Gas Technology: Better Plants Program

Making a commitment to reduce energy

04/11/2014


Commercial and industrial buildings in the U.S. represent 50% of the country’s energy at a cost of more than $400 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. These buildings and plants can be made much more ple1404_WEB_Better Plants Logoefficient using a range of tools. To do so, it is necessary that owners be aware of possible inefficiencies and methods for eliminating them. In February 2011, President Obama announced the Better Buildings, Better Plants Initiative to make commercial and industrial buildings 20% more energy efficient in the next 10 years. This initiative is meant to accelerate private-sector investment and the commitment to energy efficiency. 

Paul Lemar, Jr. from Resource Dynamics Corporation recently provided details on the program at a Technology Marketing & Assessment Forum, sponsored by the Energy Solutions Center. He noted that research shows that companies that have publicly stated goals for energy reductions implement 50% more efficiency and renewable measures than organizations without goals. Thus for industrial energy users, the government program is intended to stimulate action by encouraging companies to make commitments. 

For industrial energy users, the Better Plants program asks owners to set long-term efficiency goals, to report progress once a year to the DOE, and to receive assistance and national recognition for their commitment and leadership. The program offers two levels of involvement- Program Level and Challenge Level.  The broad-based Program Level currently includes over 120 companies with 1,750 plants. Since 2011, participants have identified energy efficiency improvements saving 190 trillion Btus, and savings of more than $1 billion.

Program participants receive national recognition, access to a technical account manager, in-plant training for plant staff, and opportunities to network with peers in industry and learn about steps other companies have taken. Participating companies take a voluntary pledge to reduce energy intensity 25% corporate-wide over the next ten years, to develop an energy use baseline to track improvements in energy efficiency, to designate a corporate energy manager, and to report progress yearly.

The Challenge Level program asks participants to announce their energy efficiency goal, along with innovations and market solutions taken along the way. They agree to establish a Showcase Project within nine months, along with a corporate plan and timetable. They further agree to share information and implementation models and energy performance annually, and provide quarterly updates on showcase projects and other milestones. The Challenge Level program currently includes more than 100 private, public and non-profit organizations. This includes 13 Better Buildings, Better Plans participants, along with 28 commercial partners, and many education, community, financial and utility partners. On average, partners are improving by more that 2.5% per year, with identified savings of $58 billion. Partners have showcased 49 projects. Financial partners have extended financing totaling $1.1 billion for energy improvement projects.

The Better Buildings, Better Plants program is also a launching platform for Superior Energy Performance (SEP) Certification, and is an important tool in achieving ISO 50001, a program recently initiated in the U.S. for energy management systems. Information on all of these programs is available from the U.S. Department of Energy. 



The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Pipe fabrication and IIoT; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
The future of electrical safety; Four keys to RPM success; Picking the right weld fume option
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
VFDs improving motion control applications; Powering automation and IIoT wirelessly; Connecting the dots
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me