U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Advanced Manufacturing Office
Immediate opportunities for energy and cost savings can be quantified with the help of Qualified Specialists and Energy Experts. Energy assessments can help launch or expand an energy management strategy, putting your company on a path to energy savings and yielding major bottom-line benefits. Read the Guiding Principles for Successfully Implementing Industrial Energy Assessment Recommendations and a related presentation.
Follow the steps below to prepare and make the most of an assessment:
- Prepare: Learn how to prepare your team and gather information
- Participate: Find out what to expect and how to make the most of your assessment through hands-on training and active participation.
- Implement: Take action on the opportunities identified in your assessment and start saving energy.
- Communicate: Share the success from your assessment with other plants and multiply benefits throughout your company.
Get started today — Whether you conduct an assessment or not, you can find effective ways to reduce energy and operating costs, lower utility bills, and ensure future savings. Use DOE's informational and technical resources, including software tools, training, and publications.
Learn more about the assessment options and prepare to participate by reading the entire Assessment Process section of the website.
Get Buy-In at Your Company
To ensure success, communicate the potential benefits to your team so they are ready to participate actively in the assessment. On average, assessments in large plants yield potential savings of $1.4 million per year for a single energy system.
The assessment process is designed to identify savings opportunities while training plant staff to use the DOE software assessment tools. You will need to assign staff to get training on the tools and participate in the assessment. Training is an important component of these assessments. The training will enable staff to work with other plants in your company to achieve savings.
Select an Energy Intensive System
Each energy assessment focuses on a particular energy system. Select an energy intensive system to be the focus of the assessment. Prospective systems include:
- Compressed air
- Process heating
Use the online Plant Energy Profiler (PEP) software tool to help identify the most promising system for the energy assessment. PEP provides rapid diagnosis of the overall energy picture at your plant and identifies opportunities for further investigation.
Contact a Qualified Specialist or Energy Expert
Qualified Specialists are skilled at using DOE-developed assessment and analysis software tools to help industrial facilities identify ways to improve energy system efficiency. Energy Experts are Qualified Specialists that have extensive experience participating on DOE-sponsored assessments. Find contact information by system type at the links above.
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Active participation is required if you receive an energy assessment. This page describes how to get the most out of your assessment.
Most assessments are conducted by Qualified Specialists or Energy Experts selected for their in-depth understanding of DOE software tools as well as experience conducting energy assessments. Some assessments for small to medium-sized manufacturers are conducted by trained faculty and students at university-based Industrial Assessment Centers.
Focus on Training for Assessments
The strong focus on training before and during an energy assessment is distinct from most assessments. Before your assessment, plant staff are strongly encouraged to participate in a webcast or one-day training on software tools. This prepares your team to use the DOE software assessment tool effectively. During the assessment, plant personnel are trained to identify energy savings opportunities using DOE software tools. This training helps plants successfully adopt and improve energy management and become aware of numerous DOE resources available to help.
The assessment team is composed of the Qualified Specialist or Energy Expert and your plant personnel. By using a team approach, your plant can directly apply the knowledge gained in the training. Assessment teams typically find additional energy savings, even in plants with in-house expertise.
Schedule for On-site Assessments
The following is a general overview of a typical 3-day, on-site assessment. The schedule may vary based on specific circumstances.
Day One the Qualified Specialist/Energy Expert conducts a safety briefing for your plant team and tours the plant. Your team agrees on potential energy efficiency opportunities to investigate, and begins data collection for potential opportunities.
Day Two the data collection continues and the DOE software assessment tool is applied to quantify potential opportunities. The lead person at your plant and the Qualified Specialist/Energy Expert discuss and agree on the opportunities identified.
Day Three wraps up the software tool analysis and focuses on answering questions. The lead person at the plant and the Qualified Specialist/Energy Expert discuss how to gain management support to implement opportunities identified in the assessment. A close-out meeting is held in the afternoon to review results.
After the assessment, your plant will receive a detailed report identifying opportunities. View assessment reports from other plants.
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After your energy assessment, the Qualified Specialist or Energy Expert provides a detailed report containing specific recommendations for energy savings. Then, your company can begin selecting energy-saving measures to implement.
Save Money as You Save Energy
Implementing these energy-saving recommendations can help boost your profits and also reduce environmental emissions. For example, an assessment of one Dow Chemical plant in Texas showed that the plant can save an estimated $500,000 per year on energy costs by improving the efficiency of its steam boilers.
Start with inexpensive, easy-to-implement recommendations and then proceed to more sophisticated ones, such as purchasing or retrofitting industrial equipment. It takes a year or two—and sometimes much less—for most measures to provide a return on your investment.
Use DOE Resources to Jump-Start Your Savings
DOE can help you save energy and money, and reduce emissions, through its many informational and technical resources, including software tools, trainings, webcasts, and more.
Contact your Qualified Specialist/Energy Expert with specific questions.
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Communicating and leveraging the results of your energy assessment is an excellent way to expand the savings—and profits.
Share Lessons Learned with Other Plants
Replicating the lessons learned in other plants can lead to even greater savings. For example, Owens Corning used both its assessment results and the training on DOE software tools to conduct more assessments throughout its entire operations. Addressing the identified energy-saving measures has helped the company reduce its energy intensity and environmental emissions, as well as its utility costs.
Keep Employees Informed
Communicate your plans to implement energy-saving measures to your employees. When employees understand why processes and procedures are changed, and receive training to operate new equipment, your investments in energy efficiency will provide the greatest return on investment.
Let Customers Know
Spread the word to your customers and suppliers about the benefits of an energy assessment. Energy savings equals dollar savings that can result in lower prices.
Make Energy Efficiency Part of the Business Plan
Developing a corporate energy management program can help your company gain a competitive advantage in the global marketplace, strengthen your employees' commitment, enhance the corporate identity, and improve environmental performance.
Let others know how successful your energy-saving measures have been in reducing energy costs and emissions on your website, in a newspaper article, and at meetings. Sharing your story can encourage others to conduct an assessment.
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