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GM Says It Has Cut North American Energy Use By 25 Percent In Five Years

Using solar, landfill gas for some energy needs.

General Motors said late last week it has reduced its energy use by 25 percent and added solar and landfill gas as energy sources at its North American facilities over the past five years.

GM said it is one of the leading users of renewable energy in the North American manufacturing sector, with renewable energy sources representing about 2 percent of its energy use. These energy strategies are part of an overall program that has enabled GM to reduce its energy use from 94 trillion BTUs in 2002, to an expected 72.5 trillion BTUs by the end of 2006 in GM’s North American region.

GM said its Service Parts Operations Parts Distribution Center in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., is the nation’s largest, corporate solar photovoltaic installation. Solar panels lining the roof help keep costs down and reduce the facility’s environmental impact. The facility will save 10 percent of its electricity costs each year by using solar panels to power 50 percent of its operations.

GM also claims one of the largest corporate uses of landfill gas in the U.S. The sum of landfill gas capacity at seven GM operations using the fuel is equivalent to the energy needed to heat over 25,000 households, which represents about 1.6 trillion BTUs per year. Landfill gas installations at GM plants generate annual savings exceeding $5 million, the company said, and new small hydro-power installations for GM facilities in Mexico will become operational in 2007.