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The Industrial Sector in Colorado

The term industrial is one that covers a wide variety of companies and services. As defined by the Department of Energy, “industrial” includes manufacturing, construction, mining, and agriculture. However, here in Colorado we also would include our ski resorts, refineries and wastewater treatment plants; essentially any company that is using the bulk of their energy to drive processes rather than the typical large uses of energy in a home or business such as heating and lighting. In Colorado, some of our largest industrial energy users are in the business of meat processing, mining, refining, brewing beer (and making the bottles and cans), and other manufacturing.


As a whole, including the agricultural sector, the industrial sector accounts for about 30% of Colorado’s total annual energy consumption, including electricity, natural gas, and other fuels. Since industrial companies are relatively few in number and operate as discrete operations, they are prime targets for energy efficiency efforts Since 2010, the CEO been focusing on the largest industrial energy users in the state and offering assistance in helping them to save money and energy, which at the end of the day results in a reduction in the need for new power generation which keeps costs lower for all Coloradans.


The Colorado Industrial Energy Challenge

In order to encourage large and medium-size industrial companies in the state to improve their energy efficiency, the CEO launched the Colorado Industrial Energy Challenge (CIEC) program in March 2010. The CEO has partnered with the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) to identify and assist these industrial partners in achieving a minimum of 10% energy reduction over a five year period. For more information on the program please take a look at the SWEEP website developed under this contract. If you are interested in joining this program and partnering with the Colorado Energy Office, please contact Neil Kolwey.


CIEC Dashboard
  • Number of Participating Companies:  23

  • Total Energy Consumption of member companies:  20,700 Billion Btu/yr

  • CIEC members’ total consumption compared to state total (%):  1.4%       

  • Identified Energy Savings from 13 CIEC energy assessments:  839,100 MMBtu/yr



Total Energy Savings by Member Companies, 2009-2010

2009 Total Energy Consumption (MMBtu/yr)4
2009-2010 Energy savings total (MMBtu/yr)
2009-2010 Energy savings compared to total energy use (%)
Estimated value of Energy Savings ($/yr)

Based on data from 17 companies that joined the program in 2010


2011 Recognition Award Winners


Partner of the Year

»  Amgen


Excellence in Energy Efficiency

»  Avago Technologies

»  Crested Butte Mountain Resort

»  Hunter Douglas

»  New Belgium Brewing


1This total is based on 2009 data provided by member companies, or estimated for some companies who have yet to provide data. The total includes electricity and fuels. Electricity is converted to MMBtu using 10 MMBtu/MWh to account for generation and transmission losses.
2Total CO consumption for residential, commercial, and industrial sectors in 2009 = 934.0 trillion Btu/yr, from EIA:
3 “Identified savings” means potential energy savings for specific measures identified and evaluated through the energy assessment process. Most of the measures have simple payback periods of two to five years.

42009 Electricity consumption = 6,717,000 MMBtu or 54%; 2009 fuel consumption = 5,775,800 MMBtu.