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Dow Chemical to Invest $100m in Energy Efficiency

Dow Chemical will invest $100 million in energy efficiency and conservation improvements through an internal competition, the company announced yesterday.

The company will award the capital to its business units and manufacturing sites that present projects with the greatest impact in several key performance areas, including reductions in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, and associated cost savings.

So far, Dow business units have submitted about 60 projects, with a value of over $500 million, which the company estimates would save 8 trillion BTUs of energy and prevent 400,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

“Dow has focused on energy efficiency for decades and we have been very successful as evidenced by our past achievements in this area. Our extensive expertise in energy conservation at Dow has taught us that it’s one of most effective ways to cut energy costs and slash carbon emissions,” said vice president for energy and climate change Doug May.

“The commitment of these funds will enable new projects that offer exceptional financial returns and significant energy and emissions benefits,” May added.

Last summer Dow said it reduced the energy intensity of its production efforts by 38 percent between 1990 and 2009, and it plans to increase energy efficiency by an additional 25 percent by 2015.

In comparison, the Department of Energy’s Save Energy Now program asks U.S. companies to reduce their energy intensity by 25 percent over ten years.

Dow’s efforts saved 1,800 trillion Btu from 1994 to 2010, enough to power all homes in California for over a year and a half, Dow said. Its efficiency projects have prevented more than 95 million metric tons of CO2 and saved the company $9.4 billion, Dow added.

The company was recognized with four 2010 American Chemistry Council (ACC) Responsible Care Energy Efficiency Awards for programs that improved energy efficiency at three of its U.S. facilities.

Dow’s recent quarterly update to its 2015 sustainability goals reported that the company reduced its absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 41.3 million metric tons in 2009, five percent less than in 2008. However, GHG emissions intensity in 2009 was 0.88 metric tons per metric ton of production, about a five percent increase from 2008.

The company has a goal to reduce GHG intensity by 2.5 percent per year from 2005 to 2015.

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