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Energy Efficiency Revitalization
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To set the tone for my remarks I will start by saying- today, energy efficiency is a tough sell. In General Motors, our plant engineering people, faced with headcount deductions, budget cuts, and capital spending constraints are up to their “you know what” in alligators. It’s a real challenge to try to keep a manufacturing or assembly plant running under the present circumstances. In today’s atmosphere energy efficiency is just not a priority item demanding immediate action. Perhaps by this time you may have noticed I have not yet used the word conservation. This was a deliberate move. In General Motors, we are dropping the word conservation, which has developed a connotation of freezing in the dark and has been badly misunderstood over the years. We are opting for a more descriptive term- energy efficiency. As a matter of fact my title now is Manager-Energy Efficiency rather than Manager- Energy Conservation. We hope the use of the term energy efficiency will be more indicative of our endeavors and more in step with productivity and competitiveness. The business of saving money through increased energy efficiency needs all the help it can get. In fact, in our opinion, energy cost savings must become one of the before mentioned alligators. Or at least, a good sized burr in our collective saddles. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating being a nasty old ogre in regard to energy efficiency. By the way, ogre is defined as a dreaded person or object. Acting as an ogre will get you absolutely nothing but a lot of criticism and rebuff. What I am advocating is doing everything possible to keep energy efficiency in the lineup of important things our people must do to properly fulfill their jobs. It almost has to become second nature to our business such as quality and safety. That’s a big order and how do you do it? I certainly don’t have all the answers to that question, but I will recount what we are attempting to do at GM in regard to energy efficiency. I do this with the hope that you may build on our experience and perhaps arrive at some new and original approach for our particular program.
Kelly, R. L. (1987). Energy Efficiency Revitalization. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.eslwin.tamu.edu). Available electronically from