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Jul 26, 2021
Press Release
32 Universities Across 28 States, including the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Will Conduct Industrial Assessments to Help Local Manufacturers Reduce Carbon Footprint, Lower Costs, and Train Energy Workforce of Tomorrow

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $60 million in funding for its largest-ever cohort of university-based Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs), which assist small- and medium-sized manufacturers in reducing their carbon emissions and lowering energy costs, while training the next generation of energy-efficiency workers. The groundbreaking investment will help remove barriers to decarbonization across the manufacturing sector and advance the Biden Administration’s goal of achieving a clean energy economy. The cohort of 32 Universities includes the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

“I am proud to celebrate the Department of Energy’s selection of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte as an Industrial Assessment Center for their 2021-2023 cohort,” said U.S. Representative Alma Adams (NC-12). “UNC Charlotte is the second-largest university in North Carolina, and over 5,000,000 people live within the 150 mile service radius of the IAC. Our community has the potential to realize important benefits from this partnership, including cost-saving energy efficiency assessments for small- and medium-sized manufacturers. With the environmental and financial benefits provided by the IAC, the future of manufacturing in North Carolina looks UNCC green!”

“America’s best and brightest university students are successfully helping local manufacturers reduce pollution, save energy, and cut their electricity bills,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “DOE’s university-based Industrial Assessment Centers are assisting small- and medium-sized businesses – particularly those in disadvantaged and underrepresented communities – in the transition to a clean energy economy, building the next-generation energy workforce, and propelling America toward a carbon-free future by 2050.”

This new cohort of IACs at 32 universities will focus on improving productivity, enhancing cybersecurity, promoting resiliency planning, and providing trainings to entities located in disadvantaged communities. The cohort will also engage in a new pilot project to expand to the commercial building market. As part of the pilot, selected IACs will partner with community colleges and technical programs to train diverse students and professionals to conduct energy-efficiency assessments of small to medium-sized buildings, including those located in disadvantaged communities.

To date, the IACs program, one of DOE’s longest-running programs managed by the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), has provided nearly 20,000 no-cost assessments for small- and medium-sized manufacturers and more than 147,000 recommendations for improvement measures. Assessments typically identify more than $130,000 in potential annual savings opportunities.

Read the full list of awarded universities.  

Visit the Industrial Assessment Centers website to learn more about the program. A collection of all publicly available assessment and recommendation data is available online in the IAC Database and the database can be searched by industry type, company size, date, products, and energy costs. 

This announcement is part of DOE’s 2021 Future of Manufacturing campaign. For more information on DOE’s commitment to creating a resilient American manufacturing future that supports economy-wide decarbonization, and to join the conversation, visit the AMO website.