Industrial Buildings

About one-third of the energy used in the United States in 2015 went to powering industrial buildings. Almost every product we use as consumers—gasoline and automobiles to food, buildings, machinery, appliances, etc.—takes energy to produce which is accounted for in this sector. Some major energy consumers involve raising the temperature of components in the manufacturing process (process heating) followed by heating a boiler that generates steam or hot water.

Building Types include:

  • Factory Group F Buildings (EXEMPT from 2018 NCECC)
  • Large Storage Group S Buildings (EXEMPT from 2018 NCECC)
  • Industrial Buildings
  • Process Energy Buildings


Energy Efficient Resources & Practices

A few industries use a very large share of energy in the industrial sector. Petroleum refining is the principal consumer, with the chemical industry a close second. Those users, plus the paper and metal industries, account for 78% of total industrial energy use. Industry and manufacturing rely heavily on the following fuel sources:

Source: The National Academics of Science, Engineering, Medicine

When thinking about how to reduce energy costs in your industrial building, consider minimizing some of the sectors in the graph above. Having an energy audit of your building can help you identify these factors efficiently, and can make decisions on what types of improvements to make in the building. Consider these short and long-term efficiency saving measures to improve your savings:

  1. Turn Equipment Off/Down 
  2. Address Process Heating
  3. Motors
  4. Compressed Air
  5. Improve Lighting or HVAC Equipment

Industrial Energy Efficiency Programs

The industrial sector offers a wide variety of energy saving, benchmarking, utility and equipment energy efficiency programs that are offered at the federal, state and local level. While some programs are utility and equipment based, some are focused on implementing best practices and introducing easy, “low hanging fruit” methods that can save money for the long term. Below, you can find different resources from ACEEE on various programs operating at all levels and how your industrial building in North Carolina can qualify:


Industrial Efficiency Programs Can Achieve Large Energy Savings at Low Cost
This fact sheet summarizes some of the broad benefits of industrial energy efficiency programs. It provides 10 tips for how to design good utility programs that are responsive to the needs of large customers. The information may be particularly useful in identifying opportunities for improving existing utility programs or guiding the development of brand-new ones.


The Dollars and Cents of Industrial Efficiency Program Investment
This fact sheet explains how combined industry and utility investments increase energy savings while providing additional value to businesses. It also discusses six ways that participation in industrial programs can lower costs for business customers. The information may be most useful where good utility programs exist, but the value of participation has not been adequately articulated.


An Introduction to U.S. Policies to Improve Industrial Energy Efficiency
The federal government has created mandatory minimum performance standards, as well as voluntary standards, both of which result in improved energy efficiency. Though covered only superficially in this report, federal, state, and local governments also provide a wide array of tax incentives to encourage investments in energy efficiency. Generally, these result in a decrease in the taxpayer’s income tax or property tax liability.


State and Local Policy Database – North Carolina
North Carolina offers financial incentives for energy efficiency, although several were discontinued recently. The state government leads by example by requiring efficient buildings and fleets, benchmarking energy use in public buildings, and encouraging the use of energy savings performance contracts. Researched focused on energy efficiency takes place at several institutions in the state.


Featured Case Study – National

Saving Energy in Industrial Companies: Case Studies of Energy Efficiency Programs in Large U.S. Industrial Corporations and the Role of Ratepayer-Funded Support

Source: The State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network

This report examines primary factors that produce successful EE programs at large industrial companies. It also examines the role that ratepayer-funded EE programs can play in supporting energy efficiency at such companies. The report examines four large industrial companies with robust EE programs who have interacted with many different ratepayer-funded EE programs across a variety of states. The report concludes by (1) defining three requirements for successful EE programs in large companies; (2) providing suggestions for other companies based on the experience of the case study companies; (3) examining how the case study companies view ratepayer funded EE programs; and (4) providing considerations for ratepayer-funded program administrators on how participation in their offerings for large companies might be increased.


Additional Resources