Are you tapping into funds to reward energy efficiency?

A series of state and federal programs exist that promote the purchase of energy efficient equipment in manufacturing operations. As an updated study of such programs conducted by the Boston-based Consortium for Energy efficiency (www.cee1.org), there are millions of dollars in state and federal grants designed to help promote premium-efficiency motors, motor management, motor systems optimizat...
By Plant Engineering Staff October 15, 2007

A series of state and federal programs exist that promote the purchase of energy efficient equipment in manufacturing operations. As an updated study of such programs conducted by the Boston-based Consortium for Energy efficiency ( www.cee1.org ), there are millions of dollars in state and federal grants designed to help promote premium-efficiency motors, motor management, motor systems optimization and/or adjustable-speed drives.

The study also found there is an increased interest in such programs as the issues of energy costs continue to have an impact on manufacturing costs.

“As organizations strive to meet %%MDASSML%% and perhaps exceed %%MDASSML%% their mandated energy savings targets, they are looking to increase both the number of participants (customers and trade allies) and participation levels,” the CEE report stated. “Observations suggest that programs are transitioning away from stand-alone motor rebate programs to a more comprehensive mix of program approaches such as (adjustable speed drives) and motor management services, and by increasing the number of measures offered, sometimes bundled under one umbrella program. Opportunities to work collaboratively with vendors are being more actively pursued. Program administrators are placing greater emphasis on customer and vendor education.”

The Consortium for Energy Efficiency report, U.S. Energy Efficiency Programs, A $2.6 Billion Industry , noted that the issues of high energy costs and a move toward greener manufacturing has led both energy providers and manufacturers to look for long-term energy efficiency solutions.

Even with the need for efficiency and the availability of funding, not everyone has jumped on the energy efficiency bandwagon. For its 2007 update, CEE contacted 73 member organizations, and just 48 said that they administer programs offering financial, technical and/or educational support for premium efficiency motors, motor management, motor system optimization or adjustable speed drives.

CEE’s findings

The Consortium for Energy Efficiency offered a series of observations and findings from the study. They include:

  • Most organizations offer a range of programs to meet their savings targets. As savings targets (and budgets) increase, there has been an expansion in the number and types of programs that organizations are offering when compared to information provided in 2004.

  • At the same time, there seems to be a trend towards working more closely and in greater depth with individual customers. One emerging model is for organizations to adopt a holistic approach by combining multiple incentives and measures under a single program or providing access to multiple programs through an umbrella-type program.

  • Program administrators continue to recognize the value of partnering with suppliers and other trade allies. More organizations are providing vendor incentives (from five in 2004 to nine in 2007) as well as putting greater resources into vendor training and other educational efforts

  • All of the organizations included in the study provide direct incentives for premium efficiency motors also provide incentives for adjustable speed drives. And, the number of programs offering prescriptive incentives for ASDs has increased since 2004.