Category: Energy efficiency

Want tax incentives in Des Moines? Be ready to meet higher energy efficiency bar

Read the full story at Energy News Network.

Midwest cities including Des Moines, Iowa, are increasingly linking tax-increment financing to sustainability requirements as they look for every tool possible to make progress on ambitious climate goals.

​DOE begins ‘repairing damage’ done by Trump to energy efficiency program, say advocates

Read the full story at Utility Dive.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) it says would “remove unnecessary obstacles” to setting appliance efficiency standards, in part by reversing changes to the “process rule” made by the Trump administration.

The process rule helps determine how appliance efficiency standards are set and updated. Clean energy advocates say changes approved by President Donald Trump’s DOE made the process more lengthy and complicated, and added “arbitrary” savings thresholds required to set standards. Appliance manufacturers argue the Trump-led changes ensured standards produced significant energy savings

The new proposal, issued Wednesday, would revert the process rule to “nonbinding guidance status,” allowing DOE some flexibility in its application, and would eliminate the minimum energy savings threshold for appliance standards. The agency will hold a webinar on April 23 to discuss the proposed rule changes

Energy Dept. pushes to reverse Trump-era rule on efficiency standards

Read the full story at The Hill.

The Biden administration is set to push for a reversal of Trump-era changes that made it harder to impose energy efficiency standards for commercial products and industrial equipment.

The Energy Department sent out a notification late Wednesday of a proposed update to a regulation, known as a “process rule,” that deals with energy-saving standards.

The Trump administration had implemented an energy savings threshold in order to set energy efficiency standards. The proposal posted to the Energy Department’s website would remove that threshold.

It also aims to restore the department’s ability to diverge from the process rule, which the Trump administration made binding.

U.S. Department of Energy Announces $52.5 Million to Support U.S. Manufacturers and Industrial Workers

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $52.5 million for DOE’s Industrial Assessment Centers that help American manufacturers and wastewater treatment facilities improve their efficiency, save money, and reduce their carbon footprint. These university-based training programs also create a pipeline for students looking to join the growing clean energy economy.

“These programs are proof that big climate investments can help small businesses reduce their emissions and increase their efficiency, while saving them thousands of dollars,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “This new funding is an investment in both the infrastructure and next-generation clean energy workforce we need to tackle the climate emergency and meet President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

The funding will be distributed through DOE’s Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs), which are university-based programs that train students and offer no-cost efficiency improvement recommendations to small- and medium-sized manufacturing facilities. As part of the assessment process, participating students and faculty make recommendations for energy and water savings, waste reduction, productivity improvements, cybersecurity, and smart manufacturing opportunities for qualifying facilities—all while measuring their impact on greenhouse gas emissions. To date, the IAC program has provided nearly 20,000 assessments and more than 145,000 recommendations for improvement measures. Assessments typically identify more than $130,000 in potential annual savings opportunities.

IACs selected for this funding will offer coursework and hands-on experience for undergraduate and graduate engineering students in industrial processes, energy-assessment procedures, and energy-management systems. These programs have a strong track record of attracting engineering students to the energy efficiency workforce—more than 50% of graduates’ first jobs include energy efficiency as a primary responsibility, and more than 40% of graduates spend their career in energy efficiency, compared to 28% of their peers who do not participate in the program.

Founded in 1976, the IAC program is one of the Department’s longest-running programs. The program pursues two simultaneous goals: (1) supporting U.S. manufacturing competitiveness; and, (2) addressing a growing shortage of engineering professionals with applied energy and manufacturing-related skills. The IAC program provides assessment to small- and medium-sized manufacturers/enterprises (SMEs), defined as having gross annual sales below $100 million and fewer than 500 employees. The IAC program also screens for SMEs with yearly energy bills between $100,000 and $3.5 million.

As a part of this funding opportunity, DOE will also launch a pilot project to expand IAC engagement with underserved communities. Applicants are encouraged to propose training partnerships with technical programs or community colleges that create new opportunities for a diverse mix of students, of all education levels.

DOE anticipates selecting 25 to 35 universities, with individual awards of $1.5 to $2.25 million over five years. The deadline for optional letters of intent is April 1, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. ET. Mandatory full applications are due on April 22, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. ET.

For more information, eligibility requirements, and instructions on submitting an application, view the complete funding opportunity announcement. Potential applicants may also view a recording of a recent informational webinar on IAC operations.

The Advanced Manufacturing Office, housed within DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), manages the IAC program’s 31 current centers. EERE’s Building Technologies Office will collaborate on the pilot project for commercial building efficiency workforce development.

Sustainable Chilled Water Systems in Pharmaceutical Plants

Read the full story at Chiller & Cooling Best Practices.

Chiller & Cooling Best Practices Magazine spoke with Tom Pagliuco, Executive Director Global Energy Engineering at AbbVie, Inc. about best practices for optimizing chilled water systems in today’s pharmaceutical operations.

Pagliuco has a wealth of experience in energy management having served in energy leadership roles at leading pharmaceutical companies such as Schering-Plough Corporation and Merck, as well as Allergan, which AbbVie recently acquired. He spearheaded numerous energy-initiatives that gained wide-spread recognition for several companies from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® program – including earning eleven ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence awards since 2009.  

From Program to Practice: Translating Energy Management in a Manufacturing Firm

Solnørdal MT, Nilsen EA (2020). “From Program to Practice: Translating Energy Management in a Manufacturing Firm.” Sustainability 12(23), 10084.

Abstract: A promising way to stimulate industrial energy efficiency is via energy management (EnM) practices. There is, however, limited knowledge on the implementation process of EnM in manufacturing firms. Aiming to fill this research gap, this study explores the implementation of a corporate environmental program in an incumbent firm and the ensuing emergence of EnM practices. Translation theory and the ‘travel of management ideas’ is used as a theoretical lens in this case study when analysing the process over a period of 10 years. Furthermore, based on a review and synthesis of prior studies, a ‘best EnM practice’ is developed and used as a baseline when assessing the EnM practices of the case firm. Building on this premise, we highlight four main findings: the pattern of translation dynamics, the key role of the energy manager during the implementation process, the abstraction level of the environmental program and, ‘translation competence’ as a new EnM practice. Managerial and policy implications, as well as avenues for further research, are provided based on these results.

Peak Demand Savings from Efficiency: Opportunities and Practices

Download the document.

Electricity systems are designed to meet peak demand — the maximum load during a specified period, typically in summer — even if that demand occurs only a few hours in a year. Yet most evaluations of electricity efficiency programs focus on reductions in annual energy use. However, these efficiency programs are also delivering peak demand savings at an affordable cost.

A new study by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) explores the program administrator (PA) cost – or the cost to implement an energy efficiency program to a utility or third party administrator – of saving peak demand through efficiency programs for electric utility customers. Berkeley Lab collected data on costs, annual energy savings, and peak demand savings for electricity efficiency programs for 52 utilities and other program administrators in 15 states between 2014 and 2018. The analysis focused on eight program types that represent 68% of the peak demand savings for the utilities and program administrators studied. The findings improve our understanding of which energy efficiency programs produce the most peak demand savings and their cost performance. 

2021 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry

July 13 – 15, 2021
MGM Grand Hotel, Detroit, Michigan
More information

Our 14th biennial conference will offer a provocative and dynamic discussion of industry on the brink of transformation. With industry accounting for more than one-fourth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, its decarbonization is more important than ever, and energy efficiency is a critical path forward. Reducing industrial emissions will not only help address climate change but also create clean energy jobs, protect public health, and ensure market competitiveness.

Join us as we explore an exciting mix of topics on low-carbon industrial products, processes, and policies. These issues will include: smart energy management, manufacturing, electrification, supply chains, the U.S. auto industry, Big Data, emerging technologies, workforce development, onsite energy generation, grid of the future, low-carbon fuels, and carbon capture, utilization, and storage.

We welcome your participation and collaboration in shaping ACEEE’s Industrial Decarbonization Initiative. We want to work together to develop and implement a plan to advance industrial energy efficiency and to build a clean energy future.

  • Panel 1: Agile Manufacturing and Supply Chains
  • Panel 2: Electrification and Low Carbon Fuels
  • Panel 3: Energy, Materials, and Resource Efficiency
  • Panel 4: Policies and Programs for Innovation

Webinar: Finding, Fixing and Monitoring Compressed Air Leaks

January 21, 2021, 1:00 pm CST
Register here.

Join Keynote Speaker, Ron Marshall, Chief Auditor, Compressed Air Consulting, to discuss one of the first things you should check to ensure your leakage savings are worthwhile. He will also discuss methods of assessing, finding, fixing, and monitoring leaks, and reveal some surprising “leakage” locations most leak auditors miss.

The Sponsor Speaker is Adrian Messer, US Operations Manager of UE Systems, Inc. His presentation, “Planning & Performing an Effective Ultrasonic Compressed Air & Gas Leak Survey,” will discuss the use of ultrasound technology for planning and performing an effective ultrasonic compressed air leak survey that focuses on the evaluation, detection, identification, tracking, repair, verification and re-evaluation processes centered around a compressed air leak detection program.

This is an interactive webinar, with the opportunity to ask questions before and during the live event. Questions specified for Ron Marshall and Adrian Messer can be submitted to

Receive 1.0 PDH credit.

Webinar: One Size Does Not Fit All: Lessons Learned from Financing Large and Small Energy Retrofits

Tue, Jan 19, 2021 2-3 pm CST
Register here.

Explore the successful implementation of two energy efficiency projects — one small (less than $150,000) and one large (over $10 million) — and the similarities and differences between them. This facilitated discussion will examine each project’s financial and operational challenges, solutions, and lessons learned.

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