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Industrial Energy Efficiency

The Idaho Governor’s Office of Energy and Mineral Resources (OEMR) supports improvements in industrial energy efficiency to help Idaho industries gain a competitive advantage. OEMR promotes energy efficiency in industrial buildings through private-public partnerships created at the community level.

Some programs OEMR administers in support of industrial energy efficiency include:


  • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) lists several resources specifically for manufacturers.
  • The Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs), is a program sponsored by DOE’s Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, that provides eligible small- and medium-sized manufacturers with energy assessments at no direct cost to the client.
  • TechHelp helps Idaho manufacturers improve profitability by producing more efficiently with less energy and environmental impact.


The OEMR cooperates with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Northwest CHP Technical Assistance Partnership to provide informational resources about Combined Heat and Power, District Energy and Waste Heat Recovery to Idaho customers.

Combined heat and power (CHP) is the technological opportunity in which a single fuel source is used to simultaneously produce useful heat and electricity. The fuel sources vary by site, and may include natural gas, biomass, biogas, coal, waste heat, or oil. CHP provides a much greater overall efficiency than if heat and power were produced separately, with fuel efficiency rates typically  between 65-75%, as opposed to approximately 50% efficiency average when heat and electricity is produced separately.[1]

District energy is a form of CHP where central heating, and/or central cooling is applied to an entire system or district like a university, office park, medical campus, mixed use sustainable development, or city’s downtown area.  District energy uses economies of scale to consolidate space and expenses by avoiding individual insulation and maintenance of single building systems. Many district energy systems use thermally generated heat.[2]

Waste Heat recovery is capturing waste heat that an industrial site or combustion process is already emitting and using it to provide useful thermal energy elsewhere in the facility or turning it into clean electricity or mechanical power. Waste heat recovery for power generation is also known as bottoming cycle CHP or waste-heat-to power.