Manufacturers Team Up with U.S. Energy Department

By June 12, 2007Energy

NAM President John Engler and U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman.

Watch a video highlight from the NAM-U.S. Dept. of Energy press conference featuring NAM President John Engler.

Earlier today, NAM President John Engler and U.S. Energy Department Secretary Samuel Bodman signed an agreement between the two organizations that will facilitate greater cooperation on industrial energy efficiency.

It’s certainly appropriate to move forward in partnership, since manufacturers use a third of all the energy consumed in the United States. The “energy intensity” of manufacturing has been declining for 30 years as the product mix changes and the efficiency of products and processes improves. Manufacturers know a lot about efficiency already as we learned when The Manufacturing Institute joined with the Alliance to Save Energy a while back and published Efficiency and Innovation in U.S. Manufacturing Energy Use.

The Memorandum of Understanding supports a variety of activities which aim to assist manufacturing facilities to initiate and implement energy management programs, adopt clean energy efficient technologies, and to achieve continual energy efficiency and intensity reduction improvements.

The Department of Energy has a lot of very effective programs already underway and this partnership with NAM will help broadcast them more widely. For example, the Energy Department last year initiated a series of energy savings assessments which identified more than $300 million in energy savings just in industrial process heating and steam systems. If this fairly limited assessment can be rolled out to all of industry, the savings will leap.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Bill:

    Kudos to NAM leadership for taking the leadership role in promoting energy efficiency to your members. The messenger is just as important as the message.

    My only concern is that many manufacturers perceive energy efficiency as “projects” to be undertaken by their engineers while everyone else in the organization carries on business as usual. Such “projects” are in fact one element in a larger portfolio of an energy risk-control strategy. The other elements are as much human as they are mechanical. This is why continuous energy improvement becomes part of standard operating procedures, and not just random “projects.”

    Because NAM now carries the flag on this issue, many more manufacturers will seriously consider energy efficiency. After all, expense equals PRICE times CONSUMPTION. Energy policy has focused almost totally on the price side of the equation. Efficiency opportunities address the consumption side. Manufacturers will need all the tools they can get to remain competitive.

    Keep up the good work.

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