Detroit Diesel Saves $815,000 per year with Platinum SEP Certification and Only a 2 Month Payback Period

February 15, 2017

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A recently published case study demonstrates the value that Superior Energy Performance® (SEP™) offers large, mature facilities manufacturing sector, and the significant monetary savings that can accompany SEP. The case study features Daimler’s Detroit Diesel Corporation facility in Detroit, MI.

To qualify for SEP. the facility used a rigorous energy management system to meet the ISO 50001 standard, tracked its energy performance improvement and had the results independently verified. The SEP energy measurement and verification process helped Detroit Diesel to quantify that they had saved an impressive $37 million in energy cost savings over 10 years. For a large manufacturing facility where the average monthly energy bill is about $1 million, these savings are important and accumulate quickly. Even as production at the facility increased by 93%, its cumulative energy performance improved 32.5%—avoiding 442,380 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the decade. This energy performance improvement earned the facility SEP Platinum certification in November 2015.

The Detroit facility’s annual energy savings, $815,000, resulted from low- to no-cost operational improvements attributable to SEP and ISO 50001. With an SEP implementation investment cost of only $129,000, Detroit Diesel’s payback period was a mere two months.

To establish a baseline of energy consumption, track energy performance, and attribute energy consumption to specific plant processes, Detroit Diesel used U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Performance Indicator (EnPI) tool. This tool is aligned with the protocol used to verify the site’s energy performance improvement as part of SEP certification. The facility was able to identify the boiler room and engineering laboratory as top energy consumers, thus top targets for significant energy performance improvement.

Detroit Diesel staff leveraged their experience with their existing ISO 14001 framework to implement the energy management system, and the facility is also already ISO 9001 certified. The previous experience with ISO standards also helped staff limit preparation time for the ISO 50001 and SEP audits.

SEP certification helped Detroit Diesel earn recognition from both its parent company, Daimler, and outside of the organization. The facility received the “Environmental Leadership Award” from Daimler and the “Michigan Green Leader Award” from the Detroit Free Press and was recognized as a Michigan Clean Corporate Citizen (C3) by the State of Michigan. ISO 50001 and SEP certification were major factors in the facility’s selection for these honors.

Detroit Diesel continues to use SEP to manage energy, track progress, validate savings, and build confidence for future investments in resource efficiency measures that can stimulate growth and create jobs. Thanks to the verified energy performance savings and resulting monetary savings from SEP certification, Detroit Diesel is more easily able to convince plant management to invest in energy efficiency, makes plant personnel more aware of their impacts on energy performance, works more closely with upper management at Daimler’s operations in Europe to improve energy operations, and is able to rely on energy data to inform decision-making.

The Detroit Diesel case study provides more information. Also view a video featuring Detroit Diesel’s success with DOE’s SEP program.

The DOE-administered Superior Energy Performance® program provides guidance, tools, and protocols for facilities that want third-party verification and certification of the energy performance improvement from ISO 50001. Members of the U.S. Council for Energy Efficient Manufacturing, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) developed SEP as a transparent system for certifying sustained improvements in energy performance and management practices.