Assessing the Costs and Benefits of the Superior Energy Performance Program
Industrial companies are seeking to manage energy consumption and costs, mitigate risks associated with energy, and introduce transparency into reports of their energy performance achievements. Forty industrial facilities are participating in the U.S. DOE supported Superior Energy Performance (SEP) program in which facilities implement an energy management system based on the ISO 50001 standard, and pursue third-party verification of their energy performance improvements. SEP certification provides industrial facilities recognition for implementing a consistent, rigorous, internationally recognized business process for continually improving energy performance and achievement of established energy performance improvement targets. This paper focuses on the business value of SEP and ISO 50001, providing an assessment of the costs and benefits associated with SEP implementation at nine SEP-certified facilities across a variety of industrial sectors. These cost-benefit analyses are part of the U.S. DOE’s contribution to the Global Superior Energy Performance (GSEP) partnership, a multi-country effort to demonstrate, using facility data, that energy management system implementation enables companies to improve their energy performance with a greater return on investment than business-as-usual (BAU) activity. To examine the business value of SEP certification, interviews were conducted with SEPcertified facilities. The costs of implementing the SEP program, including internal facility staff time, are described and a marginal payback of SEP certification has been determined. Additionally, more qualitative factors with regard to the business value and challenges related to SEP and ISO 50001 implementation are summarized.