When President-elect Barack Obama takes office in January, he is expected to enact an energy plan that includes a cap-and-trade system that would limit the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that could be emitted by industry.
As part of the program, energy-intensive manufacturers will be made to identify energy-reduction opportunities in their facilities, Industry Week writes.
To pinpoint energy waste sources, manufacturers are encouraged by Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to perform energy assessments, either performed internally or by an outside consultancy firm. (See more on DOE’s Save Energy Now audit services.)
The energy audits could be a low-cost walkthrough of 2-3 hours that looks for low-hanging fruit, such as idle equipment or inefficient lighting, writes Industry Week, or could be a more comprehensive review of support systems (i.e., compressed air, motors, steam) supplemented by experts that then give specific findings for the utility systems.
Alternatively, manufacturers might choose to undergo a detailed assessment – one that can last months and involve external expertise – at a higher cost, but with the likelihood that the results will allow them in the long term to save money and increase plant yield.