Among the various decarbonization solutions, energy efficiency is one of the few measures that can generate substantial savings for an organization.
The State of Energy in Quebec 2023 report, produced by Chaire Énergie - HEC Montréal, reminded us last month that for each unit of useful energy used by industrial consumers, nearly two units of energy are wasted without adding economic value. In terms of improvement, energy-efficient measures have enormous potential for these stakeholders.
So, where should we start?
“The first step is being more reasonable in your energy usage. With minor investments, it’s possible to generate up to 5 or 10% in energy savings, on average, since neither the infrastructure nor processes change. This means fewer tonnes of CO2 emissions and real economic benefits worth considering,” says Nicholas Allen, Energy and Air Quality Engineer.
The first tool involves performing an energy balance to identify your profile and main consumption items. With this information, a specialist can craft a custom plan that leverages the benefits and limitations of your various systems and equipment.
This plan will aim to:
- Reduce energy consumption at the source
- Create inter-system synergies
- Optimize existing infrastructure
- Promote heat recovery principles
- Modulate systems to optimally meet demand
- Maximize available financial aid
“Implementing energy-efficient measures is a good first step, but to get significant results, you need to maintain and properly manage them in the long term. For that, performance monitoring combined with digital technology is a huge help,” says Alexandre Rousseau, Energy and Air Quality Engineer and Certified Energy Manager (CEM®).
Although it can be relatively easy to reach this first 10%, things become more difficult afterwards. As manufacturers face two challenges, meeting growing demand for strategic resources and pursuing their own decarbonization, it’s vital for them to go further with energy-efficient measures, and there are solutions to make that happen.