Benchmarking energy

Published 19 October 2016

Benchmarking plant energy performance enables identification of where a plant is positioned vis-a-vis the target performance and how far it must go to improve and achieve enhanced energy savings. In the US the Environmental Protection Agency provides such a benchmark with its ENERGY STAR programme. By Elizabeth Dutrow and Walt Tunnessen, US Environmental Protection Agency, and Bhaskar Dusi, Cemex USA.

Figure 1: an ENERGY STAR flag (at the bottom) displayed on a US cement plant

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enabled an advanced form of energy performance benchmarking for US cement plants when it released the first energy star cement plant energy performance indicator (EPI) in the early 2000s.

The country’s cement industry has improved the energy performance of its plants, as shown by the number that have achieved ENERGY STAR certification, an indication that a plant’s energy performance is within the top quartile of energy performance for the industry. Since certification was first offered to the cement industry in 2006, EPA has issued 51 cement plant certifications. Only three plants – Clinchfield (GA), Clarkdale (AZ) and Roanoke Cement in Troutville (VA) – have maintained continuous certification of energy performance since 2007. In 2015, the most recent full year of certification, 28 cement plants earned the distinction.

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