The Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program at Penn State has been assisting businesses across the Commonwealth to become competitive and sustainable for more than 50 years. The federal-stateuniversity partnership provides no-cost technical assistance, energy assessments and energy saving programs to small and mid-size businesses and manufacturers in all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. PennTAP also offers educational workshops and certifications for business owners and employees. “PennTAP’s energy and environment services are designed to help manufacturers lower energy costs and reduce waste in their facilities, reduce their carbon footprint and increase profits,” says Tanna Pugh, director for PennTAP. “Technical advisors, along with a team of Penn State College of Engineering students, will perform energy assessments and provide business owners With a customized plan of action to implement changes that will improve performance and create a healthier bottom line.” In 2016, PennTAP helped Pennsylvania companies save $5.7 million dollars in economic benefits which contributed to saving or creating more than 97 jobs. Some of PennTAP’s clients include Clarion Industries in Shippenville; JLG Industries in McConnellsburg; Triangle Suspension Systems in DuBois; Imperial Systems, Inc. in Jackson Center; General Dynamics in Scranton; Colteryahn Dairy in Carrick and Palcon, LLC in Muncy. PennTAP receives funding from several resources, including the state Department of Environmental Protection. Kerry Campbell, environmental group manager for DEP’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Energy Assistance, says PennTAP has extensive experience conducting energy efficiency assessments for Pennsylvania manufacturers that otherwise wouldn’t be able to conduct them. “These assessments have been an important first step for companies to implement energy efficiency projects that have reduced their energy use and operating costs. These projects also have demonstrated environmental benefits, including reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants in Pennsylvania,” says Campbell. “For these reasons, DEP is pleased to provide funding support from federal sources for PennTAP’s energy assessment projects.” PennTAP energy and environmental initiatives include: • Pollution Prevention and Energy Efficiency projects, which are designed to minimize environmental or energy costs and reduce overall operating costs; • Economy, Energy and Environment projects that assist manufacturers to reduce energy use and pollution, minimize carbon footprints and promote productivity and innovation; • ISO 500001 and Superior Energy Performance certifications, which establish the structure to implement, document and sustain strategies to cut energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions; and • Building Re-Turning, which offers a low-cost approach to recommissioning aging buildings to restore or exceed original performance. PennTAP also offers assistance to companies applying for energy grants and rebates. “Manufacturers often run into financial hurdles when attempting to implement PennTAP’s recommendations,” says Denise Bechdel, energy and environment team lead for PennTAP. “My job is to work with company representatives to quantify opportunities into financial terms and to help identify applicable grants and incentives.” Pugh says PennTAP is in the process of working with the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a program that will enable smaller businesses to take advantage of a downsized version of the ISO 500001 and SEP certifications that are often only viable for larger companies. “We are currently developing a new Energy Management Systems program that will utilize the principles of ISO 500001 in a manner that is useful to small and medium size companies. Not all companies can afford ISO certification, but they can still achieve improved energy performance by understanding and applying these principles and behaviors to their operations. We plan to roll this new program out in the fall of 2017,” Bechdel added. For more information about PennTAP’s energy assessments and programs, visit pennTAP.psu.edu or call 814 865-0427. You can also follow PennTAP on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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