Manufacturers cut $1 billion in energy costs through Better Plants program
Department of Energy honors 120 manufacturers for achieving program goals to cut costs, emissions
The Energy Department today recognized more than 120 manufacturers that are making smart investments to save on energy costs, cut greenhouse gas emissions and improve their bottom lines. Through the Department’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Program, over 1,750 plants across the United States have saved about $1 billion in energy costs and approximately 190 trillion BTUs– equivalent to about 11 million metric tons of CO2 emissions.
During keynote remarks at the World Energy Engineering Congress today in Washington, D.C., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Kathleen Hogan praised Better Plants partners for their energy efficiency accomplishments and welcomed 12 new companies that joined the program over the last year.
“Through the Better Plants program, American manufacturers are cutting energy waste and saving millions of dollars each year,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Kathleen Hogan. “These manufacturers are leading by example – demonstrating the promise of energy efficiency, increasing competitiveness in the private sector and reducing harmful carbon pollution.”
Across the United States, manufacturers spend more than $200 billion each year to power their plants. Through the Energy Department’s Better Plants Program, American manufacturers sign a voluntary pledge to reduce energy intensity by about 25% over 10 years, or an equally ambitious level for their sector. To date, participating companies represent nearly 8% of the total U.S. manufacturing energy footprint. These partners also consume close to 15% of the U.S. chemical manufacturing sector’s energy use and 23% of energy used across the nation’s transportation equipment manufacturing industry.
At the World Energy Engineering Congress, Deputy Assistant Secretary Hogan also recognized five companies – AT&T, Cummins, Metal Industries, TE Connectivity and United Technologies Corporation – for exceeding their 25% energy intensity reduction goal. Along with the other Better Plants participants, these companies are modeling cost-effective energy management practices that save money and strengthen the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing. The Better Plants program supports the Energy Department’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative – a cross-cutting effort to ensure U.S. manufacturers remain competitive in the global marketplace.
Thirteen U.S. manufacturers have stepped up to the Better Plants Challenge – the industrial component of the Better Buildings Challenge – to achieve portfolio-wide energy savings and share successful strategies that maximize efficiency and help overcome financial and technical barriers across the marketplace.
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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.