EDITORIAL: Are you doing your best at energy efficiency?
The inaugural issue of Plant Profiles published by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT) features "forward-thinking companies" which have cuts costs, increased productivity, and improved their overall competitiveness by applying energy-and process-efficient technologies. Significant achievements include a collective $51.6 million savings in energy costs, 25.5 trillion Btu energy savings (equivalent to the energy consumption of about 255,000 typical homes) and more than 100,000 tons annual reduction of CO2 emissions.
They got it done through a corporate level commitment to cut energy costs and reduce environmental impact, by creating dedicated energy teams, and by partnering with OIT. OIT offers industry easy access to near- and long-term solutions to improve performance of industrial systems such as motors, steam, compressed air and process heating. Among the many tools OIT offers are best-energy practices to help industries start saving energy, reduce costs, and cut pollution right away.
The BestPractices Program provides energy-saving products, services, and technologies to the nine Industries of the Future (IOF): agriculture, aluminum, chemicals, forest products, glass, metalcasting, mining, petroleum, and steel industries-said to account for more than 80% of energy use in the manufacturing sector. BestPractices specifically offers:
- A range of plant-wide energy assessments including free, one-day assessments of small- to mid-sized plants by OIT's Industrial Assessment Centers; targeted plant technical assistance visits; plant-wide assessments to help develop a comprehensive plant strategy to increase efficiency, reduce emissions and boost productivity; and a competitive solicitation process with up to $100,000 in matching funds.
- ..An Information Clearing-house with staff to field questions, provide advice, and provide information products including fact sheets, case studies, sourcebooks, newsletters, tip sheets, software, and energy assessment reports.
- Software Tools including software decision tools to help plants save money through proper equipment selection and efficient operation. Tools cover repair and replacement of, and recommendations on purchasing electric motors; evaluating the use of adjustable speed drives; finding potential savings in pump systems and optimizing savings in steam pipes and equipment.
- Training classes around the country on topics such as steam-system performance, understanding pump systems, motor system management, fundamentals of compressed air systems and advanced management of compressed air systems.
Maybe you don't think you have an energy problem, or you do and don't know how to tackle it. Help could be just a click away. So, take the time to browse the OIT Website http://www.oit.doe.gov/bestpractices to find out how BestPractices can help you.