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Southeast Industrial Plants Make Bold Moves Toward Improving Energy Efficiency

Fri, 04/13/2012 - 3:30pm

Seven manufacturers in the Southeast are currently helping to test and demonstrate the effectiveness of an energy efficiency certification program in their plants that is designed to be the “gold standard” of energy efficiency programs.

In August 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) initiated the energy management demonstrations for seven separate manufacturing plants. These seven companies partnered with AMO to demonstrate Superior Energy Performance (SEP), an energy efficiency program that provides a road map for continuous improvement in energy efficiency with transparent and verifiable energy savings. The seven participating companies include Nissan North America, Volvo Trucks, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Bridgestone America Tire Organization, Spirax Sarco, Eaton Corporation, and Schneider Electric. Each was tasked with testing the elements of SEP.

SEP is a sophisticated, plant-level energy efficiency certification program developed by the U.S. Council for Energy-Efficient Manufacturing (U.S. CEEM) and accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). SEP provides industrial facilities and commercial buildings with a clear roadmap for achieving continual improvement in energy performance while maintaining competitiveness. The program aims to potentially create value for corporate energy savings and carbon reductions in utility, state, regional, national, and international trading markets.

A central element of SEP is conformance with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) energy management standard, ISO 50001. The ISO 50001 energy management standard provides a recognized framework for industrial plants, commercial facilities, or entire organizations to manage energy, including all aspects of procurement and use. The standard provides organizations and companies with technical and management strategies to increase energy efficiency, reduce costs, and improve environmental performance.

According to AMO, the facilities that participated in the SEP demonstrations received tailored assistance regarding the application of ISO 50001. The personnel at the various demonstration sites were provided with special training to understand the intent of ISO 50001 and be able to more effectively apply the standard and maximize value from energy resources consumed in the industrial facilities. Additionally, the personnel in these facilities, who formed energy management teams after conforming with ISO 50001,  were given technical assistance in applying the SEP M&V methodology for measuring and verifying their plants’ energy performance improvements.

To date, one of the plants—Volvo Trucks—has earned SEP and ISO 50001 certification, and several other facilities are nearing the completion of the testing/demonstration initiative. “We are very pleased with the progress that our industrial manufacturers have made toward SEP and ISO 50001 certification,” said Bill Meffert, who manages the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Energy and Sustainability Services group and oversees the demonstration initiative. “The adoption of energy management best practices and innovations in industry and commercial buildings will help our manufacturers reduce energy usage, decrease carbon emissions, and increase their competitiveness in the global marketplace. We have been honored to assist these companies through the demonstration program and look forward to their continued journey toward sustainable energy management practices.”

For more information about the SEP program, ISO 50001, or the Southeast energy management demonstration project, visit the Georgia Institute of Technology’s energy management site.

Links

  1. Superior Energy Performance: http://www.superiorenergyperformance.net/
  2. U.S. Council for Energy-Efficient Manufacturing: http://www.usceem.org/
  3. American National Standards Institute: http://www.ansi.org/
  4. Georgia Institute of Technology Energy Management Site: http://gamep.org/services/energy-management/

 

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