UW News

March 12, 2007

Free energy assessments for region’s small- to medium-sized factories

UW News

The University of Washington has joined 26 universities offering a Department of Energy-sponsored program to reduce electricity use in manufacturing plants. Teams from the UW’s Industrial Assessment Center, launched in February, will travel to qualifying plants in the Pacific Northwest to provide an in-depth assessment of energy efficiency.

A business may qualify for a free assessment if it:

  • Pays annual energy bills of between $100,000 and $2 million
  • Has fewer than 500 employees at the plant site
  • Does not employ professionals qualified to perform the assessment
  • Is located within about 150 miles of Seattle

A complete list of qualifications is at http://www.ee.washington.edu/energy/iac/assessment.html.

The University of Washington team conducted its first assessment in February in Portland, Ore. The team typically conducts a day-long site visit to learn about the plant’s operations. Within 60 days the team will provide a list of recommendations on how to improve energy efficiency, minimize waste and improve productivity. Other participating universities report that recommendations resulted in annual cost savings that averaged $55,000.

Assessments will be carried out by faculty and students in the University of Washington’s department of electrical engineering.


The Industrial Assessment Centers were established by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to save costs and improve energy efficiency in the industrial sector. More information on the nationwide Industrial Assessment Centers is at http://iac.rutgers.edu/ and http://www1.eere.energy.gov/industry/bestpractices/iacs.html.

For more information on the University of Washington’s assessment team, see http://www.ee.washington.edu/energy/iac/index.html or contact associate professor Alexander Mamishev at (206) 221-5729 or mamishev@ee.washington.edu.