About SEP

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Superior Energy Performance® (SEP®) certifies industrial facilities that implement an energy management system that meets the ISO 50001 global energy management system standard and achieve improved energy performance. An independent third party audits each facility to verify achievements and qualify it for recognition at the Silver, Gold, or Platinum level, based on performance. Review how to qualify for SEP.

SEP fosters a results-oriented approach to using the ISO 50001 global energy management system standard, emphasizing measurable savings through a transparent, independent, and highly regarded verification process.

The U.S. Council for Energy-Efficient Manufacturing (U.S. CEEM)—a partnership that pools the strengths of industry, standards authorities, federal agencies, national laboratories, and technical experts—was instrumental in developing SEP. Prominent companies from a variety of manufacturing sectors helped design, test, and refine the program.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is the SEP Administrator. For questions, contact superiorenergyperformance@ee.doe.gov.

Tremendous Untapped Potential
  • The industrial sector consumes nearly one quarter of the energy in the United States, and about one third globally.

  • Substantial potential energy efficiency improvements could reduce global industrial energy demand by 26%.[1]

  • Often, energy efficiency is a secondary concern approached on a project-by-project basis that doesn’t provide sustained results.

How Superior Energy Performance Can Help
  • Drives deeper, sustained savings: Using ISO 50001 as a foundational element, SEP encourages a rigorous data-driven approach to implementing an energy management system, leading to greater energy and cost savings.

  • Provides transparent, credible record of performance: To confirm energy performance improvement achievements and conformance to ISO 50001, SEP uses only Verification Bodies accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB).

  • Equips industry with tools to capture the value of ISO 50001 and improve performance: SEP’s industry-tested tools and resources help facilities improve their energy management capabilities, whether or not they intend to pursue certification. See the Toolbox and Expertise.

  • Builds workforce capacity to help industry: An accredited credentialing program ensures that qualified experts are available to help implement an EnMS. The expertise needed combines skill sets—energy efficiency and continual business improvement—this combination is still relatively new to many companies. See become an energy management professional.

  • Broadly applicable to different sectors and sizes: Energy management and SEP are applicable to facilities of a wide range of manufacturing sectors, sizes, and energy management experience. SEP is also applicable to waste water treatment facilities.

SEP Development and History

In 2007, DOE initiated the development of SEP in partnership with the U.S. Council for Energy Efficient Manufacturing (U.S. CEEM), ANSI, and ANAB. The U.S. CEEM, primarily composed of energy managers from prominent industrial companies, provided the feedback necessary to ensure that SEP is a practical, achievable program.

Working closely with U.S. CEEM members and other forward-thinking companies, DOE tested SEP at several industrial facilities throughout the United States. The initial Texas pilot project and subsequent SEP demonstration projects provided DOE with feedback to refine SEP standards, tools, and resources, and also assess the cost-effectiveness of SEP implementation and certification.

To develop the SEP standards (ANSI/MSE 50021, ANSI/MSE 50028, and their normative references), DOE actively collaborated with standards developers in the ANSI and ANAB process.

Also, DOE funding support established professional training and certification programs to establish the skills and expertise needed to assist with ISO 50001 and SEP implementation and to conduct SEP audits.

1 International Energy Agency (IEA). 2012. Energy Management Programmes for Industry.

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