In 2010, UK industry consumed 320TWh of energy and emitted 95 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This figure represented around 17% of the UK’s total energy use. Most of these emissions came from manufacturing.
Manufacturing is any activity that transforms materials into new products. In the UK, it is a diverse sector, including food production, textiles, furniture, paper, chemicals, rubber and plastic products, glass, metals and metal products, transport equipment and electrical overall guide, although the pattern will vary between industry sectors. Although the manufacturing sector is diverse, there are some common areas where energy is wasted. These are:
- Industrial buildings (including space heating and lighting).
- Compressed air.
- Motors and drives.
- Industrial process heating and cooling (including drying).
1 Source: Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics 2006.
Step 1 Understand your energy use
Look at the site and identify the major areas of energy consumption. Check the condition and operation of equipment and monitor power consumption over one week to obtain a base figure against which energy improvements can be measured.
Step 2 Identify your opportunities
Compile an energy checklist. Walk round the site and complete the checklist at different times of day (including after hours) to identify where energy savings can be made.
Step 3 Prioritise your actions
Draw up an action plan detailing a schedule of improvements that need to be made and when, along with who will be responsible for them.
Step 4 Seek specialist help
It may be possible to implement some energy saving measures in-house, but others may require specialist help. Discuss the more complex or expensive options with a qualified technician.
Step 5 Make the changes and measure the savings
Implement your energy saving actions and measure against original consumption figures. This will assist future management decisions regarding your energy priorities.
Step 6 Continue to manage your site’s energy use
Enforce policies, systems and procedures to ensure the site operates efficiently and that savings are maintained in the future.