The Biden-Harris administration has ambitious goals of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. In line with this goal, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced up to $52.5 million for its Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs) that help the country’s manufacturers and wastewater treatment facilities improve their efficiency and save money while reducing their carbon footprint.
This funding is being distributed to IACs, which are university-based programs that educate and train students. They offer no-cost efficiency improvement recommendations to small- and medium-sized manufacturing facilities. During the assessment, the students and faculty make recommendations for energy and water savings, waste reduction, productivity improvements, cybersecurity, and smart manufacturing opportunities for qualifying facilities.
“These programs are proof that big climate investments can help small businesses reduce their emissions and increase their efficiency, while saving them thousands of dollars,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “This new funding is an investment in both the infrastructure and next-generation clean energy workforce we need to tackle the climate emergency and meet President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
The IAC program has so far provided almost 20,000 assessments and over 145,000 recommendations for improvement measures. The IAC program was founded in 1976 and is one of the DOE’s longest-running programs.