How Nissan saved more than $10 million p/a in reduced energy costs

In April 2010, Reliable Plant reported on the successes that Nissan North America have achieved with their energy efficiency programme. Through close work and financing with many external parties, Nissan had implemented several energy efficiency changes, including the installation of variable frequency drives, a reduction in the number of air compressors, and lowered air pressure. These changes had resulted in a saving of more than $10 million per year in energy costs.

Additional projects were also being planned to further optimise energy usage. A lithium battery plant was being built on site at a plant to assemble zero-emissions electric. One plant was implementing 8 energy efficiency projects with an expected saving of $700,000 per year. And, methanol fuel cells were being deployed to power small tug mobile equipment.

Approach

There were three steps that enabled Nissan to drive change and achieve savings through their business:

Step One. Nissan made use of their public and private sector partnerships to raise financing. They collaborated with their supply chain, local utilities, and state government to structure finance for their projects.

Step Two. Nissan connected technical data with corporate decision making in order to sell the business case for energy efficiency. They also created accountability for the energy team, made energy data transparent across the whole organisation and published user-friendly budget summaries. This led to strong corporate leadership within the business.

Step Three. The importance of energy efficiency was instilled into employees through corporate communications. Energy fairs were held to drive the message for domestic energy efficiency, with the intention that behavioural change would also benefit the workplace.

Key Takeaways

  • Benchmark with competitors.
  • Share best practices.
  • Compare metrics.
  • Use technical and financial support of governments, universities, national laboratories, utilities and non-profit organisations.

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