Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a leading American auto manufacturer founded in Dearborn, MI by Henry Ford in 1903. At present Ford operates more than 70 facilities in more than 20 countries worldwide. Ford employs more than 160,000 people globally. Bill Ford Jr, committed Ford to a vision of becoming a leader in the drive to improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse emissions and achieve sustainability in American manufacturing processes. Worthington Energy Innovations, then Professional Supply, Inc., has been a regular partner in Ford's sustainability and energy projects since the 1980s.


PSI’s work with Ford Motor Company dates to the 1980s when Tom Kiser was invited to give a presentation to Ford management and the UAW (United Auto Workers Union) during a critical meeting at their Sandusky, OH facility. Emotions ran high because there was much riding on the outcome. Kiser's presentation was a success and with the blessing of both management and the UAW, Ford asked PSI to do a demonstration project at the Sandusky facility. Since that time Ford has hired PSI to do energy retrofits at plants in more than 3 countries. In 1998, Ford hired PSI to work on more than 10 facilities as a single project. This is the single largest performance contract in Ford Motor Company’s history.

PSI's projects with Ford include more than a twenty facilities. Most projects have involved shutting down steam power generation systems in favor of direct-fire, and closed hot-water loops. PSI has also eliminated the need for ductwork with its patented building pressurization systems. This is of particular interest to the UAW because building pressurization improves indoor air quality by as much as 300% making a PSI Ford plant a much healthier working environment. Eliminating ductwork also reduces the cost of moving air by as much as 88%.

Results Overview

In 1998 Ford hired PSI to retrofit more than 10 facilities as a single project, reducing the overall costs of implementation by going to scale. In total, this project addressed more than 25 million square feet of facilities. PSI guaranteed $15 million a year in energy savings (at locked-in utility rates for the term of the contract). PSI has exceeded its guarantees each year. Presently, Ford’s annual PSI-generated energy savings are in excess of $50 million.

In total, PSI has generated reductions of 54% in natural gas and 46% in electricity use across its energy systems at Ford facilities. PSI has also substantially reduced Ford’s greenhouse emissions. CO2 emissions have been cut by 257,000 tons and NOx emissions by 124 tons. (This is equivalent to removing 50 thousand cars from the road per year, saving 29 million gallons of gas.)


The Sandusky plant was the first PSI project for Ford and was commissioned in 1986. The Sandusky project delivered nearly $1.7 million in annual energy savings with a two year ROI on project costs. PSI replaced coal fired boilers with natural gas when the cost of coal was $1.88 per million BTUs and the cost of natural gas was at $5.20 per million BTUs. Indoor air quality at Sandusky, as measured by the UAW, improved by at least 300%.


PSI's second Ford project was to replace a steam system at a glass manufacturing plant in Nashville, TN. PSI's energy system at the Nashville plant was commissioned in the early 90s and was the first project to use our revolutionary “Liquid Chimney” as a waste heat and greenhouse emissions recovery system. The annual savings at Nashville amounted to $3.9 million with an initial investment of $4.1 million, making the ROI just over a year.

Investment – $4,100,000
Savings – $3,900,000

River Rouge

PSI teamed up with Ford and a green architectural design team to redesign Ford’s eighty five year old River Rouge facility in Dearborn, MI. River Rouge is one of the leading examples of sustainable design in manufacturing and shows how transformational change in energy design can work hand in hand with other design philosophies to produces one of the greenest auto manufacturing facilities in the world. PSI designed the energy system from the ground up using PSI’s innovative strategies. Architectural design considerations such as 10 acres of “grass roof” and other biophilic design strategies clean 20 billion gallons of rainwater annually!

Truck Plant in Louisville, KY

Ford’s truck manufacturing plant in Louisville, KY is one of the few PSI projects with Ford that did not involve shutting down a steam power generation system. The Kentucky plant already used direct and indirect gas fired systems for heating and ventilation. The Kentucky Truck Plant ended up generating one of the largest annual energy savings in Ford's portfolio despite being a non-steam environment.