ENERGY STAR Energy Performance Indicators for plants

Benchmarking is a critical step in energy management, setting a reference point for defining good energy performance, informing goals, and measuring progress. ENERGY STAR provides Energy Performance Indicators (EPIs) to help you benchmark industrial plant energy performance.

EPIs are external, industry-specific benchmarking tools that score a plant’s energy performance and compare it to that of similar plants in its industry within the U.S. These statistical models generate an energy performance score (also known as EPA’s 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score) on a scale of 1 to 100 using actual plant data—not engineering projections, and evaluate a plant in terms of energy per unit of production at the whole plant level. 

The ENERGY STAR score, set on a percentile basis, makes it easy to understand a plant’s performance and enables informed energy investment decision-making. 

For example, a plant scoring in the lowest quartile (ENERGY STAR score between 1 – 25) is a candidate for investment and potential improvement while another in the top quartile (ENERGY STAR score between 75 – 100) is an example from which to learn and reward for high performance among its industry.

Chart explaining stages of energy management and typical resulting ENERGY STAR scores.

Plants that score a 75 or higher are eligible to earn ENERGY STAR certification - recognition of the plant’s superior energy performance within its industry - provided the plant satisfies an environmental compliance screen and its energy performance data is verified by a Professional Engineer. 

EPIs are developed using annual plant energy (includes all fuels) and production data for a specific manufacturing industry. These mathematical models are often defined at the six to eight digit North American Industry Classification System level. Each model adjusts for key factors that impact energy use in the plant and converts electricity inputs to source energy. 

EPA starts with an industry’s confidential data on plant production and energy purchases as reported by U.S. manufacturing plants to the U.S. Census Bureau as part of its Census of Manufactures. Occasionally, additional datasets, if available, may be used to supplement Census data. EPA works closely with industry to understand and evaluate the impact of variables that may affect energy use in the plant, such as product mix, climate, inventory, etc. Variables that are found to be statistically significant are specifically accounted for in the model. 

Draft EPIs are reviewed and tested by an industry’s energy professionals who participate in an industry-specific focus. Following this thorough vetting and review, EPIs are finalized and released for the industry’s use.

All EPIs are offered in an Excel spreadsheet format and are downloadable from this website. The Excel format provides ease of use and protection of confidential plant data.

EPIs generate an ENERGY STAR score for eligible plants which have been in operation for at least one year. EPA recommends a quarterly assessment of a plant’s ENERGY STAR score using an EPI.

EPIs are currently available for the following manufacturing plant types.

As EPA continues to build industries in focus, additional EPIs will become available. To learn about how specific EPIs were developed or whether a specific EPI can be used to score your plant, visit the relevant industries in focus page and download the background file to read about how the EPI was developed.

For petroleum refineries, ENERGY STAR certification recognizes U.S. refineries that achieve top quartile energy performance based on Solomon Associates’ scoring of the Energy Intensity Index (EII) within a refinery size class. To see if your refinery has achieved top quartile energy performance contact Solomon Associates.