DOE Save Energy Now reaches milestone

The Dept. of Energy's Save Energy Now program has completed its 500th Energy Saving Assessment.


The Dept. of Energy's Save Energy Now program has completed its 500th Energy Saving Assessment. Since 2006, teams from DOE's Save Energy Now program have analyzed the efficiency of pumps, fans, compressed air systems, and heating and steam systems at 500 of the nation's most energy-intensive industrial facilities.

The teams use specifically targeted software to identify cost and energy savings and then train the facility personnel to use the software, so the technology can be applied at other plants. The energy assessments typically show saving opportunities of 5% to 15% of each plant's total energy use, and if all those opportunities were pursued, it would yield an average annual savings of about $1.7 million per plant.

The 500th assessment was conducted at the Dow Chemical Company in Freeport, Texas. Dow Chemical is a good example of the success of the Save Energy Now program because assessments were carried out at 16 of Dow Chemical's facilities in 2006 and 2007. The assessments identified $31 million per year in potential savings, and as of April 2008, 13 of those facilities have implemented projects that should yield $7.7 million in annual savings. Additional projects that are now in progress should yield another $7 million in annual energy savings.

Altogether, the Energy Saving Assessments in facilities across the country have identified ways to save an estimated 80 trillion Btu of natural gas—the amount used by roughly 1 million U.S. homes. If all of the assessments' recommendations were fully implemented, they could avoid an estimated 7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, while saving more than $800 million in natural gas costs alone.

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