Energy Efficiency Drive Yields $1 Billion Savings for U.S. Manufacturers

bulb with business background Reduced energy consumption and greater energy efficiency across more than 120 U.S. manufacturing businesses and over 1,750 plants have resulted in some $1 billion in savings and avoided the equivalent of about 11 million metric tons (MT) of CO2 emissions, according to the Department of Energy (DOE), which recognized their achievements during the World Energy Engineering Congress in Washington, DC September 25.

DOE, via its Better Buildings, Better Plants Program, is spearheading President Obama’s nationwide drive to double U.S. energy productivity by 2030, a goal viewed as central to increasing competitiveness and profitability of U.S. manufacturers and job creation, as well as mitigating the effects of climate change and improving Americans’ overall health and well-being.

President Obama’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Program

Energy efficiency improvements made by the more than 120 U.S. manufacturers recognized by the DOE resulted in reduced energy consumption of approximately 190 trillion British Thermal Units (BTUs). Used to express the conversion efficiency of heat into electricity, a typical coal-fired power plant is said to use 10,500 BTU/kWh (kilowatt-hour), an efficiency of 32-33 percent.

In her keynote speech, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Kathleen Hogan, praised program partners’ efforts and results, and welcomed the 12 new members that have joined the Better Buildings, Better Plants program over the past year:

Through the Better Plants program, American manufacturers are cutting energy waste and saving millions of dollars each year. These manufacturers are leading by example – demonstrating the promise of energy efficiency, increasing competitiveness in the private sector and reducing harmful carbon pollution.”

The 13 manufacturers now partners in the program represent nearly 8 percent of U.S. manufacturing’s total energy footprint, which for the sector as a whole amounts to over $200 billion a year in spending, according to the DOE. Program partners consume nearly 15 percent of energy in the U.S. chemical manufacturing sector and 23 percent across the transportation equipment manufacturing sector.

In joining the program, manufacturers voluntarily pledge to reduce the energy intensity of their operations by 25 percent over ten years, or the equivalent for their particular sector.

Some have already exceeded this target. Deputy Assistant Secretary Hogan singled out AT&T, Cummins, Metal Industries, TE Connectivity and United Technologies Corp. (UTC) during her keynote presentation for exceeding the 25 percent energy intensity reduction goal.

Credit: DOE "Better Buildings Challenge"
Credit: DOE “Better Buildings Challenge”

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