SEP Successes: 7 Industrial Plants in the Southeast Make Strong Progress toward SEP Certification, Verified Energy Savings

The U.S. Council for Energy-Efficient Manufacturing (U.S. CEEM) is excited to announce that seven manufacturers in the Southeast tested and demonstrated the effectiveness of the Superior Energy Performance (SEP) program. After just 18 months Volvo Trucks’ New River Valley facility in Virginia has achieved SEP certification and as summer approaches, several other plants are close behind.

Developed in partnership with the U.S. CEEM, DOE, the EPA and the DOC, SEP is a sophisticated, plant-level energy efficiency certification program that is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). SEP provides industrial facilities and commercial buildings with a roadmap for achieving continuous improvement in energy performance and achieving transparent and verifiable energy savings while staying competitive.

“The number and types of industrial plants in the Southeast that are close to achieving SEP certification shows that the program is widely applicable and relevant to manufacturers,” said U.S. CEEM member Fred Fendt of the Dow Chemical Company.

Second Round of SEP Demonstrations

In August 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) initiated the second round of SEP demonstrations across the U.S. with 34 industrial plants. In the Southeast, seven manufacturing plants belonging to seven separate companies partnered with AMO to demonstrate the program. Participating companies include Nissan North America, Volvo Trucks, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Bridgestone America Tire Organization, Spirax Sarco, Eaton Corporation, and Schneider Electric

A central element of SEP is conformance with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) energy management standard, ISO 50001. ISO 50001 provides a common framework for industrial plants, commercial facilities, or entire organizations on how to manage energy, including all aspects of procurement and use. The standard also provides organizations and companies with technical and managerial strategies to increase energy efficiency, reduce energy costs, and improve environmental performance.

SEP demonstration participants received tailored assistance in implementing ISO 50001. Personnel from each demonstration plant were trained by staff from the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Energy and Sustainability Services group. This helped participants understand the intent of ISO 50001and more effectively apply the standard. Additionally, participants received technical assistance in applying the SEP Measurement &Verification protocol to measure and verify their plants’ energy performance improvements.

To date, one of the plants – Volvo Trucks – has already earned SEP certification, with several other plants closing in on completion.

“We are very pleased with the progress that our industrial manufacturers have made toward SEP and ISO 50001 certification,” said Bill Meffert, who manages the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Energy and Sustainability Services group and oversees the demonstration initiative. “The adoption of energy management best practices and innovations in industry and commercial buildings will help our manufacturers reduce energy use, decrease carbon emissions, and increase their competitiveness in the global marketplace. We have been honored to assist these companies through the demonstration program and look forward to their continued journey toward sustainable energy management practices.”

SEP, ISO 50001 & More

For more information about the SEP program, ISO 50001, or the Southeast energy management demonstration project, visit the Georgia Institute of Technology’s energy management site.