GM’s Energy Stars: Chaowarit Boonphongsri, Rayong Assembly

GM’s Energy Stars: Chaowarit Boonphongsri, Rayong Assembly

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Friday, October 4, 2013 - 10:00am


All this week we will be recognizing GM employees from across the globe who helped the company achieve the U.S. ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry earlier this year. Without their diligence and commitment to the goal, we would not be able to tout the fact that 63 plants have reduced 1.6 million metric tons of CO2 collectively.


Name: Chaowarit Boonphongsri
Title: Senior Engineer Energy and Site Utility
Facility: Rayong Assembly, GM Thailand
Length of time with GM: 7 years


1. What are some of the ways your facility cut energy intensity to meet the ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry?

Initiatives to support saving during the last two years are as follows:

  • Adjust pre-start up machines in the paint shop from midnight to 4 a.m., thus, using less energy.
  • Improve combustion efficiency of boilers and ovens.
  • Improve heating value of natural gas provided by an outside service provider
  • Set up hot water control
  • Installed LED lighting in paint inspection area
  • Installed skylights to harvest daylight at warehouse and body shop

2. What are some tips you’ve picked up from your colleagues in the United States/internationally that you have incorporated into your facility’s energy savings program?

There are 2 best practices from GM Korea and our Adelaide plant in Australia that we would like to highlight.

GM Korea:  Most of the time, temperatures need to be set low to coincide with production requests so as not to affect the quality of the product. But in the social areas of the paint shop, we can adjust the temperature to be a bit higher to save energy.

Adelaide: Quickly identifying and repairing compressed air leaks. If we can do this fast, we will be able to save energy and be more efficient.

3. How do you engage employees to cut energy use in their day-to-day work?

  • Conduct weekend energy audit/ patrol and report out the finding of the audit every Monday.
  • Five minutes before we close every Friday, we send out a reminder email to employees to turn off electricity and appliances (e.g. printer, copy machine, etc.) before leaving the plant.
  • Provide energy updates in the plant newsletter.
  • Weekly meetings to go over energy management plan and savings of every area of the plant.
  • Energy training for new employees.
  • Refresher energy training for current employees.
  • Plant energy motto: “Energy saving starts with you.”

4. What are some of the benefits you have seen at the plant since reducing energy usage by 50 percent (Truck line 33% and Car line 17%)?

Employees feel more positive about energy saving as they can see the tangible result of their effort and it tends to permanently change their behavior towards energy use and savings.

5. What are some energy savings tips that you take home with you at the end of your day?

At work, I always remind colleagues to turn off electricity when not in use, and I do the same thing at home, reminding myself and my family to turn off electricity.