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General Dynamics Case Study Highlights Energy Management Success in Federal Facility

Energy management system saves 107 billion Btu annually and lowers energy costs by (U.S.) $956,000 each year

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

General Dynamics Case Study Highlights Energy Management Success in Federal Facility

General Dynamics became the first U.S. defense contractor to achieve certification under both ISO 50001 and Superior Energy Performance (SEP), based on the company’s energy management system at a plant it operates in Scranton, PA, USA. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army.

The Global Superior Energy Performance (GSEP) Energy Management Working Group (EMWG) has added a new case study to its growing suite of products that highlight the business value of energy management. This latest case study explains how General Dynamics improved energy performance at a federal plant by 11.9% and became the first U.S. defense contractor to be certified to the U.S. Superior Energy Performance (SEP) program. SEP requires rigorous third-party verification of conformance with the ISO 50001 energy management standard and sustained improvement in energy performance.

General Dynamics staff implemented a robust energy management system in conformance with ISO 50001 at a federal ammunition plant in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Early in the process, additional metering was installed to identify the units of plant equipment using the most energy. The staff then developed ambitious energy performance projects and goals for seven of the most energy-intensive units, including a gas-fired rotary hearth forging furnace and a forge shop cooling tower.

The (U.S.) $255,000 invested to implement SEP was paid back by the resulting operational energy cost savings within six months. That investment included additional metering, training, audit preparation and costs, system development, and external consultants. The energy management system now saves the plant 107 billion Btu (113,000 GJ) annually and lowers energy costs by (U.S.) $956,000 each year. The plant’s sustained energy savings of 11.9% were verified by an accredited third party, earning the plant SEP certification at the Gold level (10 to 15% savings).

“Superior Energy Performance helps to track and prove ‘without a doubt’ payback of projects,” said Joe Chup, senior plant engineer with General Dynamics. “Project energy savings are based on actual data, as opposed to opinions.” The plant’s energy resources are now proactively managed via a rigorous business system to sustain those energy savings and continue strengthening plant energy performance in the future. Building on this success, General Dynamics recently signed on as a member of the SEP Accelerator program, pledging to move multiple plants toward SEP certification to demonstrate the enterprise-wide benefits of energy management systems.

“SEP brought to light many energy intensity savings opportunities that were previously hard to justify,” said Stephen Cannizzaro, General Dynamics’ Sustainability Manager and Environmental Engineer. “With the energy management system in place and metering instruments installed, it is much easier to justify improvement projects, and management is more receptive to these proposals.”

Read more about the business value for energy management in the General Dynamics case study

GSEP publishes case studies and other materials to promote energy management as a cost-effective way to significantly reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining or boosting productivity. The collection now covers energy management investments and outcomes for six companies in Australia and the United States; additional case studies from other countries participating in the EMWG are expected in the coming months.

The aim of GSEP is to significantly cut global energy use by encouraging the industrial and commercial buildings sectors to continually improve their energy efficiency. GSEP’s EMWG seeks to accelerate the broad use of energy management systems in industry and commercial buildings worldwide. The EMWG’s 11 member countries share their knowledge and expertise. Together, they identify and evaluate EnMS activities, opportunities, strategies, and best practices—working with industry and others as appropriate. Governments participating in the EMWG include Australia, Canada, Denmark, the European Commission, India, Japan, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, Sweden, and the United States. The GSEP initiative was launched in 2010 by the Clean Energy Ministerial and the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC). For more information about the EMWG, visit