A new program by Xcel Energy, a utility supplier of electricity and natural gas to eight Western and Midwestern states, is racking up serious energy efficiency gains by targeting some of the biggest energy users around – large industrial customers.
The Process Efficiency program analyzes customers’ total energy use – from manufacturing equipment to HVAC and lighting – and creates a custom plan to help them save on energy costs.
The initiative won the 2011 Inspiring Efficiency Marketing Award. Now that the application process is open for the 2012 awards, MEEA thought it would be interesting to check back in and get an update on the program.
Process Efficiency continues to grow in popularity, and Xcel Energy has focused on increasing its customer base as well as using new technology to drive even deeper energy savings to its current clientele.
The program launched in 2007, and by the end of this year is on target to have saved more than 170 GWh in electrical usage and 325,000 Dekatherms in natural gas.
“Winning an award from an organization like MEEA gave increased exposure and validation to our efforts,” said Tami Gunderson, Xcel Energy Product Manager.
Not only did the recognition help raise the profile of the program, but according to Tami it also identified some potential best practices for others in the industry.
After winning the IEA, Xcel Energy received calls from several vendors and fellow utilities interested in implementing their own industrial EE programs.
Xcel Energy was also recognized in July by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for its portfolio of industrial programs.
“MEEA’s award gave us great momentum to start out 2011,” Tami said.
Given the success of Process Efficiency, Xcel Energy is now working on developing a similar program for use in the commercial market.
According to Tami, more and more retailers are looking for their supply chains to be ISO-50001-certified, which will lead to an increased demand for EE programs.
“There’s a growing realization that operating in an environmentally responsible manner drives cost reductions as well as environmental benefits,” said Tami.