Energy prices are skyrocketing. What to do in order to survive?
According to official data, the average electricity price in Lithuania in July was the highest during the entire period of participation in the market since 2013. In August, compared to July, the price on the exchange increased by another 57 percent. Companies draw attention to the impact of the electricity price on business and the end user. Is it possible to save?
Energy saving measures for manufacturing companies
The specialists of the Lithuanian Energy Agency are convinced that there is no one-size-fits-all recipe for reducing energy bills, but general principles exist. The larger the share of a company’s total expenditure on energy, the greater the impact on bills. So… Every business should reduce its energy costs. There are two ways to achieve this: increasing the efficiency of energy consumption and producing as much energy as possible from renewable energy sources. Applying these two methods can achieve the greatest effect: reducing energy bills and reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.
One of the first steps that the public and industrial sectors should take is to conduct a building energy audit, which will identify inefficient energy-using devices and identify where the greatest energy losses are occurring. The auditor who has performed the building audit provides recommendations with preliminary calculations on what should be changed and modernized in order to reduce energy consumption (how to use energy more efficiently, how to reduce energy losses). Appropriately qualified auditors perform analysis and present energy saving measures with pricing and payback periods. Timely decisions make it possible to reduce the impact on the fluctuations of the total costs in the event of an increase in energy prices.
The Public Enterprise Lithuanian Energy Agency performs control of energy consumption audits. Part of the audits is carried out for the production sector, which often uses devices with a more or less similar operating principle, so the specialists provide generalized measures, often recommended in building audits, which may be suitable for many production companies. Some of them may be more organizational and do not require large investments, while others require the replacement or modernization of existing equipment and the purchase of new ones.
Some recommended measures:
- Install production management systems;
- Apply the management system standard – this allows the organization to achieve the assumed obligations, to perform the appropriate actions necessary to improve energy efficiency;
- Perform building energy efficiency certificates and implement an internal energy management system;
- Automated tracking and control of energy indicators with smart tools and solutions;
- Automate production processes so as to reduce idle modes, control loads;
- Monitor, collect and analyze the parameters of energy-using devices;
- Apply control accounting devices, connect them to the SCADA system (identify the most energy-consuming, idle or inefficient devices);
- Install electricity accounting monitoring systems;
- Periodically educate employees or apply courses on energy saving;
- In all production facilities, the requirements for maintaining minimum room temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide or other parameters have to be confirmed. Additionally provide technical and organizational measures for not exceeding these parameters;
- Change lighting devices to more energy efficient ones;
- Use waste heat;
- Install reactive power compensation devices;
- To install frequency converters for electric motors;
- Replace circulation pumps with more efficient ones;
- Periodically check and ensure the tightness of compressed air systems;
- Install control systems for compressed air compressors;
- Reduce the air pressure at the compressor outlet (where possible according to process parameters);
- Replace electricity supply lines thus reducing losses of active power;
- Install an economizer in gas-fired boiler rooms, which recovers part of the heat energy from the exhaust fumes;
- In sewage treatment plants, replace natural gas boilers with ground-water heat pumps;
- Install (where possible, e.g. in wastewater treatment plants) a biogas cogeneration power plant;
- In companies using transport, apply eco-driving courses, reduce speed on roads;
- Install photovoltaic or wind power plants;
- Install solar heat collectors;
- Apply renovation measures that increase energy efficiency in buildings (renovation: modernization of heat points, insulation of walls and ceilings, replacement of windows, renovation of the heating and hot water system, etc.).
In order to reduce the financial burden for the implementation of some measures, it is possible to submit applications to the Environmental Project Management Agency and receive partial financing.