Torrance, California – Toyota has been selected as one of just 21 companies, and the only automotive company, to participate in a special U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program to speed the adoption of energy-saving building and facility technologies.

Toyota and the other companies named will work with DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the efforts to speed market adoption of current energy-saving technologies, and produce real-building design solutions that will yield significant and measurable energy savings in commercial buildings.

Toyota said it was selected, in part, because of its role in the development of dealership facilities meeting the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria set out by the U.S. Green Building Council. To date, two Toyota dealerships are the only dealerships to have received LEED certification, and five others are expected it to receive certification before the end of the year. As many as ten more could be certified in 2009.

“Being named part of this program is a tribute to those dealers with the vision and commitment to develop environmentally-sensitive buildings in conjunction with Toyota’s Image II Eco design program,” said Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales. “We will continue to work with dealers and the DOE to develop energy-efficient facilities and guidelines that will benefit the entire industry.”

The DOE said that in 2007, commercial buildings accounted for 19 per cent of U.S. energy use, and 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.

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