, so we don't estimate high savings. The savings are built on very conservative estimates."

Mark Anderson covers technology, agriculture, banking and finance, venture capital, energy, mining and hospitality for the Sacramento Business Journal.


The Sullivan Auto Group
John L Sullivan Chevrolet
Roseville Toyota
City of Roseville


Christy A. Patton
Community Relations Manager, The Sullivan Auto Group
Call (916) 774-4804 | Email Christy Patton


John Sullivan first came to the area to visit his father in 1963. In 1977, he became a partner in Caddell Chevrolet, and then in 1984, John Sullivan became the sole owner and President. One year later, he changed the name of the Chevrolet dealership to John L Sullivan Chevrolet. In 1992, John purchased Roseville Toyota located in the Roseville Auto Mall.

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