GM expects $73M in energy cost savings this year - Smart Energy Decisions

Demand Management, Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Industrial, Sourcing Renewables  -  October 24, 2016

GM expects $73M in energy cost savings this year

General Motors Co. is  expecting to save $73 million in energy costs this year through the deployment of energy efficiency initiatives throughout its global operations. 

The Detroit-based automaker said Oct. 24 that its efforts to increase energy efficiency play a significant part in GM's goal of meeting the electricity needs of its worldwide operations with 100% renewable energy by 2050. 

"Energy efficiency can reduce electricity loads, which will help us more easily transition to renewable energy sources," Al Hildreth, GM's global energy manager said in a news release about its energy efficiency initiatives. "Together, these environmental improvements help us reduce our carbon footprint, cut costs and deliver value back to our customers."

GM Global Manager of Renewable Energy Rob Threlkeld walked through the company's strategy toward achieving that renewable energy goal in an Oct. 18 Smart Energy Decisions webinar, a replay of which is now available

The installation of 186,000 LED bulbs and fixtures is just one of many projects intended to help General Motors save energy in 2016, the company said. In addition, 16 GM facilities recently earned recognition from the U.S. EPA's Energy Star program for continued efforts to increase energy efficiency.

GM's Lansing Delta Township plant in Michigan and Fort Wayne assembly plant in Indiana each earned Energy Star certification for superior energy performance. These plants are more energy efficient than 75% of similar buildings nationwide and meet strict performance levels set by the EPA, GM said.

Improvements included new doors that isolate airflow in paint shops at Lansing Delta Township and more efficient energy management systems at Fort Wayne Assembly. The Fort Wayne team also installed new variable-frequency drives that help cooling tower pump systems and fans operate with greater precision. Fort Wayne Assembly will receive nearly $1 million in utility incentives over the next three years as a result. Both plants use LED lighting in new facilities.

GM warehouses in Waterford and Burton, Michigan also earned Energy Star certification. Those customer care and aftersales operations leveraged natural light via new skylights, installed LEDs with motion sensors and are using energy management systems to control heating.

The company also participates in Energy Star's "Challenge for Industry" program, which recognizes manufacturing facilities that have cut energy intensity by 10% within five years. This year, 12 GM sites met the challenge, 10 of which were repeat achievers.

"Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s industrial facilities is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the health of businesses," Jean Lupinacci, chief of the commercial and industrial branch of Energy Star said in a statement. "From the plant floor to the boardroom, organizations are leading the way by making their facilities more efficient."

For GM's part, the company said it believes there is economic opportunity in addressing climate change. For more information on GM's environmental commitment, visit its sustainability report and environmental blog.


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