Alcoa Questionnaire Screens Capital Projects for Energy Waste

Overview

As part of its planning process for new capital projects greater than $2 million, Alcoa developed a comprehensive energy efficiency questionnaire to help employees identify opportunities for energy savings and avoid locking in energy waste when purchasing long-lived capital assets. The questionnaire covers everything from project and equipment layout to the project’s primary energy source. For example, the questionnaire asks if equipment is arranged to minimize energy use based on several metrics, including if it utilizes gravity instead of pumping and whether it uses outside air for cooling. Based on questionnaire responses, employees are tasked with identifying the specific aspects of the proposed project that can benefit from energy efficiency improvements. Employees then develop an “Energy Efficiency Alternative” to the original project proposal which incorporates the identified improvement opportunities, while also providing life cycle cost analysis. Finally, a decision whether or not to choose the energy efficiency alternative is made, considering factors such as capital cost and to what extent it meets sustainability goals. Even if the alternative is not selected, cost estimates are developed and made available for future energy efficiency cost comparisons and the specific reasons for why the less energy efficient project was chosen must be detailed. 

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Sector:

Industrial

Barrier:

Engaging employees, occupants, and customers

Tool type:

Questionnaire

Building Type:

Steel, aluminum & other primary metals

Capabilities (features/core functions)

Analyze trends in the operational, physical, and energy performance characteristics of hundreds of thousands of commercial, residential, and multifamily buildings, and compare buildings based on different variables.