The Associated Press reports that two ethanol plants in the Midwest recently won awards from the Environmental Protection Agency for reducing their energy consumption. The companies installed a system known as combined heat and power that makes use of heat that would otherwise be wasted. Macon Municipal Utilities of Macon, Mo., won the award for a system installed at its 45 million gallon-per-year ethanol plant in Northeast Missouri, while Adkins Energy LLC won for a system installed at its 40-million gallon per year plant in Illinois. The EPA says ethanol plants can use the technology to reduce by more than 12 percent how much energy is used per gallon of ethanol produced. Ethanol producers, such as Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings Inc. and VeraSun Energy Corp. would benefit if lawmakers in Washington approve amending an energy bill that calls for greater use of alternative fuels.