The recently concluded 2015 Better Buildings Summit, in only its second year, had a strong and growing industrial presence. The Summit attracted more than 900 participants to Washington, DC, last month to exchange best practices, highlight demonstrated market solutions, and discuss future opportunities for greater energy efficiency in America's buildings and facilities. In addition to a comprehensive set of panel sessions, the Summit featured a dedicated industrial track and special recognition ceremony to honor Better Plants Challenge and Program Partners and Superior Energy Performance® (SEP™) participants.
Panel session topics included innovative industrial financing strategies for energy projects, strategic energy management, water saving initiatives, and utilizing combined heat and power (CHP). A diverse array of representatives from Better Plants Partners and SEP participants shared insights into their work. For example:
- 3M outlined how their SEP-certified facilities are outperforming non-SEP facilities on energy efficiency by a wide margin.
- Bridgestone discussed tapping CHP screenings by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Technical Assistance Partnerships at four facilities to help the company move forward with implementation.
- General Motors presented on using energy performance contracting to help double funding for energy conservation from $40 million to $80 million.
- Johnson Controls described how a supply chain energy efficiency program is helping identify savings of 5-10% in supplier facilities.
- Legrand detailed a recent “Energy Marathon” that led to a 15.4% reduction in electricity consumption over a 26.2 day period.
- Volvo Group revealed that free DOE Industrial Assessment Center energy audits at four facilities have uncovered close to $300,000 in savings potential with less than 18-month paybacks.
DOE also hosted a special recognition ceremony for industrial partners, with Advanced Manufacturing Office Director Mark Johnson on hand to congratulate company representatives for their energy efficiency leadership.
Three Better Plants Challenge Partners, 3M, Harbec, and Volvo Group, were called to stage and congratulated for meeting their 25% energy intensity improvement goal ahead of schedule. Better Plants Program Partner Bentley Mills was similarly honored for meeting its goal ahead of schedule, and for stepping up to the Challenge with a new goal to improve energy intensity by additional 25% improvement over ten years. Representatives of Lennox International, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, TE Connectivity, and Toyota were formally welcomed to the Better Plants Challenge, while Oshkosh Corporation was welcomed to the Better Plants Program. DOE also recognized companies for achieving SEP certification at their facilities: Coca-Cola and MedImmune for one each, Volvo Group with two, and Schneider Electric with five.
DOE is looking forward to an even more expanded industrial focus at the next Better Buildings Summit, which will be held on May 9-11, 2016, in Washington, DC. Learn more about industrial partners’ energy efficiency successes in the Better Buildings Solution Center.
Read our 5-questions interview with Walt Brockway, Alcoa at the Summit.