The Department of Energy (DOE) and the US Council for Energy-Efficient Manufacturing (CEEM) are implementing the Superior Energy Performance (SEP) Program to increase the energy efficiency of industrial facilities through the ISO 50001 energy management system standard.
The SEP program was opened to widespread participation in December 2013 and has more than 40 facilities participating in a national demonstration program. Seventeen of those facilities have already received SEP certification.
Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory collaborated with colleagues from Energetics and the DOE to assess the costs and benefits of industrial facilities being certified to the SEP program, and to examine the business value of SEP and ISO 50001, according to a blog posting from Berkeley Lab.
The researcher’s paper, “Assessing the Costs and Benefits of the Superior Energy Performance Program,” found that the average cost of implementing ISO 50001 and being certified to SEP came to $319,000 per facility, with fully loaded costs ranging from $207,000 to $498,000. This includes all internal staff time related to energy management, including staff already on payroll, which was the largest implementation cost. Implementation costs were relatively constant, regardless of facility size.
All of the facilities invested in outside support, to conduct training and to get the ISO 50001 and third-party certification up and running. Costs for that external technical support averaged $58,000 over a very wide range – from $26,000 to $167,000. However, the facilities reported that expert assistance was crucial, since the concepts of an integrated energy management system were new to staff, as was the software.
Facilities also reported that costs associated with external technical assistance will be greatly reduced as ISO 50001 and the SEP program is implemented in other facilities within the same parent company.
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