Industrial Facility Energy Use Reductions
June 2021 --
Where to Start?
In the March Supplier Wire, we discussed Setting Meaningful Energy Reduction Goals. This time we focus our attention on strategies to reduce energy use to meet those goals.
Meeting goals beings with assessing performance and identifying opportunities to reduce energy use in facilities. We recommend the ENERGY STAR Guidelines for Energy Management if you are looking for guidance on how to get started.
The first step to reducing energy use—after making a commitment to improve—is to gather and track data. In addition to some more sophisticated tracking efforts, at Lockheed Martin we track each site’s monthly energy bills in a central system. Larger sites with higher energy use likely present the most scalable opportunities, so we rank sites by energy consumption and observe and benchmark how site energy use changes over time. For details, refer to our December 2020 article about developing an energy usage baseline.
Identifying energy efficiency projects at the most energy-intense facilities is a common strategy and may take several forms. For example, ENERGY STAR Treasure Hunts are cost-free assessments that identify low- and no-cost easy-fix opportunities. Following the “Treasure Hunt” format, you can add a licensed energy engineer to identify more technical and capital projects.
Replacing outdated and inefficient fluorescent lights, which are still common in industrial spaces, typically offers a payback around the two-year mark. Retro-commissioning – essentially a building tune-up – is another relatively low-cost opportunity and a good place to start. The costs avoided through these “low hanging fruit” strategies can justify investments in additional projects to improve the building envelope and heating and cooling systems. This ENERGY STAR resource explains the technical stages of upgrading buildings while the Department Of Energy (DOE) Better Plants program offers numerous helpful resources and toolkits, like this one for LED lighting.
After identifying energy efficiency projects, Lockheed Martin follows a Plan-Do-Check-Act framework internally, creating a written plan and timeline for making improvements and following up on the results. And efforts are ongoing; rolling three year strategic and annual tactical plans for identifying and implementing projects keep our energy reduction strategy front and center. We are sharing our internal approach to provide insights on possible approaches to consider – not to drive any contractual requirements.
In 2020, Lockheed Martin implemented 64 energy efficiency projects and compared to energy costs in 2016, we saved $25 million. See our Year End Report and Sustainability Report for more detailed information about our achievements and strategy.