Local GM plant meets EPA energy challenge

LORDSTOWN – General Motors’ Lordstown Complex is one of 63 facilities to meet an EPA challenge to cut energy intensity by 42 percent in less than three years, GM announced.

It is the second consecutive year the Lordstown plant achieved the recognition in the voluntary U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program.

GM’s Lordstown Complex avoided more than $5.4 million in energy costs annually through its efforts, according to information released by the plant. GM leads all companies worldwide in meeting the challenge. Total companywide savings in energy costs through the Challenge for Industry total $162 million.

“Creativity and energy management go hand-in-hand at GM,” said Tim Lee, GM’s executive vice president of Global Manufacturing. “We’ve been consistently cutting energy use and emissions each year. Environmental responsibility – and its corresponding business benefits – continues to be an everyday driver within our facilities.”

To meet the Energy Star Challenge for Industry, manufacturing facilities need to reduce energy used per unit of production by at least 10 percent within five years. Lordstown’s reduction avoided 34,403 tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of electricity use by 5,150 homes, from entering the atmosphere annually.

Employees at the local auto manufacturing facility used tactics like replacing lighting fixtures with energy efficient LED High Bay fixtures reducing lighting load by 80 percent. They also have controlled the operation of the lights using energy management software to schedule, turning off or reducing the foot candles of the LED lights according to production schedules, according to a statement released by Lordstown plant Communications Manager Tom Mock.

Employees also are engaged in energy management activities that include equipment shutdown schedules before leaving for the weekends or holidays.

“Our employees understand the commitment it takes to be as energy efficient as possible in our day-to-day operations,” said Bob Parcell, plant manager. “Through a diligent environmental process, we have instilled a sense of responsibility to the environment that goes beyond our location in northeast Ohio.”

In March, GM received an Energy Star Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence award – the program’s highest recognition for corporate energy management. Between 2005 and 2010, the company reduced energy use in its global facilities by 28 percent and has since set a goal to reduce energy intensity globally 20 percent by 2020.

The Energy Star program was introduced in 1992 in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Through the program, Americans last year saved $18 billion on their energy bills while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 34 million vehicles.