UConn Tech Park welcomes our newest center, UConn’s Southern New England Industrial Assessment Center (SNE-IAC). SNE-IAC makes significant contributions toward a clean environment, helping New England manufacturers improve energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint while training a new generation of students in methods that improve industrial energy efficiency.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, SNE-IAC provides energy audit services at no cost to eligible manufacturers located within a 150-mile radius in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the Greater New York area. The service helps companies identify and address problem areas, resulting in reductions in carbon emissions, energy costs, and annual energy consumption by an anticipated 10%. The team also provides outreach and education opportunities to nonparticipating manufacturers in the region. Manufacturers can sign up for an audit on the center’s website.
Directors Dr. Liang Zhang, Dr. Amy Thompson, and Dr. Ravi Gorthala lead center activities and partner with UConn Tech Park, CT utility companies Eversource and United Illuminating, and other industrial partners in outreach efforts and to provide recommendations and implementation guidance to clients. They employ seven students who are gaining valuable hands-on experience in conducting audit assessments in a variety of different manufacturing environments.
The IAC team is enthusiastic about the program’s potential to reduce manufacturers’ annual energy consumption that can ultimately improve their overall energy efficiency and sustainability.
Since its inception in 2022, IAC has made excellent progress and is on track to achieve its goal of 10 audits in the first year, increasing to a target of 20 audits per year within the next five years. Nine audits have been completed, with an additional six audit requests in the queue. Three student assessors now have the level of experience required to be eligible for an IAC Certificate from the U.S. DoE, a credential that demonstrates their energy and industrial expertise.
As one of the nation’s newer IACs, it was a great honor for the UConn team to welcome the US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, at the IPB in May 2022, along with Connecticut Congressman Joe Courtney and UConn President Dr. Radenka Maric. During her visit to the lab, Secretary Granholm met with faculty and students before attending a press conference, where one of the center’s students had the privilege of introducing her.
IAC’s industrial advisory board is made up of strategic industrial partners including Connecticut state agencies, utility companies, and manufacturing organizations and includes Connecticut’s Chief Manufacturing Officer, Paul Lavoie.