Energy Audit :: Why should a Plant go for it?
- Energy forms a major component in Production Cost and will continue to increase its share for an Industrial Plant as Energy costs are rising every day. In many cases it is the 2nd largest component in Production cost next only to Labor. Thus an Energy Audit can significantly and positively impact a Plant's Profit & Loss Statement.
- Any Industrial Plant undergoes a change due to expansion or modification or modernization - always presenting an opportunity for Energy Optimization. An Energy Audit will thus reveal potential areas to save energy and improve efficiency.
- Energy being a topic of high interest - constant innovation takes place with regards to modernization of equipment and retrofits for existing equipment. Energy Audit enables a plant to understand about continuous opportunities in a plant to achieve energy optimization. In fact our post on New Age Industrial Energy Audit focuses on this point.
- Several Energy-intensive plants may have a permanent Energy Auditor or Energy Manager. However there are several benefits of an external Energy Audit team which works across various departments - Electrical, Mechanical, Maintenance, Production etc. of a plant. Moreover an external team is better equipped to achieve Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency through energy audit as it brings a focused approach and past experience of several plants which enables in bench-marking including successful case-studies of past implementations.
- Contrary to the popular belief an Energy Audit in itself can actually save Energy (Does Energy Audit really save Energy?) without further investments as well. This is the case because the Energy Audit report which is submitted after the Energy Audit contains several key information about the plant such as energy consumption trend, energy calculations, areas for improvement etc. and of course the recommendations.
- The Energy Audit report submitted at the end of the site visit phase (for measurement, collection of data, interaction with plant people etc.). The recommendations in the Energy Audit Report are not always requiring high investment and are in any case having a payback of less than 18 months or in some cases 24 months - which is generally acceptable to the Management. They are categorized into 3 types -
- ZERO / Low investment recommendations - mainly related to operational changes or utilizing existing resources to optimize energy consumption.
- Medium investment recommendations - typically the ones with requiring mid-size investments in retrofits or modifications in the existing system for Energy optimization.
- High investment recommendations - the ones requiring larger investments. (The categorization value is specific to a plant based on various factor such as size, energy consumption, SEC etc.)