Tag: energy efficiency

New Report Shows Energy-Efficiency Legislation Would Be Major Job-Creator

According to a new report released today by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, legislation drafted by Senators Rob Portman and Jeanne Shaheen would support 174,000 jobs by 2030.

The report also found that the energy-efficiency legislation could save consumers and businesses over $65 billion on their energy bills by 2030.

As users of one-third of our nation’s energy, manufacturers are directly affected by the cost of energy, and we believe policies should promote research, development, and deployment of energy-efficient technologies.

Manufacturers support the Shaheen-Portman bill, a set of common sense, bipartisan energy efficiency measures that would create jobs by saving energy in industrial, commercial, and residential sectors.

 

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Manufacturers Ask the Executive Branch to Invest in Energy Efficiency

Today the NAM, several member companies and a number of other organizations sent President Obama a letter expressing our strong support for the continuation of the administration’s effort to reduce the federal government’s energy consumption. The federal government is the largest single user of energy in this country and many federal buildings are in need of upgrades and improvements.

In 2011 the President issued a Presidential Memorandum directing agencies to use $2 billion of private sector financing and expertise to upgrade federal buildings. Under this directive federal managers could utilize energy savings performance contracts (ESPC) and utility energy service contracts (UESC) to purchase energy efficiency upgrades by using gains from energy savings. ESPC and UESC pose no risk to the federal agency because the results are guaranteed and the contractors assume the risks.

To use a military term , the federal government is a “target rich” environment for these upgrades. A number of energy audits have been completed by federal agencies and to date more than $9 billion in addressable energy efficiency measures have been identified, and no doubt there are still more that will be identified in the coming years. We would like the President to again challenge the Executive Branch to identify and contract for $1 billion each year for the next five years in energy saving projects using performance-based contracting. The letter also request that the Executive Branch identify and develop a “best practices” program so that individual agencies can share their successes and their challenges.

We think this makes a lot of sense. This effort will keep the momentum going in the agencies, it will allow the federal government to improve and modernize infrastructure, and it will enhance energy security. All this and it will be done by using energy savings and not with appropriated tax payer dollars.

Manufactures have been leaders in energy efficiency both in the manufacturing of equipment and the utilization of equipment. We understand that a kilowatt saved is a dollar saved. Lowering our energy consumption not only allow us to better utilize our financial resources and but in many instances it helps us to be more productive using less energy. These savings impact the bottom line and help manufacturers to be more competitive in the global economy. Being energy efficient is simply smart!

Chip Yost is assistant vice president of energy and resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers.

 

 

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Energy Efficiency Bill Sails Through Senate Committee

Early this afternoon the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources passed S. 761, “The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act,” more commonly known as the Shaheen-Portman  bill after its two authors, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH). The 22-member Committee passed the bill on a strong voice vote with only three Senators castings votes in opposition.

The only amendment that was offered (and agreed to) was a manager’s amendment from Sen. Portman. The bill’s sponsors received unified praise from Senators during the markup for their bipartisan efforts and their work to promoting energy efficiency. Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) requested that Senators hold their amendments until the legislation reached the floor of the Senate.

The Committee went on to discuss a number of possible amendments and issues that might be addressed on the floor. It was clear that there was great interest in expanding the scope of this legislation, with a number of Senators discussing the issues they would like addressed.  This is obviously a bit of a Pandora ’s Box but at least Senators are talking about floor action on energy, which hasn’t happened in a long time.

Manufacturers continue to urge Senator Reid to bring this bill to the floor as soon as possible. Energy efficiency is vital to manufacturers’ ability to compete, and this bill should be a no-brainer given its potential for job creation and energy savings. And it is a great way to start bridging some of the divides that have too long prevented the Senate from having a constructive legislative debate on energy policy.

Chip Yost is assistant vice president of energy and resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers.

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Energy Efficiency is Vital to Manufacturers and Our Energy Future

Today Senators Shaheen (D-NH) and Portman (R-OH) hosted a press conference with industry leaders, including NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons, to roll out The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, also known as S.1000. This legislation’s goal is to help spur the use of energy efficiency technologies for commercial, industrial and residential use. This will help create jobs and lower costs for manufacturers.

In a town where there are few issues where we can find agreement on important issues, energy efficiency is an area where we can all find common ground. According to Senator Portman, “This is about getting something done.”

The bill is headed for a hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee next week which is great news.

Energy efficiency is paramount to the competitiveness of manufacturers and our energy future. It is a solution to help lower costs for businesses of all sizes. In addition, the innovation and development of energy efficient technologies creates manufacturing jobs.

Manufacturers are already taking steps to improve energy efficiency. The Volvo Group has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Better Buildings, Better Plants Program. The company has pledged to reduce its energy intensity in all of its U.S. manufacturing plants by 25 percent during a 10-year period. The Volvo Group’s New River Valley truck plant in Dublin, VA has already achieved a major milestone by reducing its energy intensity by nearly 30 percent in just one year. (continue reading…)

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Small Energy Efficiency Package Nearing the Finish Line

Today around 1:00 pm, the House is due to consider H.R. 6582, the “American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act.”  H.R. 6582 corrects existing energy laws to ensure that innovations and alternative technologies that meet or exceed federal energy efficiency standards are not deterred by those laws.  Products covered by the bill include water heaters, commercial refrigerators, and some HVAC units. Companion legislation to H.R. 6582 was passed by the Senate in September.

Heading into the 112th Congress, many in Washington (including myself) saw energy efficiency as an area where lawmakers from both parties could potentially agree on legislation.  Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened.  Election-year politics stopped S. 1000, the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill, from coming to the Senate floor.  And while the NAM is still committed to getting comprehensive energy efficiency legislation like S. 1000 passed, we also support anything that gets portions of this legislation–such as H.R. 6582–to the President’s desk for his signature.

In a year that has been frustrating to say the least when it comes to energy policy, we’ll take any kind of bipartisan agreement we can get. We’re pleased to see the House considering legislation that helps manufacturers innovate in the area of energy efficiency.

Ross Eisenberg is vice president of energy and resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers.

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Jobs and Energy Go Hand in Hand

The NAM and Politico teamed up at the conventions to host events focusing on “Growing the Economy.” You can read about the RNC event here and yesterday’s DNC event here.

Politico has hosted a number of other discussions, one of which caught my eye today.  The subject was energy policy. A replay of the event is available here.

A discussion of energy policy could just as well have been held at our events on jobs and the economy.  After all, a strong, pro-growth energy policy can help create jobs, particularly in manufacturing, which is energy intensive, using one-third of the U.S. energy supply.

While members of both parties talk about an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, the United States has yet to adopt anything of the sort.  We have abundant resources at our disposal, but many remain off limits, whether through the inaction of Congress or the overzealousness of regulators, to name just two reasons.

An all-of-the-above energy strategy means just what it says.  It means using traditional sources of energy like coal and oil.  But, the Environmental Protection Agency through its Utility MACT and Cross-State Air Pollution rules is looking to drive coal-fired power plants out of business.  As for oil, permitting delays and other regulatory obstacles continue to thwart new exploration and development offshore.

An all-of-the-above strategy also embraces new opportunities such as those presented by the shale gas boom.

And alternative sources have a role to play too. Nuclear needs to be part of our energy mix—it’s a form of clean energy we have yet to utilize fully. Long-term development of this vital energy source has unfortunately fallen victim to political battles. And, there have been many new and exciting innovations with renewable sources of energy like wind and solar that have helped expand the use of these important resources.

Our nation’s energy policy can’t single out one of these sources.  We must embrace them all, especially if we want to grow manufacturing and remain competitive. Reliable and abundant energy will bring investment to our shores—and with it, jobs. And it will encourage manufacturers in the United States to expand their operations and hire more workers.

As we develop additional sources of energy, manufacturers will be able to grow their capabilities. Manufacturers are doing more with less because they are harnessing new technologies and becoming more energy efficient. Earlier this week, I had the chance to speak with manufacturers about their efforts to develop new and innovative systems that lower energy costs by making manufacturing facilities more efficient. NAM member Ingersoll Rand and its CEO Mike Lamach hosted an event with Senator Amy Klobuchar and Gen. Wesley Clark to discuss the issue and its role in a comprehensive energy policy.

A strong energy policy is a strong jobs policy.  That’s something for the men and women we put into office this November to think about.

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EPA and DOT Release Final Fuel Standards for Cars and Trucks

Today the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency released final fuel efficiency standards for cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2017 to 2025. The standard will set the limits at 54.5 mpg by 2025.

By setting one national standard, rather than a patchwork of state standards as the California Air Resources Board had proposed, automakers now have the regulatory certainty they need, and we are confident they will continue to rise to the occasion and meet these very aggressive new fuel economy standards. 

We continue to stress the need for a strong, comprehensive, and realistic midterm review in 2018 that allows regulators the flexibility to change the rule if automakers cannot achieve the 2025 targets depending on advancements in technology as well as consumer demand.

The bar has been set high, and it’s important to remember this is a consumer driven industry so the midterm review is extremely important. Manufacturers lead our economy in innovation and they will continue to work to achieve these new standards and improve the energy efficiency of vehicles and in the manufacturing process.

Ross Eisenberg is vice president of energy and resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers.

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Manufacturing, Leading the Way in Energy Efficiency

Manufacturing’s impressive gains in energy efficiency often come via new processes and products that do not necessarily attract major headlines (or Presidential visits), but still represent progress the U.S. economy must make toward energy savings and global competitiveness.

Take, for example, this advance as reported by The Environmental Leader, “GM Rolling out GE Efficiency Program at 20 Plants“:

A GE energy efficiency program with a less than six-month payback is being implemented at 20 General Motors plants, the two companies have announced.

GM has adapted GE’s Proficy Cimplicity software to tie the use of lights to the schedule of conveyers. The manufacturer then discovered other aspects of consumption that could also be tied to conveyer operations, including air supply houses, compressed air generators, water and paint shop ovens.

“Everything in a vehicle assembly plant is tied to the conveyor,” said Mike Durak, General Motors, Global Information Technology Manager. “A hidden benefit was that once we scheduled the conveyor we had a good view into what the plant was doing, so we were able to schedule the on and off of big energy consumers in the plant.”

Less than a six-month payback! And GM adapted the technology because it was a good business decision, one that saves it money.

And let’s extend a thanks to the programmers, too. Energy efficiency sometimes requires new equipment, sometimes new software. Impressive in either case.

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Philadelphia: Manufacturing Innovation, Energy Conservation

Manufacturers in the United States are global leaders when it comes to energy efficiency and conservation, even as industry calls for additional development of domestic energy supplies.  They’re the flip sides of energy security.

From Glass Magazine, “PPG to help inaugurate Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster“:

PPG Industries, Pittsburgh, will participate in a ceremony Sept. 27 to celebrate the awarding of $129 million in federal funds to create the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster, a 5-year initiative designed to improve the energy efficiency of buildings in the U.S., according to a Sept. 23 release.

PPG is one of five industry partners in the project, which includes 11 academic institutions, two U.S. Department of Energy laboratories, and several regional economic development agencies and community colleges. PPG will offer expertise in a host of energy-efficient building technologies for both new construction and retrofit applications with a focus on innovations for the building envelope.

The Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster’s brochure is available here as a .pdf. Excerpt:

The Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster (GPIC) is a consortium of academic institutions, federal laboratories, global industry partners, regional economic development agencies and other stakeholders that joined forces to secure up to $130 million in federal grants from the Department of Energy. The funding will foster national energy independence and create quality jobs for the region. The GPIC’s efforts are intended to establish The Navy Yard, Philadelphia and the region as the national center for energy efficient research, education, policy and commercialization. Key personnel of the GPIC will be headquartered at The Navy Yard in a retrofitted building that will become a living  laboratory for energy efficient building design.

The GPIC’s plan for energy efficient buildings is the culmination of more than a decade of dedicated team effort. All told, more than 90 organizations have made commitments to the GPIC; a collaboration among research, education, industry and development to create and showcase energy efficiency strategies and best practices for building design.

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Home Star, Paying For

Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), sponsor of H.R. 5019, the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act, said in floor debate on the bill (Congressional Record, Page H3219):

There’s been a concern raised about spending, and rightly so. This bill must be paid for. All of us who support this legislation acknowledge that. And we will have to vote on how exactly we’re going to have this paid for. And we will. But let’s keep in mind that there is a difference between a wise investment and wasteful spending.

From The Burlington (Vt.) Free-Press, “House approves Welch’s bill on energy efficiency“:

Unlike the stimulus weatherization funds, Welch said, his bill wouldn’t involve layers of government.

Democrats haven’t decided how the bill would be financed, but they say it would be deficit-neutral. Welch said the bill’s rebates would be a “perfect” use of unallocated stimulus funds.

“It will put people to work immediately … and what’s terrific about it is that the work they will do has lasting value,” he said. “It’s not make-work.”

Last week, before the 246-161 vote for passage, Rep. Welch visited the Jeld-Wen plant in Springfield, Vt., reported in The Rutland Herald and an official press release, “As House vote approaches, Welch highlights Vermont job-creating potential of Home Star at Springfield factory“:

In addition to JELD-WEN plant manager Al DiBella, Welch was joined at the event by Rick Bibens, who owns five Ace hardware stores in Springfield, Burlington, South Burlington, Essex and Colchester. Hardware and other home performance stores throughout Vermont would receive a boost in business when Home Star’s in-store rebates take effect.

“In addition to the financial and energy savings, the HOMESTAR program will allow workers in the window and door industry to not only keep their jobs, but it would also create additional jobs throughout the distribution chain,” DiBella said. “These are American jobs, producing American products, sold to American consumers, which would provide a significant boost to the American economy. Specifically, HOMESTAR will boost our local economy here in Vermont by saving and increasing jobs at our Springfield plant.”

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