Manufacturing Competitiveness Through Better Plants

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings, Better Plants Program and Challenge helps secure American innovation and manufacturing competitiveness. Better Plants partners are reducing energy costs to strengthen their productivity, create jobs, and increase their resiliency. Partners represent roughly 12 percent of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint and 13 percent of total commercial building space and have reported estimated cumulative energy cost savings of $4.2 billion over the last seven years.

DOE study shows industrial energy efficiency savings potential on the order of 7,500 TBtu between 2016 and 2035, or the rough equivalent of $35 billion at current energy prices. Wisconsin companies are realizing these savings. In 2018, UW Health achieved 24 percent energy reduction from a 2013 baseline for 4.7 million square feet of buildings, exceeding its 20 percent goal. At UW Hospital specifically, they achieved a 25 percent annual energy reduction each of three years with a payback of less than one year. UW Health partnered with Focus on Energy’s retro-commissioning program and hired Sustainable Engineering Group (now HGA), see case study. In 2017, Harley Davidson achieved a 30 percent decrease in energy consumption and Johnson Controls met its 26 percent energy reduction goal in 7 years.