Energy Efficiency Improvement and Cost Saving Opportunities for the Glass Industry

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The U.S. glass industry is comprised of four primary industry segment—flat glass, container glass, specialty glass, and fiberglas—which together consume $1.6 billion in energy annually. On average, energy costs in the U.S. glass industry account for around 14% of total glass production costs. Energy efficiency improvement is an important way to reduce these costs and to increase predictable earnings, especially in times of high energy price volatility. There is a variety of opportunities available at individual plants in the U.S. glass industry to reduce energy consumption in a cost-effective manner. This Energy Guide discusses energy efficiency practices and energy-efficient technologies that can be implemented at the component, process, system, and organizational levels. A discussion of the trends, structure, and energy consumption characteristics of the U.S. glass industry is provided along with a description of the major process steps in glass manufacturing. Expected savings in energy and energy-related costs are given for many energy efficiency measures, based on case study data from real-world applications in glass production facilities and related industries worldwide. Typical measure payback periods and references to further information in the technical literature are also provided, when available. The information in this Energy Guide is intended to help energy and plant managers in the U.S. glass industry reduce energy consumption in a cost-effective manner while maintaining the quality of products manufactured. Further research on the economics of the measure—as well on as their applicability to different production practice—is needed to assess potential implementation of selected technologies at individual plants.

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