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The Individuals Taking Energy Action in Manufacturing Prize

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Individuals Taking Energy Action in Manufacturing (ITEAM) Prize competition seeks to identify and attract attention to a wide range of ideas and practices that are driving measurable energy savings at U.S. manufacturing plants to stimulate innovation at other facilities. Launched in 2018, the ITEAM Prize recognizes individuals who have implemented creative, specific, and innovative ideas and practices that led to measurable energy savings at their manufacturing facilities. 

Through this competition, DOE is seeking to recognize and bring attention to employees on the plant floor all around the country who not only recognize the importance of saving energy but are making it happen, strengthening their company’s competitiveness and driving cost savings in the process. By sharing successful strategies and examples of leadership, manufacturers can drive energy productivity improvements and accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient technologies. 


Terry McMichael for taking a holistic approach to improving compressed air systems at the 3M Cynthiana manufacturing plant. By ensuring that the plant employed the correct mix of compressors to minimize total horsepower needed for production, implementing efficient compressor sequencing, and pinpointing and systematically fixing air leaks, Terry’s approach saved $40,000.Mike Rogers for leading the 3M Cottage Grove manufacturing site of more than 35 buildings to ISO 50001 certification. In the first year of energy management system implementation, the Cottage Grove site decreased its energy costs by 1.5%, saving $59,000.David Turkes for completing an energy-efficient LED lighting project. By retrofitting 3,455 fixtures, the facility saved approximately 1.6 million kilowatt-hours, or roughly 30% of its annual electricity consumption.Jeff Feyen for leading a culture shift to make continuous energy improvement a part of the everyday activities at his plant. With an eye to lighting upgrades, installation of variable-frequency drives, compressed air and heating usage, and more, Jeff helped his processing plant save more than 81,000 million British thermal units, or 6% of total energy use.
Marcus Johnson for examining boiler efficiency and finding opportunities for performance improvements. By demonstrating the value of efficiency and showing how the operation and maintenance of equipment can impact energy performance, Marcus achieved significantly lower fuel consumption and a 4% improvement in the efficiency of the facility’s two large boilers.Rochelle Samuel for deploying an innovative internal compressed air initiative that engaged 22 teams across 19 sites to identify and fix compressed air leaks, as well as enable a sustainable compressed air operating and management system. The participating sites identified 837 leaks and repaired 48% of them, representing the potential for 26 gigawatt-hours and $2.5 million in annual savings.Nick Sayles for developing an onsite competition to reduce compressed air leaks. As a result, the team fixed 96 of the 100 air leaks identified over the course of the three-month competition, saving approximately $10,000 annually.George Anglin for careful tracking of energy, maintenance schedules, and production processes to identify the most energy-efficient equipment, and for implementing best practices to achieve energy reductions while maintaining quality standards. By swapping in LEDs and installing higher-efficiency HVAC systems at the plant’s medical office building, Anglin helped the plant save nearly 1.3 megawatt-hours of energy and $89,000 annually.

ITEAM prize winners receive a cash prize of $5,000 and may be recognized at the virtual Association of Energy Engineers World Energy Conference and Expo. Additionally, to facilitate the sharing of successful strategies and examples of leadership, winning ideas and practices will be highlighted on the Better Buildings Solutions Center website for the benefit of U.S. manufacturing facilities nationwide.

*Applications were evaluated on demonstrated energy savings, with additional credit being given for successful strategies to engage other workers on the manufacturing floor. Energy efficiency is contagious! Through this prize, DOE recognizes the leadership qualities of these individuals and amplifies the results of their projects in hopes that it will inspire other success stories.