DETROIT – General Motors is participating in a U.S. Department of Energy program to reduce energy costs, per unit of production, at 25 of its U.S. facilities. The result is an anticipated 25-percent or greater combined reduction in energy use at the plants by 2018.

The Better Buildings, Better Plants program is a national initiative in which the DOE works with industry partners to promote greater energy efficiency in the U.S. industrial sector.

“We continue to prove the business case for better energy management,” said Al Hildreth, General Motors corporate energy manager. “Spreading the word about these benefits and sharing best practices with like-minded organizations will go far in reducing our nation’s energy consumption, and working with the DOE and EPA ENERGY STAR® enhances this effort.”

The program provides commercial and industrial building owners with assistance and proven solutions to enhance energy efficiency. It also encourages collaboration among companies to discuss lessons learned.

“General Motors’ efforts are helping the nation benefit from energy efficiency. Together with the other partners in the Better Buildings, Better Plants program, GM’s actions will save billions in energy costs, create new manufacturing jobs, strengthen the nation’s economic competitiveness and help protect the environment,” said Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency, U.S. Department of Energy.

GM and the United Auto Workers work together to achieve the energy-reduction targets. Employees at Fairfax (Kan.) Assembly identified cost savings totaling more than $200,000 per year after attending a four-day compressed air training event conducted by the DOE.

“The UAW is proud to play a part in helping General Motors reduce its impact on the environment,” said UAW Vice President Joe Ashton, who directs the union’s GM department. “By giving our members the proper energy management training, we can ensure that the facilities where they work will be up-to-speed on industry best practices for cutting carbon emissions.”

Two hundred and eighteen energy-savings opportunities have been identified, which GM has taken advantage of for more than $7 million in savings.

This is one of two collaborations between GM and the U.S. DOE. GM recently became a founding partner of the DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge, pledging to help increase the number of employers providing workplace vehicle charging tenfold within five years. The automaker is at the forefront of workplace vehicle charging, with more than 230 charging stations available to employees in the United States.

Worldwide, GM is dedicated to energy efficiency and is working toward a goal to reduce energy intensity from its facilities 20 percent by 2020. The company is the No. 1 automotive user of solar power in the United States and received an EPA Energy Star Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence award for its energy management.

Recently, 54 GM plants met the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry, cutting energy intensity by 26 percent in less than three years.

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