Webinar showed how to successfully engage industrial customers

May 22, 2014

Moderated by Sandy Glatt, US DOE, and staff lead for the State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEE Action), this webinar looked at industrial program design across the United States, what has worked well, and what more can be done to improve the outcomes for regulators, industry and ratepayers.

Bruce Hedman, Technical Director at IIP, provided an overview of a recently released report Industrial Energy Efficiency: Designing Effective State Programs for the Industrial Sector, and in doing so explained why inclusion of industrial customers in ratepayer programs is important to help industry be more productive, as well as to keep the costs of delivering energy resources for all customers as low as possible. Dr. Hedman said that the industrial sector has the potential to save more energy per program dollar than any other type of energy customer.

Kim Crossman, Industry and Agriculture Sector Lead at the Energy Trust of Oregon, outlined the Trust’s approach to making industrial customer participation easy and attractive. The Trust utilizes independent third party account managers who understand a broad range of industrial processes, are technology and product neutral, and provide a primary point of contact. Technical contractors are brought in on assignment to provide deep technical expertise on specific projects. Ms. Crossman explained that the Trust’s custom offering since 2004 remains a consistent source of savings, indicating that mature or longstanding customers do not experience a decline in savings. Since the Production Efficiency program began, savings have doubled, attributed largely to development and growth in a small number of more complex, custom offerings such as Strategic Energy Management (SEM). Ms. Crossman believes SEM can be a game changer and the Trust’s goal is to support SEM at 500 customer sites by 2019, scaling up from just over 100 SEM participants to date.

Wendy MacPherson, Senior Project Manager at NYSERDA, noted that her organization is on track to meet its ambitious goals for the Industrial and Process Efficiency (IPE) Program to save 800,000 MWh and 2.9 million MMBTUs by 2015. To achieve these goals, NYSERDA conducts robust research on high energy users and major energy consuming areas, and focuses on identifying key decision makers at different levels within the company, addressing “vertical needs”, and providing one-on-one interactions with customers through a single point of contact. One noteworthy feature of the IPE Program is calculating energy savings on an energy used per unit produced basis.  A manufacturing plant can add capacity and, if done in an energy efficient manor, is still eligible for program incentives. It’s a more flexible, more sophisticated way of looking at energy efficiency that support loads growth, which in turn supports economic growth and development within New York State.

Click here to download the webinar materials: webinar materials.

Click here to view a recording of the webinar: webinar recording.