Energy efficiency can fuel innovation and growth


Energy efficiency

Business commentator Rod Oram explained how energy efficiency can fuel business innovation and growth at an EECA Business process heat workshop, held recently in Auckland.

Consuming energy worth more than $2 billion dollars every year, process heat systems (furnaces, boilers and ovens) are used in most industries – from bread making to milk powder production, and timber processing. EECA Business is part of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. It makes the decision to invest in energy efficiency easier by providing relevant, accurate information and connecting businesses with energy efficiency experts who give practical advice, and provide access to funding.

EECA Business project manager Pramesh Maharaj says improved process heat systems efficiency is one of the biggest opportunities for New Zealand manufacturers to make cost savings, increase productivity and enhance green credentials.

“The workshop was a great success. Having more than 50 process heat users and energy efficiency experts sharing their experiences and knowledge really helped raise awareness of the opportunities in process heat.

“Participants particularly enjoyed hearing Rod Oram explain how process heat energy efficiency connects to the big picture for the national economy,” he says.

Rod Oram also spoke about the critical need for senior level executives, particularly chief executives and chief financial officers, to make energy efficiency a business priority.

The workshop included case study presentations from companies that have benefited from improved process heat efficiency.

Highlights included wood processor Nelson Pine, that saved more than $2.5 million in two years through improved process efficiency and reduced heat wastage; and Energy Plant Solutions, which recently installed a 95 percent efficient boiler and heat recovery system for a new milk powder near Balclutha.

Mr Maharaj says EECA Business expects to hold similar workshops over the coming months.

EECA Business has the following grants available for industrial heat users:

  • Boiler tuning grants to assist businesses put six-monthly boiler tune-up regimes in place. Up to 40 percent of the cost of a two-year tuning regime (maximum of $5000 per site) is available for sites with total boiler capacity of 1.5MWt or more. See boiler-tuning-grants
  • Process heat energy audit grants: part-funding towards base-level or investment- level energy audits of heat systems of 1.5MW or more. See www.eecabusiness. energy-audit-grants/process-heat
  • Project grants: EECA Business may also help fund economic energy efficiency improvements to process heat systems. See www.eecabusiness.govt. nz/services-and-funding/industrial/ energy-audit-grants

See the EECA Business Process Heat Best Practice Guide at www.eecabusiness.govt. nz/node/11672