NAPA News & Events

Reaching the Apex

Peer exchange group aims to reach energy management goals together with Energy Star partnership.

COMPILED BY NAPA STAFF

While NAPA joined the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program as a formal partner in September, resources valuable to the asphalt pavement industry are still in development after nearly two dozen companies took part in a pilot program to share energy consumption best practices.

The Asphalt Plant Energy Performance Peer Exchange (APEX) program is a coordination between NAPA, ENERGY STAR, and U.S. asphalt pavement producers. Between training and peer networking opportunities, 22 companies were involved in creating a forthcoming asphalt mix plant energy guide, with another tool in development that aims to allow plants to receive an ENERGY STAR certification for energy efficient operations.

“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s manufacturing sector is critical to protecting our environment,” said Cindy Jacobs, Chief of the EPA ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. “Thanks to NAPA’s leadership, we have an opportunity to engage with companies across the asphalt pavement industry, from small family-owned operations to multinational publicly traded corporations, which share a common goal of wanting to make their operations more efficient.”

The efforts come as NAPA marks a year since launching of The Road Forward, an industry initiative aiming for the manufacturing of net zero carbon emission asphalt pavements by 2050.

“NAPA’s new partnership with ENERGY STAR complements The Road Forward initiative,” NAPA President & CEO Audrey Copeland said. “Recent inflation and volatility in energy prices provide further impetus for NAPA members to reduce their financial risk by improving energy efficiency, while also maximizing the impact of projects funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

Beyond the partnership, the peer exchange program allows company participants to join calls hosted jointly by NAPA and ENERGY STAR where topics include energy management and efficiency.

Other benefits of participating include co-branding opportunities with the ENERGY STAR logo, networking and learning from the peer network, and even public recognition for energy efficiency achievements. An Energy Performance Indicator (EPI) tool is under development, which would enable plants that perform in the top quartile of the asphalt mix production industry, indicated by a score of 75 or higher, to be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification.

Resources available to everyone include information on Energy Treasure Hunts, an energy-saving approach ENERGY STAR says can lead to up to a 15 percent reduction in energy usage. Using the guided steps, teams walk around a facility, looking for quick fixes that save energy. The hunts are a webinar topic, too, along with energy management. Both are available on demand.

These resources and more can be found on the NAPA website at AsphaltPavement.org/Climate. For more information about joining APEX, contact Sustainable Pavements Director Joseph Shacat.

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