Funding Available to Control Energy Costs to Competitively Position Company

Renewable energy, green building, and sustainable design largely require initial capital expenditures that may exceed available resources of businesses just trying to survive this challenging economy. What options are available to businesses that do not require significant capital outlays and provide the opportunity to significantly control energy costs thereby gaining profits and positioning your company competitively?

This summer, the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest held a conference in Southfield, Michigan, on industrial energy efficiency featuring German and US industry and policy experts. One of the experts is a mechanical engineer from the University of Michigan who heads up the Industrial Assessment Center (IAC), one of thirty such centers in the nation. The U-M Industrial Assessment Center conducts, at no-charge, confidential assessments of manufacturing plants, the results of which are used to provide the business owner with solid suggestions on ways to reduce utility costs and eliminate waste throughout the manufacturing process. Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy. "There are no costs whatsoever for the company and there are no hidden strings attached," said Arvind Atreya, director of the U-M center and professor of mechanical engineering.

According to the Department of Energy, the average cost savings per plant that implements the recommendation of an IAC audit is $40,000 per year. The cost of recommended renovations or new equipment is recovered, on average, in 18 months.

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