Less than half of manufacturing facilities conduct an annual energy audit, despite energy being the largest cost for many plants, according to research by Plant Engineering.
The survey found that just 47 percent of manufacturing sites carried out an annual energy audit and that only 5 percent conduct such a study twice a year and 9 percent carry out an audit quarterly.
Some 33 percent of plant managers cited a lack of resources as the main hurdle to creating an energy management program, according to the survey. Some 19 percent cited a lack of buy-in from management as the largest barrier, while 15 percent said a lack of buy-in from line workers represented the main problem. Thirteen percent said that their problems calculating a return on investment of such programs was their main hurdle.
Despite these problems, most plants have aggressive energy use reduction goals and, crucially, expect to meet them. More than 70 percent of plants surveyed have an energy reduction goal of at least 10 percent. Five percent have a goal of at least 20 percent. Some 89 percent of energy managers surveyed believe that their energy reduction goals are achievable, but just 22 percent are rewarded financially for meeting energy goals, the Plant Engineering’s survey says.
Two-thirds of energy managers surveyed say they work with utilities on energy management, while 78 percent cite the utilities as a “valued partner,” the survey says. Of those plants that don’t work with a local utility 46 percent said that they were unaware that their provider had a program, while 33 percent said that they didn’t consider themselves a big enough customer to be included in such a program.
Earlier this month, the Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Lynn Posey approved Energy Efficiency and Conservation Rule 29, requiring electric and gas utilities to implement energy efficiency programs and standards under the Commission’s service jurisdiction. The new rule requires electric and gas utilities serving more than 25,000 customers to file Quick Start Plans with the Commission within six months. Quick Start Plans would include items such as customer education programs, energy audits and evaluations, rebates or other incentives on high-efficiency appliances, retrofitting homes and methods small businesses and industrial facilities can optimize energy efficiency.
Picture credit: Shrawan Raja