Unlocking Industrial Energy Efficiency Through Optimized Energy Management Systems
December 03, 2019
Energy Research and Development (500)
Electric Program Investment Charge - EPIC
Michael Greenstone, Christopher Knittel, Catherine Wolfram, Andrew Campbell, Karen Notsund, Kathy Nagel
The industrial sector in California is a significant part of the economy, accounting for almost 11 percent of total gross state product. Historically, industrial facilities have paid little attention to electricity consumption, despite consuming around 25 percent of total energy consumption in 2017. Moreover, publicly funded energy efficiency measures have focused mainly on residential and commercial customers. The E2e Project—a joint research initiative of the University of California, Berkeley; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and the University of Chicago—used a precommercial industrial energy management system developed by Lightapp, Inc., which has an office in San Mateo, California, to optimize the energy use of compressed air systems. The Lightapp energy management system collected and analyzed data from sensors placed at key locations within the manufacturing process at 102 industrial facilities. The EMS provided real-time data to facility personnel and customized recommendations on how to reduce energy use and optimize equipment performance. Annualized energy cost savings are estimated to be $812,000, and greenhouse gas reductions estimated to be 1,500 tons for the facilities analyzed. The industrial customer demand for this type of software-based EMS was high, with 22 percent of all eligible sites agreeing to join the project and 41 percent of all project participants opting to subscribe to the EMS services after the end of the project. If applied to compressed air systems across Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric’s industrial sectors, investor-owned utility ratepayers could save $16 million annually.