How an Energy Management System can Lead to Manufacturing Government Incentives

For decades, manufacturing leaders have been seeking out and implementing practices that lessen their carbon footprint. While some of this stems from simply wanting to reduce their impact on the environment, government incentives also play a part. Last year, the United States Department of Energy announced the acquisition of over 42 million dollars to fund projects and incentives to lessen greenhouse gas emissions over the next thirty years. Because manufacturing accounts for nearly a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions in the country, efforts to become a carbon-neutral country obviously require getting manufacturers on board. The availability of new incentives is doing just that. More and more manufacturers are implementing new technologies, procedures, and equipment to lessen carbon emissions and qualify for these incentives.

Available Incentives for Innovation

The Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy allocates its manufacturing decarbonization funding to organizations making efforts to reduce carbon emissions through a variety of efforts. Manufacturers aren’t alone in taking advantage of the incentives. The DOE also allocates funding to research organizations, nonprofits, higher ed institutions, and others seeking out opportunities for innovation and greater energy efficiency. The types of innovations vary. Some are working to find better source materials that take less energy to process. Others are implementing new procedures and IT infrastructure to better monitor and control energy usage and emissions. In general, efforts tend to fall in one of two categories – the first being innovations in processes, materials, and systems. The second category includes organizations chosen specifically by the DOE to pilot new technologies in real-world settings. The end goal of carbon neutrality takes leaders paving the way within the manufacturing industry, and these incentives are one way the Department of Energy is getting manufacturing leaders on board.

IMCO’s Energy Management System

Qualifying for manufacturing incentives starts with first knowing critical consumption data. The IMCO Energy Management System (EMS) provides this data regarding usage and analytics in real-time. Not only that – owners and managers can access that data from an easy-to-navigate dashboard, including a visual breakdown of consumption per machine. Some critical KPIs the EMS provides include:

  • Total Consumption (kWh)
  • Daily Production per Consumption Ratio
  • Wasted Consumption (kWh)

Having key production data AND consumption data available in real-time means organizational leaders can make informed, data-driven decisions regarding energy usage. Additionally, they can avoid peak usage hours, control water usage, and ultimately – reduce C02 emissions. 

“What If” Scenario Analysis

One unique feature of the IMCO EMS is its “What If” scenario analysis capability. When choosing the type of energy you’ll use for key manufacturing processes, the cost is a huge deciding factor. Our EMS allows manufacturers to see hypothetical applications of different energy sources to choose the best option. For example, the software can analyze the electricity consumed (for a specific period, machine, etc.) and indicate Total Consumption (kWh) as well as the Total Cost in dollars. Then, the system can provide comparable data that represents what would happen should the manufacturer change to gas energy. Sometimes, it is difficult to think hypothetically, so this software puts it into perspective and visually compares energy options.

The What-If Analysis capability of our EMS doesn’t just aid in qualifying for incentives. It also helps manufacturers price products correctly. Accounting for energy usage and cost is crucial for ensuring a profitable pricing structure. Our EMS makes it easy to accurately allocate energy costs to specific products or product components. This information is combined with other costs of production (including the cost of raw materials, labor, etc.) to create a pricing structure that suits both consumer demand and profitability expectations.

How an EMS Helps Manufacturers Qualify for Incentives

DOE allocated funding and incentives go to organizations that can prove they are working to reduce their carbon footprint and emissions. Accurately tracking those efforts as well as their impact on emissions is a great first step for manufacturers looking to qualify for incentives. A good EMS aids in the tracking and prediction of future energy use. A better EMS provides critical real-time and projected data to help organizational leaders and decision-makers choose the best path forward, both for efficiency and working towards that carbon neutrality.

The IMCO EMS does all of the above. It allows manufacturers to balance production and avoid high consumption charges, choose the best energy source for each part of their production process, and accurately track their CO2 footprint to ensure eligibility for those incentives. Because the software integrates with the CIMAG Manufacturing Execution System, we often recommend the implementation of both solutions to really transform manufacturing operations. However, we take a customized approach to solutions, so we would love to hear about your business goals and how the solutions we offer can help achieve those.  Contact us today to learn more about energy incentives for manufacturers or simply for more information about our suite of in-house and partner software applications that can help transform your shop floor.

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