Energy Efficiency Is a Core Strategy
In a recent MAPI webinar, Bruce Lung from DOE and Thomas Wenning from Oak Ridge National Laboratory walked attendees through the DOE’s Better Plants Program and benefits for joining, lessons learned from partners, and program resources. Partners include 3M, Johnson Controls, Briggs & Stratton, GE, General Mills, and GM.
Tom noted that “Efficiency is a core strategy, not a sustainability checkbox.” He recommends having one leader to take charge, driving engagement, taking a careful look at metrics, and starting with low- and no-cost changes to achieve momentum before moving to more time-intensive projects such as process improvements, capital upgrades, and alternative energy. He also reviewed energy efficiency programs at 3M, Eastman Chemical, and Alcoa.
Tom highlighted a few trends he’s seeing in energy management at companies:
- Holding senior managers accountable through compensation
- Requiring new projects and products to go through energy efficiency reviews
- Seeing energy as a piece of overall sustainability strategy
- Conducting supplier and customer outreach
- Dedicating funds to energy efficiency
Below are some of the resources and opportunities that Bruce and Tom mentioned during their presentation.
- Better Plants Program main website: The program has 172 partners and covers 2,500 facilities, or 11.4% of U.S. manufacturing’s footprint.
- In-Plant Trainings: These 3- to 4-day events are hosted by program companies. They focus on industrial systems and identify energy savings. A subject matter expert provides actionable recommendations.
- Industrial Assessment Centers: Better Plants partners receive priority access to IAC audits, which are university-based. The site also provides a link to case studies of assessments.
- CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships: These partnerships provide screenings, feasibility analyses, and technical assistance.
- Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency: This website is a DOE resource for finding local energy-related incentives.
To view the webinar, click here.