United States (Federal)

US-10:E3: Economy - Energy - Environment

Policy Description

 

E3 is an initiative that helps communities work with their manufacturing base by providing technical assistance to assess and implement energy-savings opportunities. It is focused on sustainability for small- and medium-sized  (SME) manufacturing companies.

Description

E3—Economy, Energy, and Environment—is a coordinated federal and local technical assistance initiative that helps communities work with their manufacturing base to adapt and thrive in a new business era focused on sustainability for small- and medium-sized  (SME) manufacturing companies. It was officially launched in 2010.

Joining forces with the local community, E3 provides manufacturers with customized, hands-on assessments of production processes and assists with the implementation of energy-saving projects in order to reduce energy consumption, minimize their carbon footprint, prevent pollution, increase productivity, and drive innovation. These results also benefit local communities by boosting local economies with the creation of “green jobs” and reduced environmental impacts [1].

E3 Projects are local public-private partnerships driven by the community to coordinate and target federal technical and financial resources to manufacturers. These partnerships streamline the delivery of resources to assist manufacturers in becoming more efficient, competitive and sustainable. E3 Projects include the following:

 

  • plant-specific assessments identifying prioritized opportunities to reduce costs and waste, improve productivity and efficiency and measure GHG emissions,
  • assistance for business and strategic plan adjustments to incorporate assessment recommendations,
  • tailored information on available financial resources and training; and
  • ongoing opportunities to report progress and network with others about challenges and opportunities [2].

A memorandum of understanding was signed between the federal agencies involved to coordinate, leverage upon existing activities to best support E3 projects, and to avoid redundancies or competition among related federal programs (see MoU in [1]">[3]). Federal agencies involved are:

  • US Department of Commerce (DOC)
  • US Department of Energy
  • US Department of Labor
  • US Environmental Protection Agency
  • US Small Business Administration.
  • US Department of Agriculture

Other organisations and programs involved include:

  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)
  • The Center for Corporate Climate Leadership
  • The EPA's Green Suppliers Network
  • Better Plants Program
  • Workforce Investment Boards
  • Small Business Development Centers
  • State and Local Government and Organisations.

The full range of institutions (including local) involved are represented by the following diagram:

Source: E3 website at http://www.e3.gov/about/support.html

Policy Information Expand this section for information on the key features of the policy, such as its date of introduction, categorization, main objective(s) and linkages with other policies.

Policy Categorisation

Policy Instrument Type: Information & Outreach

Position in the Pyramid

About Us

Participation: Voluntary

Period

Start Date: 2010

Policy Linkages

Supports Save Energy Now LEADER (replaced by US-4b Better Buildings, Better Plants Program) Effort Defining
Supports Better Buildings, Better Plants Effort Defining
Supports Energy Star for Industry Program Effort Defining

Agencies Responsible

Department of Energy
Department of Commerce
Environmental Protection Agency

Primary Objective: Energy

Objective

Leverage and streamline federal, state and local resources to help communities work with their manufacturing base to adapt and thrive in a new business era focused on sustainability. Specifically, E3 aims to [4]: • Help foster a smarter and more efficient green workforce. • Promotes sustainable manufacturing and growth through innovative technology. • Improve the regional economy by retaining jobs in companies that are better positioned for global competition. • Reduce environmental impacts while regaining a competitive advantage

Target Group

SMEs in the manufacturing sector. In order to start an E3 project, an interested party or organisation declares intent to take on the project lead, and to assemble the team. Lead parties or organisations eligible to apply include: • Local and municipal governments • Local or regional utility • State government agencies • State universities • Local manufacturing extension partnerships (MEPs) • Local industrial assessment centers (IACs) • Local Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) • Local Workforce Investment Boards

Driver of energy consumption or emissions affected by policy: Multiple

Implementation Information Expand this section for information on targets, monitoring, verification and enforcement regimes, and implementation requirements and tools.

Coverage

Across the US there are around 33 active projects, 1 committed, 3 under development and 16 interested. See http://www.e3.gov/ground/summaries.html

Quantitative Target? no

Target: However, E3 projects have a number of possible economic, environment and energy metrics to measure success. See http://www.e3.gov/docs/E3_metrics.pdf

Progress Monitored? yes

Verification Required? no

Enforced? no

Requirements on the Target Group

 

E3 target group consists of two main components: the interested party or organization, and SMEs in the manufacturing sector. As E3 is intended to be locally driven, the requirements for the interested party/organization and the manufacturers will depend on the scope and objective of each E3 project, although each component tends to follow general a framework in order to be successful.

The interested party/organization often initiates the project by declaring intent to conduct an E3 project. After intent is declared the interested party/organization organizes a project team, in which they often take the role of project lead. With the project team in place, the E3 team and project lead develop a project charter that outlines the project goals, communication strategy, outreach strategy, distribution responsibilities, and project schedule. The project team then engages manufacturers to find good candidates (manufacturers) for the project. 

The next step is for the E3 team and each participating manufacturing company to sign a contract and select assessment dates. Each contract includes the assessment schedule, description of assessment deliverables, and any costs incurred by the company. The contract should clearly state that the company is committing to fully participating in the E3 project and does not have any objections to the proposed schedule or the project’s scope and objectives [5].

With the contract signed the E3 team then conducts an onsite technical assessment. The common requirements of the assessment include the following steps:

  1. Establish baseline and assessment boundaries
  2. Conduct an Onsite Lean and Green Assessment, with support of E3 technical assistance, to identify sources of non-value-added time or materials, identify opportunities to increase efficiency, and develop a plan for implementing improvements.
    • Value Stream Mapping (VSM) can be used to reveal substantial opportunities to reduce costs, enhance production flow, save time, reduce inventory, and improve environmental performance.
    • Carbon footprint analysis can be done using EPA’s Simplified GHG Emissions Calculator (http://www.epa.gov/climateleadership/smallbiz/footprint.html)
  3. Conduct an Onsite Energy Assessment, performed by the university-based Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs), qualified MEP centers or other qualified local E3 team members.

Deliver a final report that summarizes and prioritizes all the recommendations gathered from the on lean, green and energy assessments and additional research [6].The process follows four phases as illustrated in the below diagram. Specific information on the steps to take within each phase can be further found at http://www.e3.gov/action/index.html

Source: E3 website at http://www.e3.gov/action/index.html

Support by Government

 

 

A large number of tools and resources are provided directly to SMEs and E3 project teams through federal agencies. These are detailed in the "Implementation Toolbox" section below.

E3 is not a federal grant program. Its projects are typically funded by leveraging existing resources. E3 teams have secured funds from project participants who have a practical interest in improving the local manufacturing sector or from federal funds already allocated and distributed to the communities.

Federal agencies, through a Memorandum of Understanding [7], agree to provide different types of existing resources [8]:

  • US Environmental Protection Agency
    • Provide training on chemical pollution prevention and toxic chemicals use reduction
    • Provide training on GHG measurement and approaches through the Climate Leaders program
    • Engage in Green Suppliers Network (GSN)
    • Provide staff for coordination and interagency collaboration
  • US Department of Commerce
    • Provide support for on-site assessments and follow up implementation activities through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and GSN programs
  • US Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office
    • Help engage the Industrial Assessment Centers in E3 on-site assessments and follow-up implementation activities
    • Work with E3 projects to identify appropriate manufacturers to join Better Buildings, Better Plants
    • Encourage use of Better Buildings, Better Plants tools in E3 projects
  • US Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration
    • Engage the state and/or local workforce investment system in E3 projects to help projects meet their workforce needs, e.g. connecting employers to local training programs and in recruitment services
  • US Small Business Administration
    • Engage its Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network to provide existing services, e.g. financial stability assessments, business counselling services
    • Provide information and lists of lending resources to help with the securing of SBA guaranteed loans.
  • US Department of Agriculture
    • Promote economic development by supporting financial and technical assistance to rural businesses, agriculture producers, and cooperatives 

 

Implementation Toolbox

 

Numerous tools and resources are provided directly to SMEs and E3 project teams. http://www.e3.gov/action/tools_materials.html

Support that is relevant during the assessment phase include:

[We recommend that users view the instructions (PDF, 1 pp, 54 KB) prior to opening and downloading. We also recommend that users save the file to their desktop before opening the file.]

Support, including financial support, that is relevant during the Support and Evaluate phase include:

 

Impacts, Costs & Benefits Expand this section to find information on policy effectiveness and efficiency.

Impact Quantitative Estimate Qualitative Estimate
Estimated effect on energy consumption or emissions N/A for the program overall but case studies and success stories can be found at http://www.e3.gov/accomplish/index.html N/A for the program overall but case studies and success stories can be found at http://www.e3.gov/accomplish/index.html
Estimated costs/benefits for industry
Estimated cost for government Unknown. Unknown
Other Benefits
General Benefits N/A for the program overall but case studies and success stories can be found at http://www.e3.gov/accomplish/index.html
Specific Benefits N/A for the program overall but case studies and success stories can be found at http://www.e3.gov/accomplish/index.html

References & Footnotes

References

[1] "E3: Economy, Energy, and Environment." NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership. .

[2] Memorandum of Understanding among the US Departments of Commerce, Energy, Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency, Small Business Administration for the Economy, Energy and Environment Initiative to Support Sustainable Manufacturing. Retrieved 24 February, 2012 at http://www.e3.gov/docs/E3_MOU_Final.pdf

[3] Memorandum of Understanding among the US Departments of Commerce, Energy, Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency, Small Business Administration for the Economy, Energy and Environment Initiative to Support Sustainable Manufacturing. Retrieved 24 February, 2012 at http://www.e3.gov/docs/E3_MOU_Final.pdf

[4] "E3: A Sustainable Growth Strategy." .

[5] E3 website. Retrieved 30 October 2012 at http://www.e3.gov/index.html

[6] "Phase 3. Conduct E3 Assessments." .

[7] Memorandum of Understanding among the US Departments of Commerce, Energy, Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency, Small Business Administration for the Economy, Energy and Environment Initiative to Support Sustainable Manufacturing. Retrieved 24 February, 2012 at http://www.e3.gov/docs/E3_MOU_Final.pdf

[8] E3 website. Retrieved 30 October 2012 at http://www.e3.gov/index.html