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GM Plants Save $73 Million Through LED Lighting and Other Energy-Saving Measures

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Defiance Operations in Ohio replaced its fluorescent lighting with 200 LED fixtures throughout the facility, reducing energy inefficiency by 20% over two years

Today General Motors announced that it has so far saved $73 million in energy costs this year, in part due to the installation of 186,000 LED bulbs and fixtures. The company says that the savings are just one step in its global efforts to have its worldwide operations running on 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.

“Energy efficiency can reduce electricity loads, which will help us more easily transition to renewable energy sources,” said Al Hildreth, GM’s global energy manager. “Together, these environmental improvements help us reduce our carbon footprint, cut costs and deliver value back to our customers.”

Just recently, sixteen GM facilities received ENERGY STAR certification from the EPA for their continued efforts to increase energy efficiency. GM’s Lansing Delta Township plant in Michigan and Fort Wayne assembly plant in Indiana were among the most notable recipients, as both were rated more energy efficient than 75% of similar buildings nationwide.

Some of the energy-saving improvements included new doors to isolate airflow in paint shops at the Lansing location and better energy management systems in Fort Wayne. The Fort Wayne team also installed new variable-frequency drives to improve cooling tower pump systems and fans, and will receive nearly $1 million in utility incentives over the next three years as a result. Both plants are also using LED lighting in their new facilities.

LED lighting used at GM plants saves automaker millions in energy costs

GM warehouses in Waterford and Burton, Michigan also earned ENERGY STAR certification by installing new skylights to increase the amount of natural light, installing LEDs with motion sensors, and using energy management systems to control heating.

The Challenge for Industry, another ENERGY STAR program that recognizes manufacturing facilities that have cut energy intensity by 10% within five years, recognized 12 GM sites this year. Two of them—the Bedford Casting Operations in Indiana and the Grand Rapids Operations in Michigan—were first-time achievers.

The ten repeat offenders include Defiance Operations in Ohio, Flint Metal Center in Michigan, Hamtramck Assembly in Michigan, Marion Stamping Plant in Indiana, Qingdao Assembly in China, Rochester Operations in New York, Talegaon Engine in India, Toledo Transmission in Ohio, Tonawanda Engine in New York, and Wentzville Assembly in Missouri.

“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s industrial facilities is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the health of businesses,” said Jean Lupinacci, chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. “From the plant floor to the boardroom, organizations are leading the way by making their facilities more efficient and achieving EPA’s ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry.”