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August 10, 2007

Purdue to help companies reduce energy use

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
Ethan Rogers
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Purdue University is expanding its effort to help companies throughout Indiana save on energy costs.

Purdue's Technical Assistance Program has appointed Ethan Rogers as manager of energy efficiency services. Rogers and his team will provide energy consumption analyses and work force training on how to operate equipment more efficiently and implement more efficient processes.

"Our ultimate goal is to ease the burden of having to build new power plants," Rogers said. "If you can get enough companies to reduce their energy consumption by five or 10 percent and do so in a sustainable manner, 10 years from now, you've reduced the growth in the state's energy consumption by the annual output of one power plant. That's a power plant that doesn't have to be built and doesn’t have to be paid for by rate payers."

Rogers said Indiana's electric generation capacity is not adequate to meet predicted increases in energy consumption.

"The State Utility Forecasting Group predicts that by 2022, Indiana would have to increase the number of power plants by one-third to keep up with demand," Rogers said.

Companies that reduce energy consumption also boost their bottom line.

"There are a lot of different ways to increase energy efficiency," Rogers said. "One of the best ways is for manufacturers to reduce the energy input per unit of production. We also can train energy managers on how to make the argument that energy efficient equipment is a good business investment. Companies should treat energy as just another cost of goods sold."

Technical Assistance Program energy efficiency services will focus on manufacturing, commercial and institutional facilities whose annual energy consumption is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. It also will collaborate with Purdue's Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center to assist organizations in implementing energy savings projects.

The Energy Efficiency Program works closely with the Indiana Office of Energy & Defense Development. It also partners with utilities and trade organizations to conduct workshops developed by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Dave Snow, Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center director, said Rogers offers practical experience in working with the state energy office.

"Ethan brings five years of government sector experience in energy program management through which he worked for the Indiana Department of Commerce," Snow said. "As a grant manager, he learned a lot about working with industry and the government on projects that make sense."

Writer: Marydell Forbes, (765) 496-7704, mforbes@purdue.edu

Sources: Ethan Rogers, (317) 275-6817, earogers@purdue.edu

Dave Snow, (317) 275-6811, davesnow@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

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