The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) has launched the 10% Taskforce – a call for UK businesses to take simple steps to cut their compressed air energy usage figure by 10 per cent, with the potential to save a combined £147.5 million in wasted electricity costs.
Launched at this year’s Air-Tech exhibition, the campaign has an ambitious target to save over 411 thousand tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of taking 317 thousand cars off the road.
Generating compressed air can be very energy intensive, representing as much as 30 per cent of a site’s total electricity bill. According to a report entitled ‘Compressed Air Systems in the European Union’, when looking at the most important energy savings techniques available to compressed air users, ‘the energy savings amount to 32.9 per cent, achievable over a 15-year period.’
This includes a range of measures including system installation or renewal and operation and maintenance techniques, such as reducing air leaks and more frequent filter replacement.
However, while both environmental and financial targets are driving operators to reduce their site’s overall electricity bill, many simple energy-saving measures related to their compressed air system can be overlooked, as Vanda Jones, BCAS Executive Director explains:
“As the UK’s trade body representing compressed air system manufacturers, distributors, and end users, we are regularly advising on the numerous ways that customers can improve the efficiency of compressors.
“Using figures from the recent UK Energy-related products policy study, conducted by ICF in May 2021, we have calculated the combined energy usage for the mid-point of all industrial compressor technologies over their lifetime at 11.71 TWh. Based on the current UK average non-domestic electrical unit cost of £0.1249/kWh , the figures are substantial – equating to £1.475 billion being spent by UK companies to generate the compressed air their businesses rely on.
“Add to this the fact that over 30 per cent of this energy is being wasted through inefficient practices – equivalent to £485.43 million in wasted electricity spend – and there is much that businesses can do to cut this figure significantly.
“However, many operators may feel that this will require significant investment in new capital equipment, when often, taking small, incremental steps can have a significant impact on energy consumption. Whether it is fixing air pipework leaks, recovering heat which would otherwise be lost to the atmosphere, or implementing routine system maintenance, BCAS members can advise on the best combination of measures that can help cut ownership costs.
“Our new 10% Taskforce is designed to help businesses save money and make a positive difference to the environment. We encourage everyone in the industry to get involved. Alongside a dedicated white paper, which details the energy-saving potential and some of the simple steps that can be implemented, we will also be showcasing some of the best examples of energy-saving compressed air programmes through our website and social media.”https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/gas-and-electricity-prices-in-the-non-domestic-sector
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