Utilities Partner with DOE to Help Industry Save Energy and Save Money
On Wednesday, September 22nd, the Alliance to Save Energy hosted State & Utility Partnerships: Engaging American Manufacturers, a Capitol Hill briefing to explore the mutual benefits and unique challenges of advancing energy efficiency across the U.S. industrial sector.
An impressive panel discussed how industrial energy use, representing approximately one-third of U.S. energy consumption, offers a significant opportunity for cost-effective energy efficiency. However, they also discussed how industrial plants and processes are exceptionally diverse, making the standardization of efficiency resources across utility portfolios especially difficult.
The U.S. Department of Energy - Confronting the Challenge of Industrial Energy Efficiency
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has been wrestling with this dilemma for decades, and has developed a series of cross-cutting tools and resources intended to support manufacturers in capturing energy efficiencies throughout all subsectors of U.S. manufacturing.
Through its Industrial Technologies Program (ITP), DOE is leading the ambitious Save Energy Now program, designed to drive a reduction in U.S. industrial energy intensity by 25 percent over 10 years. By participating in the Save Energy Now LEADER initiative, leading American manufacturers voluntarily pledge to reduce their own energy intensity by the 25-in-10 goal.
Utilities' Key Role in Promoting Industrial Energy Efficiency
Utilities are critical partners in helping local industry achieve energy savings. Acknowledging this important role, one of the many opportunities for utilities to partner with DOE ITP is under Save Energy Now, as a program ALLY.
By partnering with DOE, utilities can use ITP resources and technical expertise to expand the energy efficiency services they offer to industrial customers. Once an ALLY, DOE will help participating utilities’ LEADER customers with multiple aspects of planning, implementing and verifying their energy efficiency initiatives, including:
- Establishing an energy intensity baseline
- Developing an energy management plan
- Assessing operational and financial feasibility
- Implementing projects
- Comparing industry benchmarks
- Gaining access to third-party financial resources
- Measurement and verification of energy savings.
Utilities can offer Save Energy Now resources to their customers mostly free of charge. Opportunities to co-brand ITP-developed communications, trainings and programmatic materials also help to keep utility program costs low.
Other added benefits of utility participation include raising the visibility as a steward of energy efficiency and sustainability, and demonstrating commitment to the competitiveness and economic viability of local industrial customers.