Energy Efficiency Can Help Counties Comply With EPA Smog Rules while Helping Industry Save Money, Boost Productivity

Release Date: Thursday, July 15, 2004

Energy-efficient manufacturing practices that protect the bottom line can take the sting out of complying with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new smog rules, the Alliance to Save Energy said today. Under new classifications recently issued by EPA and set to become effective June 15, a large number of states and communities will be required to take measures to reduce ground-level ozone (smog).

“The good news for the 474 counties in 31 states that failed to meet EPA's tougher air quality standards – and for the industries within their borders – is that energy efficiency can actually boost profitability and productivity while cutting fuel waste and emissions,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “Many efficiency measures actually pay for themselves in a matter of months. What begins as emissions compliance can improve competitiveness and help save jobs.

“Industrial activities represent a significant source of ozone. More than one-half of the fossil fuel consumed within this sector is used to generate steam for manufacturing processes” noted Callahan. “Making steam systems more efficient will reduce ozone-forming emissions while also saving energy and money.”

The U.S. Department of Energy's Industrial Technologies Program has developed a wealth of efficiency guidance materials to help counties meet air quality compliance deadlines, which loom as early as 2007. Many manufacturing plants are eligible for free DOE-sponsored energy audits that identify potential fuel and cost savings. In addition, plant managers can use DOE's diagnostic software and tip sheets to prioritize and implement cost-effective energy-efficiency improvements, and training is available to improve manufacturing staff's technical skills.

The Alliance to Save Energy 's website provides steam efficiency resources and contact information for industry. State, county, and trade association officials may also review suggestions for promoting business-smart emissions compliance strategies.