For several years, Tennessee Tech University's 3-Star Industrial Assessment Center, operated through TTU's Center for Manufacturing Research, has offered free assessments to small-and medium-size manufacturers. The IAC focuses on energy savings and efficiency, productivity without expending more energy, and elimination of waste and waste streams.
Recently Tennessee Tech's IAC joined the Southeast Industrial Energy Alliance, which has a multifaceted approach to helping industry reduce energy intensity. SIEA promotes an education component to ensure that energy assessment participants are given the skills to carry out this work long after the project term ends.
"We are going beyond offering initial assessments and recommendations for energy efficiency, and we are now helping companies learn sustainable energy management after we leave," said Michelle Davis, outreach coordinator of TTU's Industrial Assessment Center.
"We can assist companies who are interested in participating in the Department of Energy's Save Energy Now LEADER program, the Superior Energy Performance certification program, or the newest ISO Energy Management standard. We also offer no-cost assistance to those manufacturers simply looking to identify opportunities to reduce their utility bills," Davis said.
TTU's Center for Manufacturing Research represents Tennessee in the alliance that has set energy efficiency as a priority for the Southeast states of Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Manufacturers in these states are among the country's largest industrial consumers of energy.
"Our plants are prime candidates for reducing energy intensity and helping the U.S. lessen its dependence on foreign oil," said Glenn Cunningham, IAC director. "Improving the energy efficiency of the manufacturing plants in the Southeast will help to reduce their carbon footprints and improve their competitiveness by reducing their energy costs.