Alfred Hildreth, P.E., C.E.M.
Track I | Industrial Energy Management
Energy use is a large non-discretionary expense incurred by manufacturers or facility operators and contributes to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.At General Motors (GM), although our expenditure for energy is not a large percentage of our total cost, we do spend globally over $1 Billion USD annually.GHG emissions from energy use represent about 7.5 million metric tons per year of GM’s carbon footprint, equivalent to the energy use for 1 million homes.Hence, a robust process is needed for Energy Conservation Measures (ECM). Management of energy and carbon to reduce environmental impact has become important enough to be included in our business plan, similar to safety, people, quality, responsiveness, and cost.Following a model similar to EPA Energy Star®’s seven step approach, energy as an environmental element has been integrated into GM’s business policy and model.Based on top level commitment and public goals to reduce energy and GHG by 20% from 2010 to 2020, GM uses its standardized Global Manufacturing System (GMS) to ensure that energy efficiency and conservation is properly managed through performance assessment, action plans, evaluating progress, and recognizing achievements.Data plays a key role in performance to energy goals.As we have energy meter data, production, climate, air handling unit parameters monitored along with other key production information at 1 minute intervals, the dataset is enormous and requires proper management methods to be useful and drive performances.Energy dashboards assist with the vast amount of data and analysis and focus on the corrective actions needed for performance to our goals.From daily emails on performance, virtual energy treasure hunt maps, and targets on weekly shutdown reports, leveraging data is an effective methodto better manage the energy business.
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