Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Industrial Sector Report: Market Assessment & Recommended Strategies to Accelerate Energy Efficiency

Of the four major energy-consuming sectors of the United States economy—residential buildings, commercial buildings, industrial, and transportation—the industrial sector consumes the largest amount of energy. The industrial sector is responsible for approximately 31 percent of total energy use, or 30.5 quads. This report seeks to characterize the current industrial market for the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region, identify barriers keeping manufacturing facilities from participating in energy management efforts, and offer recommendations for furthering strategies that accelerate adoption of energy efficiency in the industrial sector throughout the region.
The industrial sector is comprised of several different sub-industries (i.e. manufacturing, agriculture, mining, etc.). For the purposes of this report, we focus on the status and opportunities related to manufacturing facilities only. This subsector better aligns with the existing energy efficiency infrastructure that the region has developed for electricity and natural gas.
The total number of manufacturing plants in the region reaches over 69,000. This represents 19.9 percent of the number of facilities in the entire United States, which stands at 346,915. Out of the industrial sector’s 30.5 quad btu, manufacturing facilities total 18.8 quad btu, or 61% of the entire sector. Included in that energy portfolio, the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic manufacturing sector consumed over 74.3 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and over 425 billion cubic feet of natural gas in 2010. This energy comes at a cost to manufacturing businesses of nearly $16.9 billion.
The strategies presented, while likely to be impactful for individual states and programs, will be more successful and in a shorter timeframe if coordinated regionally. In addition, a regional approach can leverage the collective experiences of a working group to facilitate knowledge transfers, identify best practices, share the cost and risk of new approaches, and scale-up through combined efforts to achieve long term market transformation of the industrial sector. Ultimately, the incorporation of SEM, and its associated benefits, into programs would complement the successes seen in other industrial programs. NEEP invites regional efficiency programs, the industrial sector and other market interests to work together with NEEP and fellow regional market actors to transform the industrial sector in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region.


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