Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Superior Energy Performance

Are we about to see a breakthrough in promoting U.S. industrial energy efficiency? Maybe. Most of the right pieces seem to be falling in place.

First, here’s a bit of background: For the past 10-15 years, U.S. industrial energy “policy” has been the result of scattered initiatives, each coming from an equally scattered collection of government agencies and trade associations. For example, we have seen the U.S. Department of Energy, with support from certain national labs, lead the development of technology research and development. The task of engaging corporate leaders with an energy efficiency message has been largely adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Meanwhile, the National Association of Manufacturers has steadfastly demanded more production of traditional fossil fuels, while taking an agnostic position regarding the potential for energy efficiency. At best, these players have lacked coordination. At worst, they have found themselves at odds with each other.

From this history emerges a new initiative that actually attempts to coordinate these disparate players. “Superior Energy Performance” is being developed from its inception as a voluntary effort that is shaped BY industry FOR industry. Perhaps the website describes it best:

This partnership is addressing the current need for a consistent, performance-based framework that fosters continuous progress in industrial energy efficiency. The proposed framework provides a mechanism to help individual companies assign greater value to energy efficiency improvements, independently verify resulting energy savings, receive public recognition for achievements, and "raise the bar" for industrial energy efficiency overall.

This is worth watching. The key to success is making sure that industry embraces continuous energy improvement as standard operating procedure. If this is perceived as a “project” to be wholly passed off to the engineers while everyone else carries on business-as-usual, then it’s dead in the water. The good news is that the major policy players are sitting at the same table. Wish them luck.



At 8:09 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Dear Christopher,

I'm quite with you on this topic.
What is disappointing is that there is no audience. I gave up many years ago after learning that short ROI is the key, although un-achievable.

What we need to do is leveraging the green movement, and bring the savings by adding little things(low hanging fruits) only to a renewable project. Another is education; a
watt saved is a watt earned, things like that.

By the way, please check into our free public service website for instant PV performance benchmark,-- www.pvperformance.com; and give me a critique on it.

Keep on trucking...


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