The Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) is a program funded by the US Department of Energy that enables eligible small and medium-sized manufacturers to have comprehensive industrial assessments performed at no cost. The IAC assessments assist manufacturers become more economically competitive by helping them reduce energy use, minimize waste, and increase productivity.
The Center serving most of New Hampshire is located in the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (CEERE) at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. It was established in 1984 and is nationally recognized for their work. Since being established, they have surveyed over 450 plants. More than 1900 Assessment Recommendation (AR) measures have been identified with average annual cost savings of $35,000 per year and an average simple payback of 1.2 years.
An industrial assessment is, quite simply, an in-depth assessment of a plant site including its facilities, services and manufacturing operations. The assessment involves a thorough examination of potential savings from:
- energy efficiency improvements,
- waste minimization and pollution prevention, and
- productivity improvement.
The assessment begins with the IAC team, consisting of engineering faculty and students, conducting a survey, followed by a one or two day site visit, taking engineering measurements as a basis for assessment recommendations. The team then performs a detailed analysis for specific recommendations with related estimates of costs, performance and payback times.
Within 60 days, a confidential report detailing the analysis, findings and recommendations of the team is sent to the plant. In two to six months, follow-up phone calls are placed to the plant manager to verify recommendations that will be implemented.
Examples of the documented savings to NH businesses resulting from assessments include:
- $505,300 for a paper mill with a total energy bill of $3.1 million per year. The cost to implement the ARs is $545,300 resulting in a simple payback of only 13 months for the bundled project.
- $113,745 for a textile manufacturer with a total energy bill of $1.14 million per year and targeted waste disposal costs of $50,000 per year. The annual energy and disposal cost savings can be realized with an initial investment of $149,060 resulting in a simple payback of 1.3 years.
- $117,462 for a small composite parts manufacturer. Cost reduction opportunities in this project not only included energy and waste reduction measures, they also included production and administrative efficiency measures. Implementing all recommendations would cost $121,629 resulting in a 13-month simple payback.
Who is Eligible?
In general, to be eligible for an IAC assessment, a New Hampshire facility must meet the following criteria:
- Within Standard Industrial Codes (SIC) 20-39.
- Within 150 miles of CEERE at UMASS.
- Gross annual sales below $75 million.
- Fewer than 500 employees at the plant site.
- Annual energy bills more than $100,000 and less than $2 million.
- No professional in-house staff to perform the assessment.
There is some flexibility in these requirements (for instance, meeting 5 of the 6 criteria.)
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If you have an interest in the program, please contact:
Beka Kosanovic, Ph.D.
Industrial Assessment Center
Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
University of Massachusetts
160 Governor’s Drive
Amherst, MA 01003-9265
VOICE: (413) 545-0684