Automakers, EPA Set Energy Performance Benchmark to Improve Assembly-Plant Efficiency

Rating the energy efficiency of auto assembly plants starts a process that will cut energy usage, save money and protect the environment. U.S. motor vehicle manufacturers spend more than $700 million annually on energy for assembly plants. If energy use across the industry were reduced by five percent, the savings would be equivalent to conserving the fuel to operate almost 78,000 passenger cars for a year, according to EPA.

This rating system, made available by EPA, is the first of its kind for manufacturing facilities. It compares the energy efficiency of an assembly plant producing passenger cars, light duty trucks, sport utility vehicles, or vans in the United States to that of the entire industry.

EPA and the automobile industry worked jointly to develop the Energy Star Automobile Assembly Plant Energy Performance Indicator (EPI) and were supported by the analytical skills of Argonne National Laboratory. The performance indicator benchmarks an entire assembly plant's energy use, a critical step in strategic energy management. It enables companies to determine how efficiently each plant is using energy as compared to the industry as a whole, and whether better energy performance could be expected.

Based on the input of simple plant-level information, the energy efficiency of an automobile assembly plant is scored from 1 to 100 and compared to the average and "efficient" plants in the industry. EPA defines an efficient plant at a score of 75 or better. Now, corporate energy directors can establish meaningful goals for reducing energy use in assembly plants and better manage their companies' energy costs.

The EPI was developed as part of an Energy Star Industrial "Focus" with the motor vehicle manufacturing industry. Energy Star Industrial Focus has been initiated for motor vehicle, cement and pharmaceutical manufacturing in addition to the corn and petroleum refining industries. A separate focus is underway for water and wastewater treatment plants operated by local governments and sanitary services companies.

The EPI is available for download from the Energy Star Web site (http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=industry.bus_motorveh_manuf_focus).

For more information about the Energy Star program, visit http://www.energystar.gov.

This article originally appeared in the 06/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

Download Center

  • Waste Management in 2021: Accelerate Your Success with Technology

    Join waste management experts on February 23rd for a live best practice session webinar. You’ll learn how to take your waste program to the next level with visual location, barcoding, and mobility. Register now.

  • Green Quadrant EHS Software 2021

    Reserve your copy of the new report by independent analyst firm, Verdantix, to get a detailed, fact-based comparison of the 22 most prominent EHS software vendors in the industry.

  • Your Guide to Environmental Metrics that Drive Performance

    Translating sustainability into action starts with implementing the right metrics to assess your environmental risk and performance. Learn how to design metrics that improve your decision-making process and drive enterprise performance.

  • 5 Keys to Best-in-Class Chemical Management

    Running a safe chemical program is challenging and complex: from knowing what's on-site to proper handling and disposal - all while navigating regulatory changes. Learn the best ways to mitigate chemical risk, get the most value out of your data, and gain buy-in for a chemical management solution.

  • Unpacking ESG: 6 Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask

    Environmental and Sustainability experts from Arcadis and Cority answer 6 of the most pressing questions EHS professionals have about getting started with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting.

  • Industry Safe