The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the allocation of $7 million in funding from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand the Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) program — a cohort of colleges and universities across the country that help small- and medium-sized manufacturers save energy, improve productivity, and reduce waste by providing no-cost technical assessments. This latest investment in the IAC program will provide training opportunities for the next generation of energy-efficiency workers, help remove barriers to decarbonization across the manufacturing sector and advance the Biden Administration’s goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
“Talented students at America’s schools and universities are showing the manufacturing sector how to save money and cut back on carbon pollution,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is expanding our ability to train the next generation of clean energy engineers and apply their innovations to help small- and medium-sized businesses decarbonize and accelerate America’s transition to a carbon-free future by 2050.”
Since 1976, the IAC program has conducted nearly 20,000 assessments for manufacturers. Manufacturers who implement the energy-conservation measures recommended by IAC teams save an average of $137,329 each year. Last year, DOE announced its largest-ever cohort of 32 IACs, each focused on improving productivity, enhancing cybersecurity, promoting resiliency planning, and providing training to manufacturers in underserved communities.
New funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will allow five new universities to join the existing cohort of IACs. They are:
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- San Jose State University
- University of Delaware
- University of North Texas
- San Diego State University
“DOE’s expansion of Industrial Assessment Centers, including two at California State Universities, is welcome news,” said U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (CA). “We know that building a greener economy requires a well-trained workforce. Creating new centers on these campuses will prepare more Californians to get good paying jobs as we continue to transition to clean energy.”
“I am proud to celebrate the selection of and investment in San Jose State University as an Industrial Assessment Center. This announcement reaffirms SJSU’s invaluable and continuing role in the development of innovative solutions to the energy, environmental, and economic challenges of our day,” said U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), a senior member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. “SJSU is well equipped to help local manufacturers increase energy efficiency, cut costs, and lower their carbon footprints to combat climate change. This is good for our environment and good for our economy.”
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides an additional $550 million for the IAC program over the next five years. This funding will allow the program to:
- Establish Centers of Excellence to mentor, assist, and coordinate across the IAC network and with regional, state, local, tribal, and utility energy efficiency programs.
- Expand the IAC program at community colleges, technical schools, and union training programs.
- Create workforce training programs, including internships and apprenticeships, to train students and members of the manufacturing workforce through experiences with industries, manufacturers, energy service providers, and the IACs.
- Promote R&D for alternative energy sources in energy intensive industries.
- Institute a $400 million grant program for manufacturers to implement projects recommended by IACs or other assessors.
To support this significant expansion of the IAC program, DOE will publish a series of funding opportunity announcements, requests for information, and other public notices. Please submit any general comments or questions to IACS@ee.doe.gov.