Indiana companies are saving energy and reducing operating costs thanks to the Energy Efficiency Program offered by the Indiana Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center through Purdue University’s Technical Assistance Program (TAP). TAP’s energy assessment looks at ways to decrease utility bills, decrease production costs and cut emissions throughout facilities.
One company is even surpassing projected savings.
Haynes International Inc., Kokomo, Ind., for example, worked with the center to reduce its annual costs of $9.5 million in natural gas and $5 million in electricity. By addressing oxygen levels, gas consumption, quality demands, processes and leaks in the plant’s large furnaces, TAP helped the company save $500,000 in a few months, while the initial projection was to save $500,000 annually.
Ethan Rogers, Energy Efficiency program director said these savings were typical of similar assessments conducted at other manufacturers in north-central Indiana. Annual cost savings of $1.12 million were identified through eight company energy audits during the last quarter of 2008, and the companies will save enough natural gas to heat 1,020 homes, he added.
For Haynes, the energy assessment was the beginning of its sustainability program. The company also created an internal energy-efficiency team to routinely review the company’s production processes, upgrades and capital improvements.
Haynes now plans to focus on green training practices. Rogers said north-central Indiana’s WIRED Green Workers Certification will take a workforce approach to environmentally friendly manufacturing. The program will focus on the basics of clean manufacturing, including carbon credits, water resource management, waste minimization, alternative energy sources and the impact of the manufacturing process on the environment.
U.S. cities are starting to realize that a green workforce translates into green business opportunities. A recent study by the Greater Washington Board of Trade show that the Washington, DC region has the largest environmental services human capital pool in the country, prompting top officials from government, business, nonprofit, and academia in the region to discuss plans on taking advantage of green business opportunities and becoming a leader on environmental sustainability.