CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- 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.As a result, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America with its Energy Star Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence Award this week.The award is given to organizations that participate in the Energy Star program and have displayed "outstanding leadership year after year" in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by setting and achieving goals and employing innovative energy efficiency approaches, according to a Toyota news release.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.Robin Haugen, general manager of production engineering for Toyota, said in a news release that the company is "honored to be recognized.""It gives us greater motivation to identify ways to minimize our impact on the environment while helping our bottom line," "Our team members' commitment to reducing energy and water consumption across our operations demonstrates that when good ideas are shared, great things can happen."The West Virginia plant's new compressed air metering system is one of a number of energy improvements accomplished by Toyota plants across the nation.The Toyota Motor Manufacturing plant in Indiana installed an adiabatic humidification system in the paint booth that improved energy efficiency by 35 percent and saved more than $1.1 million annually, according to Toyota.The Kentucky plant also installed an adiabatic humidification system in the paint shop that cut steam consumption by more than 65 percent and cut total energy use by 12 percent. The plant has saved $1.4 million annually.Toyota has improved lighting at each of its 14 North American manufacturing plants. The total savings of new lighting topped $1.2 million and reached 17 million kilowatt hours, which could power 1,500 average households, Toyota said in its release.Reach Megan Workman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5113.