Industry needs to act on energy saving opportunities

30 April 2019

Research has found that the manufacturing sector has the greatest potential for energy savings, yet many organisations are failing to act on opportunities to cut cost and carbon.

With many manufacturers needing to comply with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) by December 2019, completing audits of their energy usage across operations to identify areas to save energy and cut costs. Ahead of the compliance deadline, a new report into energy reporting by energy consultancy Inenco has combined primary research of business energy professionals with insight from 320 energy audits to reveal fresh attitudes to energy and how manufacturers fare against other industries.

The report found that 60% of all savings identified in the audits from a broad range of sectors were attributed to manufacturers, highlighting the potential in the sector to make direct savings to the bottom line from energy efficiency. However, only 50% have acted on their Phase 1 audit recommendations, with budget availability cited as the main reason manufacturers did not act on energy saving opportunities (20%).  It seems the lack of engagement on energy reporting is wider than just ESOS, the survey also revealed that only 29% of manufacturers understand the new Streamlined Energy Carbon Reporting (SECR) framework, despite the scheme coming into effect in April of this year.

While installing on-site renewables or Combined Heat & Power (CHP) was one of the most common areas to cut energy, lower cost measures, or those with shorter payback times, were also frequently found across manufacturing sites, including lighting, behavioural changes, and better energy procurement to reduce costs.

Commenting on the findings, Rui Zu, ESOS solutions programme leader at Inenco, said:
 “Energy reporting offers manufacturers a true picture of their energy consumption, costs and carbon emissions. However, the benefits of the reporting are only realised when organisations utilise the data and turn it into insight and actions. “The survey results show that only 50% of manufacturers have capitalised on the opportunities made available to them through ESOS Phase 1, undoubtedly impacting their cost base and competitiveness. It is also concerning that over half have not yet commenced their Phase 2 assessments.

“ESOS offers manufacturer the chance to cut energy costs and improve their competitiveness. Acting now to get started on audits means savings could be realised within financial year, offering a boost to the bottom line for all organisations in the industry.”

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