The Superior Energy Performance plant certification program, currently being tested through a pilot project in Texas, was designed to give U.S. manufacturing facilities a roadmap for achieving greater energy efficiency while maintaining competitiveness.

Initiated in 2007, the program, which is a standardized approach to identifying, developing, measuring and reporting energy-efficiency improvements, is expected to contribute toward reducing the energy intensity of U.S. manufacturing plants by 25 percent in 10 years.

The voluntary, industry-designed certification program will provide companies with a coordinated package of energy-management and system-assessment standards with which to better manage their energy use and improve their energy performance. The program also offers companies a method for measuring and validating energy-efficiency improvements in their facilities. Current plans are for the first plants to be certified in 2010, and the national voluntary program to be launched in 2011.

To find out how the program works in a real plant environment, five manufacturing companies are testing the program within their facilities in Texas.

The plant certification framework includes:
  • Energy Management Standard. Provides a framework for plants to manage energy, including all aspects of procurement and use, and integrate energy efficiency into existing industrial management systems. Companies must conform to the ANSI/MSE 2000-2008 standard, which will transition to ISO 50001 once the international standard is launched.

  • System Assessment Standards. Evaluations of industrial energy systems will help uncover important opportunities to reduce energy use and improve reliability of energy systems.

  • Measurement and Verification Protocol. In line with the adage, "You are not managing what you don't measure," the protocol will help plants develop a baseline for energy use and quantify energy-saving projects.

  • Certified Practitioners. Industry professionals will be trained to help companies properly apply the energy-management and system-assessment standards, and assist applicants in assessing efficiency opportunities in energy systems and conforming to the requirements of the ISO 50001 energy management system. Candidates will undergo a rigorous qualification exam and will be required to take periodic refresher courses.

  • End-User Awareness Training. Modules will help partners create awareness of the overall program requirements, ISO 50001, system assessment standards and measurement and verification protocols.
To encourage participation across the U.S. industrial sector, the Superior Energy Performance program offers three levels of involvement, depending on the degree of data validation desired by a plant. You can choose to become a participant, partner or certified partner. To qualify for the program, plants must conform to the ANSI/MSE 2000-2008 (until development of ISO 50001) energy-management standard and meet the program’s energy-intensity targets. To encourage plants to greatly reduce their energy intensity, the program offers silver, gold and platinum designations based on higher performance levels at the partner and certified partner levels. Plants will need to re-certify every three years, based on their energy intensity performance and management system conformance.

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