Toolkit: Industrial Ratepayer-Funded Superior Energy Performance (SEP)

The Industrial Superior Energy Performance® (SEP™) Accelerator is designed to demonstrate the cost savings by implementing SEP enterprise-wide, as well as to demonstrate strategic energy management through SEP as an effective ratepayer-funded energy efficiency program offering for industrial facilities.  SEP certifies industrial facilities that achieve improved energy performance and implement an energy management system that meets the ISO 50001 global energy management system standard. Facilities certified to SEP will become leaders in energy management and productivity improvement. The facilities in SEP have met the ISO 50001 standard and have improved their energy performance up to 25% over three years or up to 40% over 10 years.

SEP provides guidance, tools, and protocols to drive deeper, more sustained savings from ISO 50001. An independent third party audits each facility to verify its achievements and qualify it at the Silver, Gold, or Platinum level based on energy performance improvement. This certification emphasizes measureable savings through a transparent process. SEP-certified facilities will note that investing the extra effort in SEP—beyond ISO 50001—provides a healthy return on investment. Cost-benefit assessments find that SEP helps a wide range of facilities and large energy users.

Given the significant energy reduction potential that energy management systems such as SEP can generate, successful implementation is in the interest of utilities and program administrators (PAs). The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has developed the following guides and tools to support utilities and PAs in deploying SEP through energy efficiency program initiatives.

    The Program Planning Guide provides utilities and PAs with a step-by-step method to implement effective program plans and reports for their SEP offerings.  
    The SEP Presentation Materials include three introduction slide decks providing an overview of ISO 50001 and SEP. The slide decks are tailored to unique audiences including customers, participants, utilities and PAs.  Utilities and PAs can modify these presentations to address the unique characteristics of their audiences and can present them at conferences, meetings or training workshops. The presentations are suitable for outreach activities and will increase awareness of energy management; SEP Overview SlidesSEP PA Audience SlidesSEP Ratepayer Customer Slides
    The Program Planning Template is a Microsoft Excel-based form designed to facilitate utilities’ and PAs’ development of SEP offerings and to provide them with a means of communicating with DOE about their SEP programs. Together with the SEP Guide for the Development of Energy Efficiency Program Plans, the Program Planning Template workbook provides guidance regarding what information to include in program plans and reports. The Program Planning Template, used in conjunction with the Cost Effectiveness Screening Tool (“Screening Tool”), allows utilities and PAs to combine unique facilities into groups and annual cohorts.
    The Screening Tool allows interested utilities and PAs to estimate the expected benefits and costs of SEP projects for their own jurisdiction based on data obtained from DOE’s SEP program experience and other sources. ​User inputs include energy consumption of the target utilities, incentives, and avoided costs. Outputs are presented in a way that is useful for a state regulatory filing for a new energy efficiency program pursuing SEP projects.
    The Program Transition Tables provide information concerning the level of effort required to move from a traditional, industrial incentive program to Strategic Energy Management, ISO 50001, or SEP.


Commercial, Industrial, Utility


Partnering with my utility, Getting access to data and information, Identifying or evaluating energy-saving technologies

Tool type:

Energy Management Guides