SPRING HILL, Tenn. – General Motors’ Spring Hill Manufacturing complex expects to save nearly $800,000 annually by upgrading to high-efficiency lighting in its general assembly and new engine plants, both of which begin production later this year.
Replacement of more than 4,000 fixtures with high-efficiency fluorescent lighting is estimated to save 8.5 million kilowatt hours (kWhr) of electricity per year – equivalent to the energy needed to power 750 homes.
The lights are in the body shop and general assembly buildings, which will soon produce the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox, and the engine plant, which will produce the all-new Ecotec 2.5L engine debuting on the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu later this year.
“Our plant has a history of environmental stewardship,” said Ken Knight, GM Spring Hill Manufacturing complex manager. “Replacing older lighting technology is a cost-effective way for us to significantly conserve energy and save money as we transform our site into one of the world’s most-innovative and flexible manufacturing facilities.”
The new fixtures incorporate some of the latest practices in building lighting allowing the site to optimize lighting to specific tasks and to reduce lighting during non-production hours. GM Spring Hill will complete a second phase of the lighting project in other areas of the complex later this year. The company estimates combined savings will help the site avoid more than $1.3 million a year in its electricity costs. GM is coordinating the dismantling and recycling of the old fixtures.
Changing the lights is just one of Spring Hill Manufacturing’s energy-saving activities. Other efforts include monitoring hourly energy use, instituting plant controls to minimize non-production energy use and encouraging employees to suggest ideas to cut energy use. The complex also has a history of stewardship in waste reduction and features a designated wildlife habitat area certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council.
Spring Hill’s efforts were recognized earlier this year by the Tennessee Pollution Prevention Partnership (TP3), which recertified the site as a “Performer.”
“The men and women of UAW Local 1853 and GM here in Spring Hill have always sought solutions to minimize our plant’s impact on the environment by conserving resources,” said Mike Herron, chairman of UAW Local 1853. “Efforts such as this are another way we can make a difference in our community and our country.”
GM’s commitment to energy efficiency is ongoing. Between 2005 and 2010, the company reduced energy use in its global facilities by 30 percent and has since established a new goal to reduce energy intensity globally 20 percent by 2020. The U.S. EPA recognized GM in March with its Partner of the Year award in the industrial category for efficiency and emissions reductions.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM’s brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.