The Business Value of Superior Energy Performance
Industrial facilities participating in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (US DOE) Superior Energy Performance (SEP) program are finding that it provides them with significant business value. This value starts with the implementation of ISO 50001-Energy management system standard, which provides an internationally-relevant framework for integration of energy management into an organization’s business processes. The resulting structure emphasizes effective use of available data and supports continual improvement of energy performance. International relevance is particularly important for companies with a global presence or trading interests, providing them with access to supporting ISO standards and a growing body of certified companies representing the collective knowledge of communities of practice. This paper examines the business value of SEP, a voluntary program that builds on ISO 50001, inviting industry to demonstrate an even greater commitment through third-party verification of energy performance improvement to a specified level of achievement. Information from 28 facilities that have already achieved SEP certification will illustrate key findings concerning both the value and the challenges from SEP/ISO 50001 implementation. These include the facilities’ experience with implementation, internal and external value of third-party verification of energy performance improvement; attractive payback periods and the importance of SEP tools and guidance. US DOE is working to bring the program to scale, including the Enterprise-Wide Accelerator (SEP for multiple facilities in a company), the Ratepayer-Funded Program Accelerator (supporting tools for utilities and program administrators to include SEP in their program offerings), and expansion of the program to other sectors and industry supply chains.