Just over a year ago, the EPA challenged the manufacturing industry to improve the energy efficiency of its facilities by at least 10% within 5 years.
Since the challenge began, 240 manufacturing sites have responded to the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry, and 34 sites have already improved their energy efficiency by 10% or more. Since the manufacturing sites began their energy efficiency improvement projects, more than 2 trillion Btus have been saved, which is enough energy to power 37,000 homes for a year.
Both large and small manufacturing facilities have met the milestone and have prevented nearly 119,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent, which demonstrates that energy efficiency opportunities exist across all sectors of industry – including aerospace, food processing, pharmaceuticals, and motor vehicle manufacturing.
In addition, many of the sites reported that savings were achieved at low cost by strengthening management practices and improving operations with help from the EPA's ENERGY STAR program.
Under the challenge, manufacturing sites establish an energy intensity baseline, set a 10% energy efficiency improvement goal, implement energy efficiency projects, track energy use, and verify their savings. Industrial companies across nearly a dozen manufacturing industries are working with the ENERGY STAR program to develop strong energy management programs, earn ENERGY STAR for their facilities, and achieve improvements in energy efficiency.
The U.S manufacturing industry is responsible for nearly 30% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and spends nearly $100 billion on energy. If the energy efficiency of industrial facilities improved by 10%, the EPA estimates that businesses would save nearly $10 billion and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to the annual emissions of approximately 12 million vehicles.