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MEEA Assists EPA to Award Energy Star to GM

The following was written by Melissa Anders and the original article can be found at  

General Motors Co.’s Lansing Delta Township assembly plant is now among 17 automotive plants nationwide with Energy Star certification for energy efficiency. The plant, which builds the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse, is the automaker’s only Energy Star-certified plant in the country.

“We’ve taken advantage of the facility that General Motors built for us, but we also on a day-to-day basis encourage people … to continue to save energy,” said Scott Whybrew, plant manager.

The plant opened in 2006. It was the first manufacturing facility to receive gold-level certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program. For the Energy Star certification, it had to perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities for energy efficiency performance. The Lansing Delta Township plant, which runs on three shifts, cuts its energy use by 83 percent when it is not in production. Lights also are turned off in areas where work is completed by robots, and the roof is white to reflect sunlight and heat.

Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. It sets energy efficiency guidelines for everything from homes and appliances to commercial and industrial buildings.

GM expects to save more than 30 million kilowatt hours of electricity during the facility’s first 10 years in operation. A 100 watt light bulb consumes 1 kilowatt hours of electricity in 10 hours.

Energy efficiency is a good way to retain jobs, said Jay Wrobel, executive director of Chicago-based Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. “It’s not only for being green, but it’s also for cost competitiveness,” he said.