Industrial Manufacturing Plants Cut Energy Bills Through Free DOE Save Energy Now Program
Industrial manufacturing plants have a new opportunity in 2006 to cut their energy and operating costs, lower their utility bills, and develop future savings through the new Save Energy Now campaign launched by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through its Industrial Technologies Program (ITP). And such plants who partner with the DOE-ITP to help implement and promote the energy-efficiency measures taught through the campaign will receive additional recognition and benefits.
Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman introduced the DOE-ITP effort in the fall of 2005 as part of a national campaign called “Easy Ways to Save Energy,” a response to the year’s damaging hurricanes and the resulting disruptions in energy supplies and upsurge in prices. As the highest consumers of energy and natural gas, as well as the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, manufacturing and other industries are the focus of the campaign.
In 2006, through the Save Energy Now campaign, the DOE-ITP intends to:
- Conduct 200 free, thorough, energy-savings assessments at qualifying plants in the United States;
- Work with partners to create awareness and find energy- savings solutions; and
- Disseminate energy-savings information and tools to 50,000 plants to help reduce natural gas and electricity use.
Campaign Initiatives Defined
Businesses of all types can partner with the DOE-ITP through Save Energy Now. State and regional organizations, utilities, trade associations, industrial service and equipment suppliers and other industry groups are all invited to join in the effort to disseminate the cost-saving information and resources made available through the campaign.
The DOE-ITP reports that 200 large, energy-intensive manufacturing plants that apply will qualify for the DOE-ITP energy-savings assessments during 2006. Businesses will be able to have their facilities and steam, process heating, pump, compressed air, and motor-driven systems evaluated to identify effective ways to reduce energy use while continuing to operate efficiently and profitably.
The assessments will be performed at no cost to the plants. Plants will be selected based on several qualifying factors, including the plant’s energy consumption and the company’s intention to combine with other facilities or collaborate with other companies to increase their energy-consumption profile.
Assessments will be performed by industry experts who have completed the DOE Qualified Specialist program, which includes training in the use of sophisticated software assessment tools and a rigorous qualifying exam. These experts form evaluation teams that often include plant staff who will work with the experts for several days to help gather data, learn about software tools, and perform a system analysis. Many plant staff and affiliates will be trained on DOE energy-efficient tools as well.
Through Save Energy Now, the DOE-ITP intends to disseminate information detailing ways to reduce natural gas and electricity use to as many as 50,000 plants across the United States. All facilities will receive a portfolio of valuable information and resources to help them save energy and improve their bottom line.
Partnering businesses are also encouraged to help create cost-saving awareness among their members and/or customers; apply for one of the energy-savings assessments; co-sponsor events, Webcasts and training; distribute materials and link to the Save Energy Now website (www.eere.energy.gov/industry/saveenergynow); promote energy management best practices and energy-saving technologies; as well as explore innovative ways to significantly improve energy efficiencies in industry.
The DOE-ITP informs partners that collaborating with them will make others within their company or their customers more aware of the potential for savings, which adds value to their company’s energy management strategy as well as enhances the service they provide to customers.
Partners will receive a number of additional benefits for their participation, including:
- recognition on the DOE-ITP website;
- access to customized technical assistance from DOE-ITP experts;
- access to the DOE-ITP’s portfolio of up-to-date technical information;
- jointly-developed market informational materials to share with customers and employees;
- assistance with planning and hosting other outreach activities; and
- stay informed through ITP’s award-winning online news sources, ITP E-Bulletin and Energy Matters, and through Save Energy Now E-mail updates.
The DOE-ITP will solicit feedback from all participating companies about their efforts to implement assessment recommendations. This information will be used to improve the data shared through the DOE-ITP’s extensive portfolio of resources, including tip sheets, case studies, handbooks and more. Plants who have received and implemented assessment recommendations have cut energy waste by nearly 21 percent.
Other Assessment and Cost-Saving Opportunities
Although the number of plants that will qualify for energy-savings assessments through the Save Energy Now campaign is limited to 200, plants and facilities that do not qualify still will be eligible for a customized energy-efficiency consultation provided by the DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Information Center, as well as information, products and DOE software tools and training.
Small- and medium-sized plants will also continue to be eligible for assessments through DOE-ITP’s university-based, regional Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs). Since the IAC program was started in 1976, U.S. companies have saved more than $700 million through the resulting energy improvements.
Businesses that do not qualify for or are not interested in one of the DOE assessment opportunities still have more options, in the form of energy-saving information tools. The DOE-ITP suggests these self-assessment resources:
- “Steam System Survey Guide”
- Provides technical information about opportunities to improve energy efficiency and productivity of industrial steam systems. (Source: DOE)
- “Guide to Industrial Assessments for Pollution Prevention and Energy Efficiency”
- Presents an overview of industrial assessments and the general framework for conducting self-assessments. (Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
- “Texas-Size Energy Savings!”
- Offers a step-by-step guide to help small- to medium-sized facilities identify and screen potential energy-efficiency projects. The guide comes with a calculator to estimate the impact of potential projects. Registration is required. (Source: Texas Industries of the Future)
The National Insulation Association (NIA) encourages its readers and members to take part in this expansive campaign to help reduce energy costs and waste during a time of tightening supply and rising costs. For more information and to apply for an energy savings assessment, visit www.eere.energy.gov/industry/saveenergynow. To discuss your company’s interest in partnering with the DOE-ITP, call the EERE Information Center at 877-337-3463.