ENERGY STAR Focus on Energy Efficiency in Corn Refining

The “corn refining focus” is a partnership between EPA’s ENERGY STAR program and U.S. corn refiners to improve energy efficiency within their operations. Tools are available here to help improve manufacturing energy efficiency, save money, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Corn refiners can get started on a path of saving energy by using the ENERGY STAR Guidelines for Energy Management to build an energy management program, and then work within this corn refining focus to learn best practices for the industry.  If you are a corn refiner who wants to get involved in your industry’s efforts to save energy, contact us at

Plant energy performance indicator (EPI) tool

Use the wet corn milling EPI to assess how efficiently a plant uses energy, relative to similar corn refining plants in the U.S. The 1 - 100 ENERGY STAR score enables a quick understanding of how a plant is performing. Plants receiving a score of 75 or higher are eligible to earn ENERGY STAR certification.

To learn more about how EPIs are developed, how to interpret an EPI score, and how to value benchmarking view the Benchmarking Industrial Energy Performance guide.

Plant energy guide

Use the wet corn milling energy guide Energy Efficiency Improvement and Cost Saving Opportunities for the Corn Wet Milling Industry to find ways to improve the energy performance of a corn refining plant.

Making progress

Duke University evaluated the improvement in the corn refining industry’s energy performance over a twelve year period. Important findings include:

  • A reduction of 6.7 trillion Btu in annual energy use.
  • A 4.3% reduction in overall energy use by this industry.
  • An annual reduction of 470 million kg of energy-related carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from improved energy efficiency.

The improvement is illustrated below. 

Graph showing change in corn refining sector energy performance

Source:  Measuring Improvement in the Energy Performance of the U.S. Corn Refining Industry, Duke University

Participating organizations

  • Archer Daniels Midland Company
  • Cargill, Incorporated*
  • Corn Refiners Association
  • Ingredion Incorporated*
  • Roquette America, Inc.
  • Tate & Lyle*

* denotes ENERGY STAR Partners

** denotes ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year awardees