Quadrillions of Dollars in Savings?

Here’s a very encouraging article about using GE’s continuous improvement expertise, specifically the Energy Treasure Hunt, to reduce wasted resource, environmental impact and cost: GE and EDF Partner on “Treasure Hunts” to Improve Energy Efficiency
GE is partnering with the Environmental Defense Fund to offer these energy treasure hunts free of charge.

Over the next several months, GE and EDF will conduct these treasure hunts with the cities of Orlando and Atlanta, The University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, as well as the pharmaceutical giant Merck. Adopting the Japanese business practice of kaizen (process improvement), both organizations will contribute staff that scour its partners’ operations, from shut-down mode to peak business hours, working with its partnering organizations to identify opportunities to reduce the consumption of energy and natural resources.

Free energy audits by GE and EDF: bad news for consultants, good news for the environment. A couple choice quotes:


Americans can reduce their energy consumption between 20 and 25% by adopting cost-effective energy efficiency methods alone.

Trillions of dollars in energy savings are up for grabs in the United States.

Those both seem like conservative numbers. Judging from the icy blast that hits me from every retail store I walk past here in Shanghai, I’m guessing that worldwide the savings may be in the quadrillions of dollars.

2 Comments

  1. John Santomer

    August 2, 2010 - 10:43 pm

    Dear Jon,
    When all seemed eager beavers in getting on the “Green” bandwagon, how do you convince stakeholders in getting the “Green” technology applied to its various business enterprise. Myopic view of the considerable amount of initial investment on the technology and lack of interest to foresee the long term ROIs have made the company steer clear of the most abundant and clean source of energy. The technology is available, it’s the commitment to switch from fossil fuel based energy and its by-products that’s a tough hurdle.

  2. Daniel

    August 3, 2010 - 1:57 pm

    Is it GE and EDF employees doing the treasure hunts, or the employees of the host institutions? There’s a risk here of disrespecting the workers by outsourcing the energy efficiency process to “experts” from another company.