U.S. Power Vision, LLC

From the Community of Manufacturing, Design and Contracting Teams of U.S. Power Vision, LLC

Fabulous Lighting Mave

www.USPowerVision.com • 1963 Park Avenue • Twin Lake, Michigan 49457 • RMotsch@USPowerVision.com

Compare Your Plant’s Performance to Others’ With Benchmarking

Dear Reader:

It’s always good to measure where your plant stands not only in comparison to where it once was (in order to drive and quantify continuous improvement), but to measure how you compare to other plants across America vis-à-vis any of a variety of available metrics from which to build those models.

Our industrial Energy Services Company routinely makes these comparisons in preparation for a lighting project, and again post-project. We want to know what we’re coming into – in terms of pre-project lighting system performance, as well as how successful we were in driving previously wasted electricity consumption out of the system after the project has been executed.

Oberlo tells a nice story on their website that not only explains the value of benchmarking, but describes the benchmarking process. While Oberlo itself isn’t geared toward the facilities industry directly, it’s a good, generic read, extolling the virtue of the process, and you can access it here: What is Benchmarking?, if interested.

The primary measuring stick we use for this is kWh per sq. ft. It’s useful in that it levelizes facilities of different sizes, enabling the Facilities Manager to make consumption comparisons across facilities that aren’t precisely the same size. It’s important that we compare ‘like businesses’ when we do this though, as different forms of production involve differing amounts of consumption intensity, obviously. We’ve found that – as long as we compare facilities producing the same products – that we can get a good comparison between the building we’re working in and its industries averages, in this case the average lighting system kWh per sq. ft.

How do we capture the latter number?

The U.S. Energy Information Administration publishes a myriad of useful statistics from, as you might imagine, in and around the energy industry – some of which curated; some produced by their internal staff. But you don’t have to wade through all that they’ve produced in order to find your nugget. We’ve done the work for you.

Click here to see a table we developed a couple of years ago that distills the consumption we’re discussing above, utilizing EIA data, into Energy Cost per Sq Ft by Industry. We think you’ll find the data to be helpful, with the possible exception of the first business sector listed in the stack ranking – Petroleum & Coal Products – as a good deal of the lighting necessary in this sector is exterior, and is therefore sku’ing the numbers to appear to be worse, in terms of consumption per sq. ft., than they really are across the interiors. That said, the other numbers should be spot on.

U.S. Power is an industrial energy services company that specializes in the reduction of energy consumption across a broad array of manufacturing and food processing facilities located in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. In addition, the company publishes a useful curation of lighting-oriented information from the marketplace, and consolidates it into this concise, twice per month letter known as The Fabulous Lighting Maven, distributed to Facilities Managers throughout the nation.

While the company prides itself in its diversity, it owns and operates a niche lighting contracting firm as well, known as U.S. Power Vision, LLC. With a core business in and around industrial LED lighting, it keeps itself and its clients at the cutting edge of illuminating technologies, all aimed at providing – from the eyes to the fingertips – exceptional illumination, superb control and intuitive simplicity.

The Maven publishes these pearls weekly, or more frequently if we feel like it, because we believe America is already great, and poised to be even greater if we commit to doing our part towards cooling the planet. Publisher Ron Motsch can be reached at (616) 570-9319.

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