Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy


Industrial Assessment Center

Through the U.S. Department of Energy's Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) program, we provide no-cost energy and resource assessments for small to midsized manufacturing facilities in New England. Assessments are conducted by engineering students under the leadership of IAC Director Dr. Beka Kosanovic. Our team reviews your utility bills and conducts a site visit, and then we provide a confidential report recommending cost-effective measures to improve energy efficiency, reduce pollution and waste, and lower operating costs in your facility.

We are one of 24 IACs located at universities around the country. For more information on the IAC program or centers in other areas, visit DOE's website.

Eligibility

If your facility meets these criteria, set by DOE, you may be eligible for a no-cost industrial assessment:
  • Within Standard Industrial Codes (SIC) 20-39
  • Located within approximately 150 miles of UMass Amherst
  • Gross annual sales below $100 million
  • Fewer than 500 employees at the plant site
  • Annual energy bills more than $100,000 and less than $2.5 million
  • No professional in-house staff to perform the assessment

Assessment Process

After confirming a client's eligibility for a no-cost assessment, IAC staff requests the following information from plant personnel:
In advance of our site visit, we analyze the utility bills to identify trends, peaks in usage, and key areas to review on site. The site visit begins with a meeting and tour with plant personnel, such as an engineering or facilities manager. We ask them to describe plant operation, processes, equipment, key areas of interest, and goals for the assessment. Then on the facility tour, plant personnel walk us through the manufacturing process and flow of materials, while our team notes areas that may have energy efficiency or waste reduction potential. The IAC team then returns to specific equipment and processes to collect additional details and data. We bring extensive metering equipment to measure operating characteristics such as electricity use, combustion efficiency, power factor, air flow, process temperature, ambient temperature, and light levels. We conclude our site visit with another brief meeting with plant personnel to discuss our findings so far and outline potential recommendations. Our team typically spends one day on site, but two days may be scheduled for certain facilities. After the site visit, our engineers research and analyze both technical and financial factors for each recommendation, and then develop estimates for implementation cost and annual cost savings.

Assessment Report

Within two months after our site visit, we send a detailed assessment report to clients. The report describes each recommendation, including estimates for annual energy and cost savings, emissions reductions, implementation cost, and simple payback period. Recommendations may include modification or replacement of equipment, updates to maintenance procedures, or adjustments to operating schedules. The report also includes background information on plant operation, major equipment, energy costs, and usage patterns.

Follow-up

The IAC team follows up with clients within six months after delivering the assessment report. We ask which recommendations have been implemented, which are still under consideration, and the reasons for not implementing the remaining recommendations. For recommendations that have been implemented, we ask for the actual implementation cost and any available data or projections on savings. This information is critical for DOE to track the results of the IAC program, as well as to inform and improve our center's future work.

Confidentiality

We understand the sensitive nature of some information collected for our assessment, and we are careful to maintain our clients' privacy. The raw data collected on site and full assessment report are confidential.

Each IAC is required to annually submit a list of clients to the Department of Energy for internal use. We also submit assessment recommendation data, without company name or location, to the IAC field management team at Rutgers University, which enters selected information on each assessment into the IAC Database.

We may ask some clients to participate in case studies to promote the IAC program and highlight the company's efforts to improve their efficiency. We will only publish identifying details such as company name and location with the client's written permission.

Benefits and Success Stories

Since 1984, the UMass IAC has conducted more than 700 assessments for a wide range of manufacturing facilities across New England. On average, each of our clients has implemented more than three of our recommendations, and as a result they have reduced their annual operating costs by $33,000.

Our asessment requires a minimal time commitment from plant personnel and is provided through the U.S. Department of Energy at no cost.

Here are some of our recent success stories:

Sign Up

If your facility meets the eligibility criteria listed above, contact Dr. Beka Kosanovic to apply for an asessment: kosanovic@umass.edu, 413-545-0684