The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $60 million in funding for its largest-ever cohort of university-based Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs), which assist small- and medium-sized manufacturers in reducing their carbon emissions and lowering energy costs, while training the next generation of energy-efficiency workers. The groundbreaking investment will help remove barriers to decarbonization across the manufacturing sector and advance the Biden Administration’s goal of achieving a clean energy economy.
“America’s best and brightest university students are successfully helping local manufacturers reduce pollution, save energy, and cut their electricity bills,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “DOE’s university-based Industrial Assessment Centers are assisting small- and medium-sized businesses – particularly those in disadvantaged and underrepresented communities – in the transition to a clean energy economy, building the next-generation energy workforce, and propelling America toward a carbon-free future by 2050.”
This new cohort of IACs at 32 universities will focus on improving productivity, enhancing cybersecurity, promoting resiliency planning, and providing trainings to entities located in disadvantaged communities. The cohort will also engage in a new pilot project to expand to the commercial building market. As part of the pilot, selected IACs will partner with community colleges and technical programs to train diverse students and professionals to conduct energy-efficiency assessments of small to medium-sized buildings, including those located in disadvantaged communities.
To date, the IACs program, one of DOE’s longest-running programs managed by the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), has provided nearly 20,000 no-cost assessments for small- and medium-sized manufacturers and more than 147,000 recommendations for improvement measures. Assessments typically identify more than $130,000 in potential annual savings opportunities.
Read the full list of awarded universities
Visit the Industrial Assessment Centers websiteto learn more about the program. A collection of all publicly available assessment and recommendation data is available online in the IAC Databaseand the database can be searched by industry type, company size, date, products, and energy costs.
This announcement is part of DOE’s 2021 Future of Manufacturing campaign. For more information on DOE’s commitment to creating a resilient American manufacturing future that supports economy-wide decarbonization, and to join the conversation, visit the AMO website