Toyota Uses Kaizen to Cut Electricity Costs

There is a major industrial energy user in WV that does not belong to the WV Energy Users Group.  It is Toyota’s plant at Buffalo, WV.

Why doesn’t Toyota join the Users Group’s lobbying efforts at the Legislature or the Group’s efforts at the WV PSC to push their power costs off onto other rate payers?

Because Toyota is the world’s foremost practitioner of kaizen, the business practice of continuous improvement that the company pioneered.  Toyota cuts is electricity costs the old fashioned way – through smarts and hard work.

Here is a recent story from the Charleston Gazette on what is happening at the company’s Buffalo plant:

The Toyota plant in Buffalo cut its energy use by 4 percent and saved $300,000 annually when it installed a compressed air metering system last year, according to the company.


This is the ninth consecutive year Toyota has received the energy efficiency award.

During the past decade, cumulative cost savings at 13 of Toyota’s North American plants totaled more than $370 million. Energy use has been reduced by 15 percent per vehicle produced, enough energy to power 27,000 average households for 10 years, according to a Toyota news release.

“Ninth consecutive year” – that is kaizen.  The improvement is continuous.  It doesn’t stop.  And it is focused on increasing energy efficiency not political strong arming.

Just like the rest of us who are building a new electricity system in WV from the bottom up, Toyota doesn’t whine.  They get to work.

3 thoughts on “Toyota Uses Kaizen to Cut Electricity Costs

  1. Toyota has demonstrated through energy efficiency what we’ve been saying all along, it works and it saves money! The fact that they are the leaders in automobile manufacturing belies the fact that they know how to compete globally by being energy efficient without a lobby group to artificially control rates.

  2. My son worked at that plant for six months while he was in college. I asked him a couple days ago whether Toyota really listened to all their employees, as is the Japanese reputation…because he was griping about the opposite attitude at the Michigan company where he works now. He said Toyota really did listen to all employees.

  3. Compatriots: Does Toyota not understand a bulwark tenet of Conservative American Business….. if it’s new, you can’t do it. If it’s old, you can’t change it, and innovation is just another word that is too hard to spell. Danny Lutz

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