Plant Engineering 2014 Energy Management Study: Five energy monitoring trends
According to the data in this report, 33% of manufacturing facilities have energy reduction goals of at least 10% for the upcoming year, and another 40% are aiming to cut energy consumption by 5% to 10%.
In February 2014, Plant Engineering surveyed members of their audience who have energy management responsibilities within their facilities. The 2014 Energy Management study asked key questions on energy management practices, including continuous energy monitoring, challenges to energy management, energy reduction goals, and alternative energy sources.
Plant Engineering sees the following as the 5 most important high-level findings impacting the manufacturing industries today:
1. Monitoring energy: 68% of plants monitor energy usage continually, but not necessarily through energy audits. However, 30% of respondents' facilities conduct regular energy audits on an annual basis, and 10% perform then quarterly.
2. Alternative energy sources: Co-generation (21%), solar (15%), and nuclear (11%) energy are the top three alternative energy sources at respondents' facilities, but more than half don't have any alternative energy source.
3. Challenges: About one-third of respondents said the resource—or lack of—from corporate and management are a moderate-to-severe challenge in their energy management program. Another big issue is obtaining buy-in from management and employees.
4. Goals: 40% of plants are aiming to reduce energy consumption by 5% to 10% in the next 12 months, and another 11% have a goal of 15% to 20%. Only 36% of respondents believe their energy reduction goals are achievable, and more than three-quarters are not compensated on meeting or exceeding those goals.
5. Implementation: Nearly one-third of plant have had success with implementing their energy management programs, 27% are just starting to implement these programs, and 21% only view energy as a utility bill that is paid each month.
Access the full Plant Engineering 2014 Energy Management report with additional findings and insights.
Amanda McLeman is director of research at CFE Media, Plant Engineering.
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After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.