Cook Composites and Polymers (CCP), a world leader in the production and distribution of synthetic resins, is one of five plants that partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Industrial Technologies Program to participate in the U.S. Council for Energy-Efficient Manufacturing-guided Superior Energy Performance Texas Pilot Project, which tested the criteria and assessment methods for a voluntary energy-efficiency certification program for manufacturing plants.

CCP’s manufacturing facility in Houston began participating in the pilot project in 2008 with high expectations. Between 1998 and 2005, the plant had experienced a dramatic increase in its energy expenditures, with an escalation from $600,000 to $1.8 million in annual costs. In 2008, energy was the second-largest cost for the plant, accounting for 20 percent of the plant’s operating budget. In September 2008, energy experts from the U.S. Department of Energy tested the proposed system assessment standards for steam and process heating systems. Through the two assessments, opportunities were identified that could save the plant 30 percent of those systems’ natural gas use. CCP has implemented short-term actions and low-cost investments that have already resulted in savings of $40,000.

CCP also has been successful in incorporating its new energy management system into its already robust and integrated health, safety, quality and environmental management system. Use of the existing management system structure for implementation of the energy management system has been beneficial, as it exposed other CCP sites not participating in the pilot project to energy management system concepts. More employees, beyond those participating in the pilot, have become aware of energy management processes, and implementing energy management with a cross-functional team has helped to ensure more likely success through support that extends beyond the plant boundaries.

More Information on the Texas Pilot Project
The U.S. Department of Energy aligned with The University of Texas at Austin to pilot an energy-efficiency certification program for manufacturing plants. From May 2008 to November 2009, energy experts worked with staff from five manufacturing plants in Texas to field test elements of Superior Energy Performance.

Energy experts tested the proposed ANSI System Assessment Standards; trained plant staff on how to implement an energy management system that complies with ANSI/MSE 2000:2008; provided support for implementing energy management systems; and tested the measurement and verification protocol.

The goal of the pilot project was to verify that the processes, standards and performance criteria under the Superior Energy Performance: 1) were practical and achievable, 2) provided benefit to participating plants, and 3) reliably identified that proposed certification criteria are met.

A diverse group of facilities as recruited to provide a robust assessment of the proposed Superior Energy Performance program. The sites represented four industrial sectors: food, insulation, semiconductors and chemicals, and varied in size and experience in energy management. The five facilities that participated in the Texas Pilot Project were:

  • Cook Composites and Polymers (Houston plant)
  • Freescale Semiconductor Inc. (Oak Hill plant)
  • Frito-Lay (San Antonio plant)
  • Owens Corning (Waxahachie plant), and
  • Union Carbide (Texas City Operations) – a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company

The project was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the Texas State Energy Conservation Office. The Texas Industries of the Future program, located at The University of Texas at Austin, coordinated the pilot project in Texas. Other supporting organizations working under contract to U.S. DOE included Lawrence Berkley National Lab, Georgia Tech and Oak Ridge National Lab. Georgia Tech provided assistance on implementation of the ANSI/MSE 2000:2008. The U.S. Council for Energy-Efficient Manufacturing partnership also provided oversight, support and guidance to the project.