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Individuals Taking Energy Action in Manufacturing (ITEAM): Energy efficiency is contagious

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Posted November 23, 2018

Share your best ideas and practices for generating measurable energy savings at U.S. manufacturing facilities

Manufacturing is important for America’s prosperity. It is estimated that for every dollar spent in U.S. manufacturing, another $1.89 is added to the economy; the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector. Manufacturing accounts for millions of jobs and about 12% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.

With all that economic activity, the industrial sector accounted for about one-third of total U.S. energy consumption in 20173. Making smart energy investments will enhance our nation’s security, productivity, and energy independence. For manufacturers, every dollar saved allows for investment in production, facilities, and jobs that ultimately makes U.S. companies more competitive and resilient. Improving the energy performance of manufacturing facilities has a broad impact; savings from reduced operating expenses can be reinvested in technology upgrades and new jobs.

Wind power plants.

Wind power plants. Image credit: Oimheidi via Pixabay, CC0 Creative Commons

Finding ways to cut costs through energy savings seems like an obvious strategy; however, many times these opportunities go unrealized due to competing demands for capital, plant personnel, lack of information, or lack of attention/prioritization.

Nevertheless, all across America, manufacturers are showing real leadership, stepping up as champions of energy savings and sustainability. The success of these efforts do not happen without strong leadership from individuals working in the manufacturing facilities, who step up to recognize and implement energy saving opportunities, and who find innovative approaches to push through barriers they encounter along the way.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Individuals Taking Energy Action in Manufacturing (ITEAM) Prize competition seeks to identify and attract attention to a wide range of ideas and practices that are driving measureable energy savings at U.S. manufacturing plants to stimulate innovation at other facilities. To do so, DOE is launching the ITEAM Prize competition as a means to:

(1) Find individuals who were responsible for creative, specific, and innovative ideas and practices that led to significant, measurable energy savings at their manufacturing facilities; and

(2) Encourage those individuals to widely share their ideas and practices for the benefit of U.S. Manufacturing facilities nationwide.

Through the ITEAM Prize competition, DOE is seeking the ideas and best practices from employees on the plant floor all around the country who not only recognize the importance of saving energy but are making it happen, strengthening their company’s competitiveness and driving cost savings in the process. By sharing successful strategies and examples of leadership, more manufacturers can drive energy productivity improvements and accelerate the adoption of energy efficient technologies.

Q&A

1. The application deadline is 6 months from now.  Is there any advantage to submitting an application now?

No.

2. Can I nominate the leader of our Waco Green Team, that was just recognized for a Better Project Award?

Recognition for a Better Project Award does not impact eligibility under the ITEAM Prize competition. DOE does not make eligibility determinations prior to receiving a complete submission. Participants should view the prize rules and assess whether their submission meets the eligibility requirements.

Individuals may submit an entry on their own behalf. DOE will also accept an entry from a U.S. manufacturing facility that identifies an individual employee taking energy action at its manufacturing facility. However the prize itself will only be issued to the individual responsible for the winning ideas and practices that led to significant, measurable energy savings at the manufacturing facility, and not to the manufacturing facility.

3. Can we submit multiple applications (i.e. individuals from multiple facilities)?

Yes.

4. Can the cash prize be given to our company foundation instead of the individual?

Individuals may submit an entry on their own behalf. DOE will also accept an entry from a U.S. manufacturing facility that identifies an individual employee taking energy action at its manufacturing facility. However the prize itself will only be issued to the individual responsible for the winning ideas and practices that led to significant, measurable energy savings at the manufacturing facility, and not to the manufacturing facility.

Source: Challenge.gov

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