For many if not most plant managers, it's a huge problem: how to control spiraling energy costs, after rising electric and gas prices have already taken a bite out of operating and utility budgets for the year.
Of course, both process and space (lighting, HVAC ) loads chew up energy. Plant managers, though, know they're evaluated first on production - quantity and quality. They may thus be leery of energy efficiency (EE) improvements that -- in their minds, at least -- hold the potential of affecting that production. Sometimes this can stymie attacking the biggest energy-waste sources in the plant.
We illustrate several examples of starting with upgrading of lighting, cooling and heating equipment, in an incremental phased approach to convince the PM and his colleagues that there are ways to lower expenses without sacrificing (and sometimes even improving) performance. We will show how, then, to move on to process heating and cooling equipment, in adopting ECMs (energy conservation  measures) -- in nearly all cases, short of buying new equipment -- that take into account sensitivities to process variables, product throughput, inventory control, and other critical manufacturing variables.
Examples are presented from the food, medical equipment, chemicals, and aluminum industries. We also discuss use of some of ENERGY STAR's financial analytical tools to calculate true cost and returns of these strategies.