The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR program has helped improve the energy efficiency of the auto manufacturing industry, according to a recent report by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. Plants have cut fossil fuel use by 12 percent and reduced greenhouse gases by more than 700,000 tons of carbon dioxide, which equals the electricity use of more than 80,000 homes for a year.
The report, Assessing Improvement in the Energy Efficiency of U.S. Auto Assembly Plants, demonstrates that the gap between top performing plants and others has closed and the performance of the industry as a whole has improved. The findings are central to reducing carbon emission as the industrial sector accounts for more than 30 percent of energy use in the U.S.
Central to this energy management approach is the Energy Star Energy Performance Indicator (EPI) for auto assembly plants, which enables the industry to benchmark plant energy performance against peers and over time. The EPA has recognized nearly 60 manufacturing plants with the Energy Star label, representing savings of more than $500 million and more than 6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually.