By - Jim Vess

GM’s energy efficiency program in Flint earns a $2.8 million rebate from Consumers Energy

Energize Weekly, March 20, 2019

General Motors, which has had a sustained program to increase the energy efficiency of its plants, received a $2.8 million payment from Consumers Energy in early March for energy-saving upgrades at its Flint, Mich., plant.

“General Motors has made a commitment to sustainability, and we are pleased to work with them to take actions that are good for their customers and all of Michigan,” Brian Rich, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president for customer experience, said in a statement.

In the last decade, General Motors has received $13.3 million in payments from Consumers Energy for upgrades at its Michigan plants aimed at reducing energy use.

The Flint upgrades will save enough electricity to power about 1,600 houses and natural gas to heat about 550 homes, Consumers said.

”GM Flint Assembly’s commitment to sustainability enables us to develop an energy-efficient work environment for our team,” Michael Perez, GM Flint Assembly plant manager, said in a statement. “Our relationship with Consumers Energy allows us to continue to identify new opportunities to reduce and reuse energy.”

GM has invested more than $22 million in energy efficiency projects at its North American facilities, resulting in an energy-intensity reduction of 17 percent since 2010, with avoided costs estimated at $135 million, the equivalent of 143,000 vehicle sales, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program.

In 2016, 16 facilities earned recognition for their efforts to increase energy efficiency. The Lansing Delta Township plant in Michigan and the Fort Wayne assembly plant in Indiana earned Energy Star certifications for superior energy performance.

GM, for example, installed 186,000 energy-efficient, LED bulbs at its plants, one of the steps that cut energy costs $73 million in 2016. The Lansing Delta Township plant and Fort Wayne assembly plant use LED lighting in their facilities.

In 2019, GM became one of the first two participants in a new Consumers Energy program that will match the company’s Flint operations with 100 percent renewable energy. Consumers Energy’s parent company, CMS Energy, also opened a wind farm last year that provides renewable energy to GM operations in Ohio.

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