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Saving Energy at Ford
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Today's emphasis is on saving dollars -- not just Btu's. Ford spent $900 million on energy in 150 plants worldwide last year. In 1972, Ford's energy bill was $238 million. Last year's bill would have been 35% higher than $900 million, if it had not been for conservation since 1972. First steps were cutting out obvious waste; e.g., repairing steam and compressed-air leaks, shutting down equipment promptly at end-of-shift, and lowering building temperatures -- simple measures that cost little but saved 25% of energy. Other steps included boiler tune-ups, improved combustion controls, weekend and summer boiler shutdown, steam trap surveys, automatic motor shutoff timers, fast-acting fabric traffic doors, and area metering. Steps requiring greater investment included energy management systems, waste incinerators with heat recovery, cogeneration and variable-frequency drives. Much pioneering work was done on self-help gas, negotiating reduced utility rates and rate case interventions. Employee awareness and involvement are essential. Regular energy council meetings and an attractive energy newsletter also help.
McReynolds, C. J. (1986). Saving Energy at Ford. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from