SEP Recertification at Nissan Facility Captures Significant Savings, Bringing Facility’s Cumulative Savings to $2.4 Million

May 26, 2016

You are here

Nissan’s vehicle assembly facility in Smyrna, Tennessee saved $2.4 million in annual energy costs over six years ($1.7 million in operational savings alone) by implementing an energy management system that meets the requirements of ISO 50001 and Superior Energy Performance® (SEPTM). The facility achieved SEP Silver certification initially in 2012 and recertified to SEP in 2015, earning the Platinum level. Analysis of energy performance improvement data over the six years covered by the two certification cycles shows strong, continued savings. The facility also received $1.1 million in incentives from its utility, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Findings from the SEP M&V process helped TVA’s third-party auditor verify the savings required to receive this incentive. Building upon this success, the Nissan North America is already expanding SEP across additional facilities.

Nissan case study_SEP_recertification.png
Implementing the energy management system (EnMS) and SEP for the initial certification enabled the Smyrna plant to save $938,000 in operational energy cost savings annually. Recertification captured another $748,000 in operational energy cost savings. The payback period for the initial certification process was only six weeks; costs for recertification were nearly 40% lower, decreasing the payback period to just over a month (5 weeks).

The rigor of the initial SEP certification gained the respect of Nissan’s senior management; the discipline of the EnMS and SEP imposed a sound framework for well-informed, strategic business decisions. So in its second certification cycle, the facility moved beyond exclusive reliance on operational energy savings and invested capital, resulting in another $1.6 million from capital projects. The EnMS helped to economically justify these investments. Prior to SEP, Nissan had required capital projects to show a one-year simple payback. After SEP-verified results bolstered management confidence in projected energy savings, the company approved projects with payback periods of up to three years. The EnMS also helps estimate future costs, identify savings opportunities, and analyze the return on planned energy activities. Implementing the energy management system (EnMS) and SEP for the initial certification enabled the Smyrna plant to save $938,000 in operational energy cost savings annually. Recertification captured another $748,000 in operational energy cost savings. The payback period for the initial certification process was only six weeks; costs for recertification were nearly 40% lower, decreasing the payback period to just over a month (5 weeks).

See the recently published Nissan case study for more information.

Superior Energy Performance® is a DOE-administered certification program that provides guidance, tools, and protocols for facilities that want to achieve deeper, more sustained savings from ISO 50001. SEP also complements and supports the industrial part of DOE's Better Buildings Initiative by verifying facility-level energy performance improvements and savings achieved by participants in the Better Buildings, Better Plants program. Members of the U.S. Council for Energy Efficient Manufacturing, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board developed SEP as a transparent system for certifying sustained improvements in energy performance and management practices.