What Is Technical Assistance and Workforce Development?
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office (IEDO) provides technical assistance and develops partnerships with industry to upskill workers and promote better energy management practices. The office’s efforts focus specifically on increasing the adoption of energy efficient practices, decarbonization technologies, energy management programs, and water and waste reduction strategies across the industrial sector.
IEDO engages directly with industry stakeholders to help lower their energy-related costs under a variety of programs. IEDO supports the development of tools and resources, connects industry with experts at DOE’s national labs, facilitates peer-to-peer learning, and helps companies directly manage their energy, water, and other resources more efficiently at no cost.
IEDO also supports workforce training and upskilling activities that prepare existing workers and attract a diverse mix of new workers to the industrial jobs of today and the future. A large, diverse, and skilled clean energy workforce will be essential in developing a strong, clean industrial sector.
Why Should Manufacturers Work with IEDO?
- No cost. All of IEDO’s technical assistance programs are free. The programs are designed to benefit manufacturers, workers and communities to improve energy and water management.
- Energy and water savings. By partnering with IEDO, companies can develop business practices or adopt technologies that reduce their energy and water footprints. Through the Water Savings Network, for example, partners have saved over 10 billion gallons of water since 2015.
- Money savings. Energy and resource savings translate directly into lower costs for manufacturers. Better Plants partners alone have saved more than $10.6 billion at more than 3,600 facilities.
What Programs Are Available?
Onsite Energy Technical Assistance
Generating and storing electricity and heat directly at their own facilities allows manufacturers to reduce peak demand charges, and gain greater control over their energy supply. Onsite generation allows facilities to mitigate fuel price risk and onsite energy storage allows industrial operations to rely on intermittent renewable energy without halting operations.
Technical assistance partnerships connect manufacturers with specialized technical assistance to identify opportunities to integrate the latest onsite energy technologies through site screenings and project installation support. Get involved.
Case Study: PepsiCo
Indianapolis Gatorade, a PepsiCo Beverages North America facility, evaluated multiple technology options to lower utility costs and reduce the site’s carbon footprint. As a result, the company installed a 3.6-megawatt combined heat and power system in 2019 representing a 36% annual reduction in carbon dioxide equivalent. The upgrade had a projected payback time of 6 years. Learn more.
Energy Management Programs
Developing an organizational culture that treats energy use as a cost-saving opportunity enhances competitiveness and lowers operating costs. DOE provides training and certification programs that help organizations develop energy management systems and equip workers with the skills necessary to monitor energy use and identify cost saving opportunities. Get involved.
Case Study: Daimler Truck North America
In 2014, Daimler Truck North America began the process of implementing an energy management system at its Detroit plant. Over the last 10 years, this platinum-certified business achieved energy savings of $37 million while nearly doubling production at a single plant alone. Learn more.
Switching to cleaner, more efficient technologies and practices can be challenging. By connecting partners with no-cost tools, resources, and peer-to-peer learning networks, DOE partners industrial organizations with national lab expertise to help overcome organizational inertia and lower the cost of adopting new technologies and practices. Get involved.
Case Study: General Mills
General Mills joined the Better Plants program with a goal of cumulative energy efficiency improvement of 20% across its facilities. Between 2012 and 2018, General Mills was able to achieve its goal and, in 2019, set even more ambitious 10-year targets. Learn more.
Industrial Technology Validation (ITV) Pilots
Adopting emerging technologies is inherently risky. To overcome these risks, DOE connects technology vendors and manufacturing facilities with national lab resources to objectively evaluate the performance of new technologies in dynamic industrial environments. Findings are shared publicly to help accelerate the adoption of emerging technologies. Get involved.
Case Study: Via Separations and Ahlstrom-Munskjö
Via Separations developed a technology that promises a significant reduction in energy requirements for producing a renewable bioenergy source known as a black liquor. Through the ITV Pilot program, Ahlstrom-Munskjö partnered with them to pilot their novel solution at an industrial facility in Mosinee, WI. Learn more.
Water Technical Assistance
Reducing water use in industrial and municipal facilities can lower costs, reduce energy use, and improve resilience in water-stressed regions. DOE connects partners with national lab expertise, software tools, and peer-to-peer learning networks to improve water use through the Better Buildings Challenge Water Savings Network. Challenge partners have saved more than 10 billion gallons of water since 2015. Get involved.
Case Study: Emory University
Atlanta, Georgia is a rapidly growing metro area with a small supply of surface water relative to its size, leading to water shortages and political disputes over water rights. Water Savings Network Partner, Emory University, located in the Atlanta metro area, developed a water reclamation system to save 400,000 gallons of water daily, decreasing potable water demand by 1/3. Learn more.