We believe energy is precious. That's why we strive to use it as efficiently as possible in our own operations. Of all the ways to meet the world's expanding energy needs, efficiency and conservation are the cheapest and most beneficial to the environment. Using energy more efficiently helps reduce carbon emissions, lower energy costs and preserve our finite natural resources.
Energy efficiency is one of our most economical sources of new energy. For example, a reduction of just five percent in global energy use would save the equivalent of more than 10 million barrels of oil per day—enough energy to power Australia, Mexico and the United Kingdom for a day.
Using Energy More Efficiently
Chevron continues to find new ways to use energy more efficiently in its own operations. From 1992 to 2012, we used our Chevron Energy Index (CEI) to track energy use performance across all operations and measured a 34 percent improvement. CEI measured our operational energy intensity based on estimated technological improvements and operational performance. As our assets have grown in size, complexity, and diversity, we recognized that energy efficiency could be measured better and ultimately improved.
In 2013, we adopted new metrics to track energy performance. The five metrics are: Upstream Energy Intensity, Manufacturing Energy Index, Pipeline Energy Intensity and Shipping Energy Intensity, and one for all other parts of the business. The new metrics are easier to understand and the segment-specific nature of these new metrics will help drive energy performance improvements.
We've achieved these savings in big and small ways. Chevron employees and contractors make energy efficiency a constant priority through everyday acts such as maintaining our equipment so that it runs smoothly, and through complex projects, such as building high-efficiency power plants. For example, our Energy Solutions unit collaborates with other Chevron groups to help oil fields, refineries and other facilities trim energy costs, test new technologies, achieve efficiency gains, manage emissions and improve power reliability.
Generating Electricity More Efficiently
Chevron operates cogeneration units at refineries, production facilities and other sites worldwide, with a combined electrical generating capacity of approximately 2,800 megawatts. Cogeneration is a fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly process that produces steam and electric power simultaneously. These units, also referred to as combined heat and power units, generate electricity about twice as efficiently as the average power supplied by a local utility company.
We built the Kern River Cogeneration Co. facility in California as a joint venture with Edison Mission Energy. Kern River is the first large cogeneration facility in California and has a generating capacity of 300 megawatts.
We built an $80 million cogeneration facility in El Segundo, California, to provide electrical and steam power for our refinery there. In addition, we're using cogeneration at several of our other refineries to produce additional electricity from energy that would otherwise go unused.
Chevron has developed ways to deliver significant efficiency savings to our operations. For example, in California's San Joaquin Valley and elsewhere, we increased oil field pump performance by using adjustable speed drives, which saved energy and cut maintenance costs.
We also developed and installed California's first megawatt-class hydrogen fuel cell cogeneration plant at Alameda County's Santa Rita Jail. The 1 megawatt project provides half of the facility's annual power, saving county taxpayers more than $260,000 a year. By reducing the facility's demand for utility-provided power, the fuel cell plant offsets more than 3,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions yearly.
Energy Efficiency – Green Buildings
In 2011, our Chevron Park headquarters in San Ramon, California, earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification in the Existing Buildings Operations & Maintenance category. Also in 2011, one of our downtown Houston facilities earned LEED gold certification in Commercial Interiors. Our other facility in downtown Houston earned silver-level certification in 2010. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is an internationally recognized certification system that verifies a building or community was designed and built to be environmentally sustainable.
Updated: May 2014