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Ingersoll Rand Saves $4M in Energy Costs

Since implementing a three-tier energy audit program in 2005, Ingersoll Rand has saved more than $4 million in energy costs, according to a case study (PDF) from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The company’s energy-audit program entails a treasure hunt, expanded energy audits at high priority sites, and system specific audits.

Ingersoll Rand participates in the DOE’s Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) Save Energy Now LEADER initiative. This partnership is a cornerstone in the company’s efforts to reduce its global energy intensity 25 percent by 2019.

The company’s energy-audit program relies on employee volunteers with energy and engineering expertise to join an Expanded Energy Audit team two to three times per year. In 2010 and 2011, these teams will participate in approximately 25 expanded energy audits to identify opportunities for savings and to teach staff about energy management and new energy-efficient technologies.

As an example, after conducting a Level 3 audit in 2007/2008 and a Level 1 audit in May 2009, the company’s Air Solution’s complex in Tyler, Texas, replaced HVAC units, upgraded compressors and installed more efficient lighting, delivering more than $750,000 in annual energy savings.

The audits also evaluate operational efficiencies in the areas of procurement, supply chain and department unification.

As part of the Save Energy Now program, Ingersoll Rand is working with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to identify auditing tools for specific systems in order to reduce employee volunteer requirements from other plants and to increase the capabilities at smaller sites to manage their own energy use. The tools are expected to roll-out during the next six months.

Ingersoll Rand’s approach focuses on the business case for energy-efficiency projects, including identifying initial capital costs, the rate of return and other technical considerations. This strategy has helped the company overcome two of the biggest barriers of energy-efficiency implementation: visibility and corporate support.

While Ingersoll Rand operates under traditional industry payback standards for viable energy-efficiency projects, financial incentives from a utility or other funding source can allow for project approvals that have a longer payback, says the DOE.

Ingersoll Rand’s demand-side energy management strategy includes using energy monitoring tools, sub-metering of energy use, and performing audits and trainings. The company also will evaluate any opportunities to use renewable energy or implement energy standards for equipment and processes.

EL has reported on Ingersoll Rand’s 2008 sustainability report.

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