Better Plants Program Information

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Plants Program is working with leading manufacturers to boost their competitiveness through improvements in energy efficiency. Manufacturing is a nexus of innovation and economic opportunity in America, accounting for 12.3 million jobs or nine percent of the workforce*.

Driving energy savings in the sector can, therefore, have a broad impact, leading to cost savings and improved global competitiveness. Better Plants works with leading manufacturers and water utilities to do just that, overcoming common barriers such as lack of senior management buy-in, limited capital budgets, and insufficient information on identifying and implementing energy efficiency opportunities. Through Better Plants, partners set a specific goal, typically to reduce energy intensity by 25% over a 10-year period across all their U.S. operations and receive support in the form of technical assistance and national recognition.
* National Association of Manufacturers, Facts About Manufacturing, https://www.nam.org/facts-about-manufacturing/.

The documents below are valuable resources that Better Plants partners and facility operators can use to learn more about the program and improve energy efficiency. 

Better Plants Overview
This two-pager provides an overview of the Better Plants Program. Over 225 leading manufacturers and public water and wastewater treatment utilities are partnering with DOE through Better Plants to improve energy efficiency, slash carbon emissions, and cut energy costs.

Challenge Partner Guide
Over 40 leading industrial organizations have stepped up to the Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge, the industrial component of the Better Buildings Challenge – a national, multi-sector energy efficiency leadership initiative.

Better Project & Better Practice Awards
Better Plants Program and Challenge are proud to announce two new recognition opportunities for partners: the Better Project and Better Practice awards. These awards honor partners’ innovative, industry-leading energy efficiency work.

Annual Data Reporting Form
Better Plants partners track and record the energy consumed by each of their facilities annually, calculate the total energy savings compared to their baseline year, and report back the data to the program.

Energy Intensity Baselining and Tracking Guidance
The Energy Intensity Baselining and Tracking Guidance document describes the steps necessary to develop an energy consumption and energy intensity baseline for industrial facilities, as well as to calculate consumption and intensity changes over time.

Supply Chain Initiative Overview
Through Better Plants, DOE is providing guidance and technical assistance to partners to help them improve energy efficiency throughout their supply chains. DOE works with partners in the supply chain initiative to encourage their suppliers to leverage Better Plants resources, and collectively set, track, and meet energy savings goals.

Engaging Supply Chains for True Energy Performance Impact
This paper from the 2015 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry highlights the supply chain-energy efficiency efforts of two Better Plants partners and the DOE's role in working with these companies and their suppliers.

Industrial Assessment Centers Overview
Since 1976, the Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs) have provided no-cost energy assessments for small and medium-sized manufacturers. Since the program's inception, more than 17,000 manufacturers have benefited from the work of the IACs.

CHP Deployment Program Overview
DOE provides combined heat and power (CHP) deployment resources and direct project-specific technical assistance to transform the U.S. market for CHP, waste heat to power, microgrids, and district energy throughout the United States. Better Plants partners are eligible for free CHP screenings.

An Update on the Implementation of ISO 50001 and the Superior Energy Performance Program at Water and Wastewater
This 2016 Industrial Energy Technology Conference (IETC) paper outlines the lessons learned by the DOE Superior Energy Performance program on the implementation of the ISO 50001 - energy management system standard for water and wastewater treatment agencies.

 

2019 Progress Update
More than 220 companies now partner with DOE in the Better Plants Program and Challenge. To date, partners have saved more than $6 billion dollars and 1.3 quadrillion Btus of energy. Almost 60 partners have met their initial energy reduction goals and many have gone on to set new goals with DOE. Twenty-two new companies joined the program this year and more than a dozen partners joined a newly launched waste pilot.

2018 Progress Update    
There are now more than 200 Better Plants partners leading the way and providing an example for their industry peers to follow; to date, partners have reported estimated cumulative energy savings of 1.06 quadrillion Btu, which translates into energy cost savings of roughly $5.3 billion.

2017 Progress Update   2016 Progress Update   2015 Progress Update 
2014 Progress Update   2013 Progress Update

In-Plant Training Overview
One of the features of Better Plants is the In-Plant Training (INPLT) workshops offered to partners. The workshops help train participants on how to identify, implement, and replicate energy-savings projects.

Field Validation and Diagnostic Equipment Program
The Better Plants Program developed the Field Validation and Diagnostic Equipment Program to help plant operation personnel access the instruments needed to evaluate equipment performance and quantify energy performance.

Water Savings Overview
The Better Buildings Challenge has expanded its energy savings program to include water savings and address the growing need to conserve this natural resource. More than thirty partners across the commercial, public, industrial, and multifamily sectors are working with DOE to track water use intensity improvements as well as share successful strategies and solutions.

Corporate Water Management Strategy for Manufacturers
This paper summarizes insights from Better Plants partners with well-developed water management programs and serves as a resource to others developing new, or seeking to improve existing, water management programs

March 2020     December 2019     September 2019     

May 2019     February 2019     December 2018     

July 2018     May 2018    March 2018

Want to learn more or request additional resources? Please contact us at BetterPlants@ee.doe.gov.