The Department of Energy (DOE) announced that partners in its Better Buildings, Better Plants Program have saved about $4.2 billion in cumulative energy costs across nearly 3,000 facilities that represent about 12 percent of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint. In addition, DOE is recognizing the achievements of nine partners who have met their energy or water savings goals this year and welcoming 12 new partners who have joined the program.
Today, close to 200 Better Plants partners are reducing energy costs to strengthen their productivity, create jobs, and increase their resiliency. As part of the broader Better Buildings Initiative, Better Plants partners voluntarily set a long-term goal, typically to reduce energy intensity by 25 percent over a 10-year period across all their U.S. operations. DOE supports these efforts with technical expertise and national recognition.
Here are a few highlights from the 2017 Better Plants update that outlines the progress of Better Plants partners over the past year.
- DOE welcomed Bristol-Myers Squibb and eleven other partners, bringing the total number of partners committing to improve energy performance to 190.
- Four Better Plants partners have committed to more aggressive energy-savings goals through the Better Plants Challenge, bringing the total number of Challenge partners to 41.
- One Better Plants Challenge partner, Celanese Corporation, a Fortune 500 chemicals and advanced materials manufacturer from Irving, Texas, met its second goal after meeting its first goal in 2014; they are the 15th partner to set a new ambitious pledge after meeting their initial goal.
- General Motors, a Challenge partner in the Fortune 10, exceeded its water goal four years early and reduced its water intensity by 28.3 percent against a 2010 baseline.
- Honda North America joined the Better Plants Supply Chain Initiative, sponsoring a cohort of eight suppliers that are now taking advantage of program resources and support to improve their energy efficiency.
- New Better Practice and Better Project awards were introduced in 2017 to honor 11 partners’ exceptional energy-efficiency solutions, including Harley-Davidson, Eastman, and C.F. Martin Guitar.
- Partners like JR Simplot and the City of Grand Rapids Water Resource Recovery Facility have leveraged new Better Plants In-Plant Training topics in industrial refrigeration and water/wastewater treatment to develop their workforce and identify energy-savings opportunities.
- The Field Validation and Diagnostic Equipment Program was created to facilitate data analysis and measurement among partners.
Read the full report to learn more about this year’s successes and how the Better Plants program plans to boost competitiveness through improvements in energy efficiency.
Through the Better Buildings Initiative, the Energy Department is partnering with public and private sector organizations to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings more energy efficient over the next decade while creating thousands of jobs. These partners have contributed to over 1,000 solutions on the Better Buildings Solution Center.
Clemson University’s Industrial Assessment Center provides free energy assessments to small and medium-sized manufacturers. More information is available on Clemson's website.
If you are interested in learning about combined heat and power (CHP) or how your facility can implement CHP, the U.S. Department of Energy has a CHP Technical Assistance Center NC State University. More information is available on the program's website.