Section 4
Strong Communities

E3 program helps customers become leaner and greener

Leaner and greener: it’s not an ad for the latest fad diet, but it does describe a program that helps small- to medium-sized manufacturers trim waste and energy — while toning their production processes for a better bottom line.

The Economy, Energy & Environment (E3) program is a collaborative federal, state and local initiative that provides manufacturers with customized, hands-on technical assessments of their production processes. And it follows up with recommendations for streamlining processes; reducing the use of water, waste and energy; increasing productivity; driving innovation; and increasing profitability.

As an E3 partner, Duke Energy has helped shape programs in North Carolina, South Carolina and Ohio, and performs many of the energy assessments for our manufacturing customers. We’ve also shared this program with government agencies and manufacturers in Brazil as a part of the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership’s (GSEP) technology transfer initiative — in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy. (For more on the GSEP, see “Renewable power to reach remote villages” article in the Strong Communities section online.)

State and local organizations that support manufacturing and workforce development serve as the regional E3 program leaders. They are responsible for tracking and reporting the program’s economic and environmental impacts. Highlights to date include:

  • The South Carolina E3 program saved one of our customers approximately $200,000 in one year through a waste reduction initiative.
  • Another Duke Energy customer in Ohio saved $60,000 due to productivity improvements and more than $150,000 in energy costs.
  • In its first year of assessments, the E3: North Carolina program identified more than $1.3 million dollars in savings statewide.