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First Manufacturing Companies to Win Energy Performance Certification

Three Texas plants have become the first in the nation to win a new Department of Energy (DOE) certification for energy management in the industrial and manufacturing sectors.

This week’s winners participated in a pilot, started in May 2008 as a partnership between the department and the DOE-funded Texas Industries of the Future program at the University of Texas in Austin.

The Superior Energy Performance program is planned to be launched nationwide in 2011.  It is a market-based, ANSI-accredited plant certification program that provides industrial facilities with a framework and roadmap for achieving continuous improvements in energy efficiency. 

The program intends to use the upcoming ISO 50001 standard as a foundational tool to help companies drive a corporate culture of continual improvement in energy intensity as well as provide a framework to validate energy management and energy intensity improvements in a measurable and transparent manner.

The program offers various tiers of participation for a manufacturing facility to accommodate the facilities 1) maturity with regards to energy management program, 2) business circumstances / cycle, and 3) Level of external validation desired.

Registered and Certified Partners can qualify for Silver, Gold, and Platinum based on percentage improvements in energy intensity and points achieved on the Superior Energy Performance Best Practices Scorecard.

Certification will provide manufacturers with public recognition for sustainable use of resources as well as other benefits such as eligibility for energy efficiency credits, potential carbon credits, and preferred supplier status within the supply chain.

The DOE estimates that the industrial and manufacturing sectors account for about one third of energy use in the U.S.  It is hoped that that the introduction of ISO 50001 and supporting programs as the Superior Energy Performance Certification will result in widespread uptake of the standard among all types of energy users to drive broad energy efficiency improvements.

For further information on the ISO 50001 – http://www.iso.org/iso/hot_topics/hot_topics_energy/energy_management_system_standard.htm

For further information on the Superior Energy Performance – http://www.superiorenergyperformance.net/

In my opinion, programs such as the the Superior energy certification supported by ISO standrads are a very positive step forward. These initiatives provide a recoginition platform for industrial facilities enabling a broader adoption. Making the benefits much more visible and tangible, makes it easier for operations teams to make the case to participate in Energy Management programs. Companies that have voluntarily implemented energy management plans have achieved energy savings of in the 10-20% or more range. As more and more companies get certified, the broader manufacturing community can understand that energy savings are achievable without sacrificing productivity and profitability, by a systematic approach to energy management. 

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