Penn State’s Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program (PennTAP), an official Department of Energy (DOE) 50001 Ready Partner, offers U.S. based manufacturers the opportunity to participate in a free year-long PA Industrial Energy Readiness (PIER) Program, a DOE 50001 Ready Cohort. The inaugural PIER Program came to a close this year.
Over the course of the program, manufacturers from five different company sites received training using DOE-developed resources to support their organization as they pursued their energy management path. Building an energy management system allows manufacturers to continuously lower energy use by efficiently managing and improving energy performance and delivering significant energy savings.
ISO 50001 is the industry standard for improving the way a company approaches energy management, however achieving ISO 50001 certification can be costly – the 50001 Ready program provides all the same benefits without the certification expense.
JLG, one of the participating companies, is a leading manufacturer of lift equipment, including aerial lifts, boom lifts, scissor lifts, telehandlers and low-level access lifts. They have over 50 locations and employ thousands internationally.
“We came into the program wanting to save energy,” said Jason Grentus, senior environmental manager for JLG. “We decided to go through the program with our McConnellsburg site – it is our biggest energy user in North America, so if we can reduce energy consumption there, it would make the biggest difference. It’s not just about selling more widgets – we want a better community for our employees to live and work in.”
The cohort program includes approximately nine months of programming plus continuous support from national ISO 50001 experts delivered via monthly cohort group training webinars, monthly virtual one-on-one coaching sessions with each site, on-demand guidance on the use of 50001 Ready tools and resources, and opportunities for peer-to-peer learning. Upon completion of the 50001 Ready program, manufacturers will receive recognition from the DOE.
The next cohort launches in spring 2023 – manufacturers interested in entering the program should submit an entry form or contact their regional PennTAP technical advisor.
“It was heartening to understand that JLG is not alone,” Grentus said. “There are tons of other companies that are going through this. Completing this program opened doors to opportunities we didn’t even realize we wanted in on – JLG was asked to present on a panel at the Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit, and now JLG is being nominated for a Better Project and Better Practice Award. We want to push ourselves to keep on achieving and, if possible, surpassing our goals.”
According to a manufacturing case study from the DOE, on average, participants in the PIER Program will see a 12% reduction in energy costs within 15 months of initial implementation, as well as energy performance improvements of 5.6% to 30.6% over three years. The program also provides free consulting services that would normally cost manufacturers $50,000 to $60,000.
“The program isn’t about coming up with solutions, it’s about creating a roadmap for future progress with a focus on continuous improvement and energy management,” said PennTAP Technical Advisor Alanna Colvin. “It’s about discovery, investigation, and developing an energy culture. It’s very hands on – the cohort encourages participants to develop material, reflect on their current practices, and enhance their metrics. It’s a customizable program designed to fit every participant’s needs.”
The Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program (PennTAP) at Penn State is a federal, state and University partnership to stimulate statewide economic development. PennTAP helps organizations maximize their competitiveness through in-person consultations, unbiased technical advice, and connections to Penn State experts, resources, and programs.