Public/private sector cooperation to promote industrial energy efficiency: Allied partners and the US Department of Energy
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Public/private sector cooperation to promote industrial energy efficiency: Allied partners and the US Department of Energy


Since 1996, the US Department of Energy's Office of Industrial Technologies (USDOE) has been involved in a unique voluntary collaboration with industry called the Allied Partner program. Initially developed under the Motor Challenge program, the partnership concept continues as a central element of USDOE's BestPractices, which in 2001 integrated all of USDOE's near-term industrial program offerings including those in motors, compressed air, pump, fan, process heating and steam systems. Partnerships are sought with end use industrial companies as well as equipment suppliers and manufacturers, utilities, consultants, and state agencies that have extensive existing relationships with industrial customers. Partners are neither paid nor charged a fee for participation. Since the inception of Allied Partners, the assumption has been that these relationships could serve as the foundation for conveying a system energy-efficiency message to many more industrial facilities than could be reached through a typical government-to-end-user program model. An independent evaluation of the Motor Challenge program, reported at the last EEMODS conference, attributed US $16.9 million or nearly 67 percent of the total annual program energy savings to the efforts of Allied Partners in the first three years of operation. A recent evaluation of the Compressed Air Challenger, which grew out of the former Motor Challenger program, attribute additional energy savings from compressed air training alone at US $12.1 million per year. Since the reorganization under BestPractices, the Allied Partner program has been reshaped to extend the impact of all BestPractices program activities. This new model is more ambitious than the former Motor Challenge program concerning the level of collaborative activities negotiated with Allied Partners. This paper describes in detail two new types of program initiatives involving Allied Partners: Qualified Specialist Training and Energy Events. The Qualified Specialist activity was conceived as a way of engaging the supply side of industry, consultants, and utilities to greatly increase use of decision making software developed by USDOE to assist industrial facilities in assessing the energy efficiency of their energy-using systems. To date, USDOE has launched Qualified Specialist training with member companies of the Hydraulic Institute (HI) and with distributors and consultants associated with the Compressed Air Challenge. These activities train and qualify industry professionals to use and to train customers to use USDOE's Pumping System Assessment Tool (PSAT) and AIRMaster + software programs, respectively. The industry experts provide a public benefit by greatly increasing customer access to the software and assessment techniques. Participating Specialists anticipate a business benefit by providing a valuable service to key customers that is associated with USDOE. The Energy Event concept was developed in 2001 in cooperation with the California Energy Commission in response to the state's energy crisis and has been extended to other geographic areas during 2002. The three California events, named "Energy Solutions for California Industry," relied on Allied Partners to provide system-based solutions to industrial companies as both speakers and exhibitors. These one-day events developed a model for a serious solutions-oriented format that avoids the typical trade show atmosphere through strict exhibitor guidelines, careful screening of speaker topics, and reliance on case studies to illustrate cost- and energy-saving opportunities from applying a systems approach. Future plans to use this activity model are discussed as well as lessons learned from the California series.

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