Motivating industrial energy efficiency through performance-based indicators
Organizations that implement strategic energy management programs undertake a set of activities that, if carried out properly, have the potential to deliver sustained energy savings. One key management opportunity is determining an appropriate level of energy performance for a plant through comparison with similar plants in its industry. Performance-based indicators are one way to enable companies to set energy efficiency targets for manufacturing facilities. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through its ENERGY STAR® program, is developing plant energy performance indicators to encourage a variety of U.S. industries to use energy more efficiently. This paper reports on work with the automobile manufacturing industry to provide a plant-level indicator of energy efficiency. Consideration is given to the role that performance-based indicators play in motivating change, the steps necessary for indicator development, from interacting with an industry to securing adequate data for the indicator, and actual application and use of an indicator when complete. How indicators are employed in EPA's efforts to encourage industries to voluntarily improve their use of energy is discussed as well. © 2005 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry.