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EnerNOC Inc., a leading provider of energy management applications for the smart grid, announced December 17 that it is partnering with a Virginia Tech research group to monitor energy usage data across multiple sites in an innovative study of "lean" manufacturing strategies. The Wood Innovation Research Group will use EnerNOC's web-based energy management applications to gather energy usage data from three Virginia wood product manufacturers and analyze trends in energy usage to identify opportunities for improved efficiency. Merrillat, Ten Oaks Flooring Company and Morgan Lumber will contribute data to the project.
Uniquely, this project explores integrating energy efficiency into "lean" manufacturing techniques, which are followed by leading manufacturers world-wide. Traditionally, lean thinking has been focused on reducing seven forms of waste, including transport, inventory and defects, among others. This application of EnerNOC's technology aims to reveal how manufacturers can identify waste in energy use and minimize its impact on the manufacturing process.
"Since many manufacturing facilities are extremely complex, even 'lean' manufacturers tend to miss the resources they waste through inefficient energy use," said Dr. Henry Quesada-Pineda, assistant professor of business and manufacturing processes at Virginia Tech, who will lead the research project. "To advise these manufacturers, our research group required a robust data processing and analysis platform to identify wasteful energy usage across an array of sites. EnerNOC's energy profiling functionality allows us to see the broader energy-use picture, as well as drill down into facility-specific usage data to inform our project."
"For many businesses, energy is an 'unseen' form of waste. The results are only clear after the bill arrives each month," said Gregg Dixon, EnerNOC's senior vice president of marketing. "EnerNOC's data-driven energy efficiency applications are designed to be flexible and extensible enough to serve all kinds of commercial, institutional and industrial businesses, as well as to support the research that will move the field of energy efficiency forward."
EnerNOC's energy management applications, DemandSMART, EfficiencySMART, SupplySMART and CarbonSMART, empower users with access to real-time energy usage data. All DemandSMART comprehensive demand response customers receive basic energy profiling functionality at no cost. For more in-depth analysis, EfficiencySMART Commissioning and EfficiencySMART Insight offer further real-time visibility into energy usage and costs at a single site or across a portfolio of facilities, enabling the ability to rapidly identify and harvest a range of low and no-cost energy savings opportunities previously hidden from view, reduce energy spikes and related demand charges, optimize energy efficiency investments and strategy and enhance measurement and verification of ongoing and future energy efficiency projects.
EnerNOC unlocks the full value of energy management for our utility and commercial, institutional and industrial (C&I) customers by reducing real-time demand for electricity, increasing energy efficiency, improving energy supply transparency in competitive markets and mitigating emissions. We accomplish this by delivering world-class energy management applications including DemandSMART, comprehensive demand response; EfficiencySMART, data-driven energy efficiency; SupplySMART, energy price and risk management; and CarbonSMART, enterprise carbon management. Our Network Operations Center (NOC) continuously supports these applications across thousands of C&I customer sites throughout the world. Working with more than 100 utilities and grid operators globally, we deliver energy, ancillary services and carbon mitigation resources that provide cost-effective alternatives to investments in traditional power generation, transmission and distribution.