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Over 80 Trillion Btus of Natural Gas Savings Found

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced that it has completed the 500th Energy Saving Assessment (ESA) at the nation's largest industrial facilities.  These assessments have helped companies identify opportunities to save over an estimated 80 trillion British Thermal Units of natural gas - roughly equivalent to the natural gas used in over one million American homes -  more than $800 million in potential energy savings.  If all of the recommendations from the assessments conducted are fully implemented by the industrial facilities, the Department estimates that 7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions will be saved annually.

"Completing the 500th assessment is a major milestone in our continued work to reduce U.S. industrial energy intensity by 25 percent, while furthering the President's commitment to improving our Nation's sustainability and competitiveness," Assistant Secretary Karsner said. "The Department remains committed to working with our industry partners to implement best practices maximize energy savings by increasing the nation's energy efficiency to enhance our energy security and address the serious challenge of global climate change."

Since 2006, teams from DOE's Save Energy Now program have visited some of the most energy-intensive manufacturing facilities to analyze the efficiency of pumps, fans, compressed air systems, and heating and steam systems.  Each assessment type uses its own software tool specifically designed to analyze and identify annual cost and energy savings. In addition, DOE's teams provide plant personnel training in the use of the DOE software tools. Training a team within a plant allows companies to replicate savings throughout other plants.  Assessments typically show savings opportunities that amount to 5 to 15 percent of a plant's total energy use - saving an average of about $1.7 million per plant annually.

The 500th assessment was conducted at the Dow Chemical Company Freeport, Texas plant. Dow Chemical participated in Save Energy Now assessments at 16 of its facilities in 2006 and 2007. Plant engineers and technicians benefited from the evaluations of various plant energy system projects. The assessments identified $31 million per year in potential savings. As of April 2008, thirteen of the Dow plants have reported to DOE that $7.7 million in savings have been implemented and another $7 million of energy savings projects are in progress.

Companies interested in accessing DOE energy saving resources can get more details on the Save Energy Now website and request brochures detailing "15 Tips to Help Your Plant Save Energy."

The 2008 Energy Saving Assessments will be selected through an on-line application process now underway.  Plants interested in applying for a 2008 assessment should visit the Save Energy Now website.  The website also offers training opportunities, software assessment tools, technical tips and publications suitable for plants of all sizes.

For tips on easy, inexpensive steps consumers can take to lower their energy bills this summer, please visit or call DOE's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Hotline at 1-877-337-3463.

Media contact(s):

Jennifer Scoggins, (202) 586-4940