32 Companies Sign Pledge to Reduce Energy Intensity by 25 Percent
WASHINGTON, DC - Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today the launch of the Save Energy Now® LEADER Program, which will provide technical assistance and resources to companies that pledge significant improvements in industrial energy efficiency. At an event this afternoon, 32 companies representing a broad spectrum of the U.S. industrial sector will join with DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Cathy Zoi to sign a voluntary pledge to reduce their industrial energy intensity by 25 percent over the next decade.
"These companies' commitments to energy efficiency not only generate significant energy and carbon savings, but also show the entire business community the profitable steps that can be taken to move us all toward a clean energy future," said Secretary Chu. "Working together with American manufacturers, we will leverage the potential of energy efficiency to create new jobs, make our economy more competitive, and reduce carbon pollution."
The U.S. industrial sector accounts for more than 18 million jobs in the United States, as well as nearly 30 percent of the energy used nationwide and 27 percent of the country's carbon emissions. The Obama Administration has made major commitments to improving energy efficiency as a path toward enhancing our energy security and strengthening the American economy, including more than $250 million in Recovery Act investments to improve the efficiency of the industrial and information technology sectors.
The LEADER program is a new component of the existing and successful Save Energy Now initiative through which companies partner with DOE to conduct energy audits and assessments designed to identify the opportunities for energy and cost savings in the companies' operations. Participating businesses also have access to tools and training to implement recommendations designed to help reduce their energy use and lower operating costs. Over 2,000 plants received energy assessments through Save Energy Now from 2006 to 2009. To date, those assessments have identified opportunities for $1.3 billion in identified cost savings, 119 trillion Btu of natural gas savings, and 11.2 million metric tons of CO2 savings.
The 32 LEADER Companies marked their commitment to the 25 percent energy intensity reduction goal by signing a voluntary pledge at the event. These charter member companies agreed to establish energy use and energy intensity baselines, and develop an energy management plan over the next 12 months. As indicated by the special "LEADER" designation, these companies are more than just first actors on the path to greater energy efficiency; they are coming forward to serve as actual role models and pace setters on an ongoing basis for others in the industrial sector. In return, the companies will receive access to select DOE resources, as well as national recognition for energy management achievements.