New Federal Partnership Helps Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturers Cut Energy Use
March 30, 2007
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST) announced the creation of a partnership to help small and mid-sized manufacturers reduce energy consumption. DOE’s university-based Industrial Assessment Centers (IAC) and NISTs Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) are working together to improve the energy efficiency, environmental performance and global competitiveness of these plants.
Approximately 200,000 small and mid-sized plants in the U.S. pay a total of $50 billion per year in energy costs. This initiative has the potential to help these manufacturers reduce energy costs in some cases by up to 30 percent per year. Many IACs have already been working with local MEPs to identify plants for energy assessments and share energy savings information. The new partnership will expand this successful interaction.
Through the MEP network, the IACs will deliver energy efficiency best practices, analysis tools, energy assessments, technical information and training. The collaboration is expected to deliver a wide range of energy efficiency information to impact more than 1,800 plants in the first year. The recommendations from previous IAC energy assessments resulted, on average, in annual cost savings of $55,000 for the manufacturer.
IACs, administered by the DOE Industrial Technologies Program within EERE, are run by 26 universities and provide no-cost energy assessments to eligible small and mid-sized plants while providing engineering students with practical experience and training.
MEP is a network of resources in nearly 440 locations nationwide transforming manufacturers to compete globally, supporting greater supply chain integration, and providing access to technology for improved productivity.