Center for Manufacturing Research

Energy Efficiency Assessments

Industrial Assessment Centers provide energy assessments at no cost to small- and medium-sized manufacturers. Assessments help manufacturers maximize energy efficiency, reduce waste, and improve productivity. Nationally, IACs typically identify more than $130,000 in potential annual savings opportunities, nearly $50,000 of which are implemented during the first year after the assessment. Over 16,000 assessments have been conducted by IACs at 28 universities across the country. Over 200 assessments have been conducted by Tennessee Tech University and the University of Memphis for facilities in Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.


The IAC program is designed for small- and medium-sized manufacturers, as defined by:

  • NAICS classification of
    • Manufacturing: 31xxxx - 33xxxx (formerly SIC codes 20xx - 39xx)
    • Agriculture: 11xxxx, excluding 111xxx (crop production), 113xxx (forestry and logging), and 114xxx (fishing, hunting, trapping)
    • Mining: 21xxxx, excluding 213xxx (mining support activities)
  • Fewer than 500 employees
  • Annual utility bills between $100,000 and $2.5 million
  • Annual gross sales under $100 million
  • No in-house energy staff to perform assessment

Exceptions to the above criteria may be made on an individual basis, subject to DOE approval.

Other requirements of participants are:

  • Allow company name and location to be listed as program participant on DOE website
  • Provide utility, sales, and employment data as requested
  • Respond to follow-up implementation survey
  • Be within 150 miles of an IAC
The Assessment Process

1. Preliminary Off-Site Review
Companies provide information on their facility's major energy-using systems and one year of utility bills

2. Plant Visit
A team of 4 - 6 engineering students and faculty visit the facility for one or two days collecting data on the operation of the equipment. A typical assessment day includes:
  • Kick off meeting with plant management, facilities personnel, and other interested parties. The IAC program and the day's itinerary are laid out and the assessment team and plant personnel discuss areas of opportunity and potential red flags.
  • Plant tour of processes and major energy-using systems
  • Data collection to identify opportunities. The team will break up into smaller groups and concentrate on specific energy systems such as compressed air, steam, pumps, process heating and cooling, HVAC, and lighting. This includes measuring temperatures, pressures, power, flow rates, and other data. During this time, plant staff may be needed to answer questions and provide information.
  • Wrap-up meeting to present preliminary findings and receive feedback from plant personnel.

3. Continued Communication
In the weeks following the visit, as the team members develop their recommendations they may call or email the plant contact person to clarify some areas and obtain additional information.

4. Report
Within two months, the plant will receive a report containing specific, detailed recommendations on ways to improve energy efficiency, including estimates of implementation cost and payback periods.

5. Ongoing Support
IAC staff is available for guidance and assistance with the implementation of the report's recommendations.

6. Follow-up
Eight to nine months after issuing the report, there is a follow-up call to find out which of our recommendations have been implemented.



Within 60 days of the assessment, the plant will receive a detailed report with specific recommendations for energy saving measures.

The IAC database is a collection of all the publicly available assessment and recommendation data. This includes information on the type of facility assessed and details of resulting recommendations. IAC Database

Case Studies:
Case studies are detailed summaries of IAC assessment success stories involving assessments and recommendations of significance. Case studies are published with the approval of the company. IAC Case Studies

Applicants will be asked to complete a detailed questionnaire describing the plant's energy-using equipment. This information enables the assessment team to better prepare for the assessment. Twelve months of bills for electric, natural gas, water, and other energy sources are required so that energy use and demand patterns and unit costs can be determined. IAC Pre-Assessment Questionnaire.

For more information, contact Michelle Davis, 931-372-6386,