United States (Federal)

US-16:Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs)

Policy Description

IACs consist of teams of engineering faculty and students located at universities who provide no-cost energy assessments to small- and medium-sized manufacturers. IAC assessments are in-depth evaluations of a facility to examine potential savings from energy efficiency improvements, waste minimization and pollution prevention, and productivity improvements.
 

Description

 

Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs) consist of teams of engineering faculty and upper-class and graduate students located at universities who provide no-cost energy assessments to small- and medium-sized manufacturers. IAC assessments are in-depth evaluations of a facility to examine potential savings from [1]:

  • energy efficiency improvements;
  • waste minimization and pollution prevention; and
  • productivity improvements.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office sponsors the IACs program. Universities apply to host an IAC and successful applicant institutions receive DOE funding to provide assessments. The IAC program [formerly known as the Energy Analysis and Diagnostic Center (EADC) program] has offered assessments for over thirty years [2]. There are 24 IACs located at 32 universities across the United States [3].

An IAC assessment consists of an IAC team conducting a remote survey of the plant, followed by a one or two-day site visit to take engineering measurements. A detailed process analysis is then performed to generate specific recommendations with estimates of costs, performance, and payback times. Within 60 days, the plant is provided with a confidential report of the analysis, findings, and recommendations. Two to six months later, the IAC team communicates with the plant manager to verify what recommendations will be implemented [4]. Information on the assessments and recommendations are catalogued and publicly available; the database contains records from over 15,000 assessments and over 118,000 recommendations over the lifetime of the program [5].

Besides helping drive improvements in industrial energy efficiency eligible plants, the IAC program supports development of a workforce of energy engineers with real-world training [6].

Over $30 million in funding is expected to be available to IACs from 2012 to 2016 [7].

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: 1976

Policy Linkages

Supports Energy Star for Industry Program Effort Defining
Supports Better Buildings, Better Plants Effort Defining
Complements E3: Economy - Energy - Environment Supporting Measure

Agencies Responsible

Department of Energy
Environmental Protection Agency

Primary Objective: Energy

Objective

Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs) provide plant-wide industrial assessments to help small- and medium-sized manufacturers improve productivity, reduce waste, and save energy while providing engineering students at universities with real-world, hands-on training in manufacturing plants. [8]

Target Group

Eligible industrial plants include those that meet the following criteria [9] [10]: • Within Standard Industrial Codes (SIC) 20-39 (*1) • Located less than 150 miles from a participating university • Gross annual sales below $100 million • Fewer than 500 employees at the plant site • Annual energy bills between $100,000 and $2.5 million • No professional in-house staff to perform the assessment

Driver of energy consumption or emissions affected by policy: Total energy use, productivity improvements, institutional capacity.

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

Coverage

Quantitative Target? no

Progress Monitored? yes

Verification Required? yes

Enforced? no

Requirements on the Target Group

 

In addition to meeting the requirements listed under “Target Group,” key plant personnel (i.e., plant manager, energy manager, environmental personnel, and maintenance personnel) must be involved in the pre-assessment activities and collaborate with the IAC team during the site visit [11]. Following the site visit, the plant manager must verify recommendations that will be implemented [12]. The plant must also coordinate with the IAC team to provide implementation data and potentially develop a case study of the project(s) [13].

Support by Government

 

DOE provides funding to perform assessments, totaling over $30 million in anticipated funds for IACs from 2012-2016 [14]. In addition, DOE provides Best Practices tools, case studies, tip sheets, analysis of the top ten IAC recommendations [15], and access to software tools such as the Quick Plant Energy Profiler (QuickPEP) that is used to develop the plant energy profile [16].

Implementation Toolbox

 

IACs are supported by software tools provided by DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. This includes software tools such as QuickPEP, Best Practice tools, case studies, tip sheets, and analysis of the top ten IAC recommendations [17] [18]. The DOE has also provided a comprehensive guidance document to help companies sucessfully implement the recommendations coming out of an industry energy assesment [23].

Complexity of Implementation

Government

Program is moderately complex. Complexity lies in the scale of the operation, as DOE must coordinate with IACs to award funding and provide supporting software tools and other resources.

Target Group

Manufacturers can voluntarily participate in IAC assessments, but are required to be involved before, during, and after the assessment. This includes pre-assessment data collection, collaborating with the IAC team during the site visit, and follow-up action items following the assessment. After the assessment, the manufacturer is provided with an Assessment Report with analysis and recommendations. The IAC team then follows up with the plant manager to verify what recommendations will be implemented. Following implementation, the manufacturer must coordinate with the IAC team to provide implementation data and potentially develop a case study of the project(s). [19]

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 As of December 2012, a total of 54,519 recommendations have been implemented. Average implemented savings per assessment is 4,658 MMBtu or roughly $26,219 in cost savings. [20] In addition to identifying and recommending waste reduction and energy savings improvements, IACs train the next-generation of energy engineers. [21]
Estimated costs/benefits for industry Not Available Not Available
Estimated cost for government Not Available Not Available

References & Footnotes

References

[1] U.S. Department of Energy, Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs): http://www1.eere.energy.gov/manufacturing/tech_deployment/iacs.html

[2] U.S. Department of Energy, Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs): http://www1.eere.energy.gov/manufacturing/tech_deployment/iacs.html

[3] U.S. Department of Energy, What is the IAC?: http://iac.rutgers.edu/about.php

[4] U.S. Department of Energy, Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs): http://www1.eere.energy.gov/manufacturing/tech_deployment/iacs.html

[5] U.S. Department of Energy, Industrial Assessment Centers Database: http://iac.rutgers.edu/database/

[6] U.S. Department of Energy, Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs): http://www1.eere.energy.gov/manufacturing/tech_deployment/iacs.html

[7] U.S. Department of Energy, What is the IAC?: http://iac.rutgers.edu/about.php

[8] U.S. Department of Energy, IAC Top Ten: http://iac.rutgers.edu/database/topten/

[9] U.S. Department of Energy, Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs): http://www1.eere.energy.gov/manufacturing/tech_deployment/iacs.html

[10] U.S. Department of Energy, Locations of Industrial Assessment Centers: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/manufacturing/tech_deployment/iacs_locations.html

[11] U.S. Department of Energy, IAC Top Ten: http://iac.rutgers.edu/database/topten/

[12] U.S. Department of Energy, What is the IAC?: http://iac.rutgers.edu/about.php

[13] U.S. Department of Energy, IAC Top Ten: http://iac.rutgers.edu/database/topten/

[14] U.S. Department of Energy, What is the IAC?: http://iac.rutgers.edu/about.php

[15] U.S. Department of Energy, IAC Top Ten: http://iac.rutgers.edu/database/topten/

[16] U.S. Department of Energy, IAC Industrial Assessment Protocol: http://iac.rutgers.edu/protocol/

[17] U.S. Department of Energy, IAC Top Ten: http://iac.rutgers.edu/database/topten/

[18] U.S. Department of Energy, IAC Industrial Assessment Protocol: http://iac.rutgers.edu/protocol/

[19] U.S. Department of Energy, IAC Industrial Assessment Protocol: http://iac.rutgers.edu/protocol/

[20] U.S. Department of Energy, IAC Assessment Statistics: http://iac.rutgers.edu/database/statistics/?STATE=&CENTER=&YEAR_limit=%3C%3D&YEAR=2010&SIC=&NAICS=&search=Search

[21] U.S. Department of Energy, Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs): http://www1.eere.energy.gov/manufacturing/tech_deployment/iacs.html

[22] U.S. Department of Energy, IAC Industrial Classification Index (NAICS/SIC): http://iac.rutgers.edu/database/naics/

[23] U.S. Department of Energy, Guiding Principles for Successfully Implementing Industrial Energy Assessment Recommendations: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/manufacturing/pdfs/implementation_guidebook.pdf

Footnotes

(*1) The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes 20-39 align with North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes 31-33, which covers the U.S. manufacturing sector excluding construction and agriculture [22].

Other Useful Resources

DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office - Industrial Technical Assistance (PDF | 0.36mb)

US Department of Energy, 2013. A fact-sheet on how the deployment of energy efficient manufacturing technologies and practices, including strategic energy management and combined heat and power, across American industry is supported through training programs, site assessments, and standards development.