Inefficient Boilers Costing Firms $637m a Year, Carbon Trust Says

by | Mar 1, 2012

U.K. organizations could save over £400 million ($637 million) a year by taking simple, low-cost actions to improve the efficiency of their hot water boilers, according to two reports released by British government-funded nonprofit The Carbon Trust.

Heating and hot water account for over one third of U.K. organizations’ energy consumption and up to 60 percent of the carbon emissions from some hot water-intensive industrial processes. However, heating costs could be reduced by up to 30 percent by implementing measures such as insulation, maintenance, optimized stop and start controls (depicted in the graph, above) and energy monitoring, according to the Trust’s “Expert in Energy” reports on low temperature hot water boilers and steam and high temperature hot water boilers.

Simply by insulating boilers, pipework and valves in their hot water systems – particularly on older systems – organizations could save up to 10 percent of the boiler energy input, according to the reports.

The establishment and upkeep of a regular maintenance plan is also a good way to improve efficiency and decrease energy costs, the reports say. Poor maintenance can reduce boiler performance by up to 10 percent.

Finally, structured monitoring of energy use is key to keep costs down, the reports say. Measuring fuel input, water input and water and steam outputs allows the effects of other improvements – such as insulation – to be measured. Measurement also allows unusually high energy consumption to be spotted quickly, problems identified and remedial action to be taken, the reports say.

Last month’s manufacturing guidance from the Carbon Trust covered air compressors, which the organization said present a variety of opportunities for saving energy, from leak reduction and air intake improvements, to maintenance, monitoring, specification and design.

In October of last year, the Trust launched Carbon Trust Implementation, a business aimed at helping companies reduce their energy costs and install greener, more efficient technology.

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