General Motors’ Town of Tonawanda engine plant was one of 54 facilities that met a voluntary energy-reduction challenge set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, cutting its energy intensity by 31 percent.

Facilities had to reduce the intensity of their energy usage by 10 percent within five years to meet the Energy Star Challenge for Industry. GM Tonawanda said its reduction prevented 19,600 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. The plant also said it saved about $2.7 million in energy costs annually through its efforts.

GM Tonawanda employees took steps such as eliminating excess lighting fixtures in two facilities that saved enough electricity to power 406 homes in the state. Employees are also working with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority on natural gas reduction projects aimed at reducing enough natural gas use to heat 212 homes annually in the state.