Challenge: Increasing energy efficiency can reduce energy use, improve productivity, and generate cost savings for manufacturers; however, business leaders require extensive resources to identify where gains can be made, implement solutions, and conduct ongoing assessments. Business leaders must maintain base operations and meet production quotas, leaving little time and personnel for energy efficiency initiatives.
Solution: State leaders could provide funding for energy efficiency project managers to be embedded at manufacturers with large energy savings potential. These experts could be their respective facilities’ point person for identifying and capitalizing on opportunities to boost energy efficiency through the use of next-generation manufacturing technologies. The project managers could be full-time or part-time, depending on the needs of the manufacturer. With dedicated on-site experts focusing on energy efficiency, busy manufacturers could capitalize on valuable savings opportunities.
Examples: The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Energy Project Manager program helps industrial customers with ongoing energy efficiency efforts by embedding a project manager in customer facilities. Each project manager, whose salary is co-funded by BPA, typically remains embedded at their designated facility for a year or more. During that time, project managers oversee machinery retrofits, strategic energy management, and measures of per-unit efficiency gains. Together with other components of BPA’s Energy Smart Industrial initiative, the energy project manager program has helped 473 industrial customers save 647 million kWh of electricity.
In 2016, New York launched multiple initiatives to promote industrial energy efficiency, including the On-Site Energy Manager program. This initiative provided $7 million in funding for large- and medium-sized industrial facilities to hire a full-time, on-site energy manager. Through a competitive application process, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority selected thirty facilities to receive state support to put a staff member into the energy manager role for one year, helping these facilities increase productivity and energy efficiency on an ongoing basis.