The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) says it welcomes the Government’s new Energy Bill Relief Scheme, which comes into effect on 1 October – but is encouraging compressed air users to also act now to minimise their compressed air energy consumption for the long-term through a series of low-cost measures
With 10% of all the energy consumed by industry used to compress air, any Government programmes which can help mitigate for the unprecedented rise in the cost of business energy are very welcome, says Vanda Jones, Executive Director at BCAS.
“The scheme will apply automatic discounts to the price of business energy usage initially between 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023. While this will offer some relief to manufacturers and operators already struggling with soaring bills, the six-month time frame may not be sufficient to assist many end-users in the medium to longer term.
“Indeed, the cap still means that electricity prices for business customers will be around double the price per megawatt hour compared to this time last year. Add to this the fact that generating compressed air can be very energy-intensive, representing as much as 30 per cent of a site’s total electricity bill, and it is well worth operators considering further energy saving measures to help reduce their energy consumption, and therefore the cost burden further.”
Earlier this year, BCAS launched its 10% Taskforce campaign, designed to encourage compressed air users to take simple steps to cut their compressed air energy figure by 10 per cent, by reducing wasteful and inefficient practices. Vanda Jones continues:
“At the time we launched the campaign in April this year, we could not have predicted the huge rise in the wholesale gas and electricity prices. Our original calculations of £485.43 million being spent in wasted electricity have now risen two or even three-fold – meaning that the assistance now being offered through the Energy Bill Relief Scheme is vital.
“Since the launch, our members have been speaking with customers to encourage them to take action and to dispel some of the commonly-held beliefs that saving energy will require significant investment in new capital equipment.
“We have been demonstrating to operators that taking small, incremental steps can have a significant impact on reducing energy consumption. This can include better housekeeping routines to avoid wasteful practices, fixing air pipework leaks, recovering heat which would otherwise be lost to the atmosphere, or implementing routine system maintenance.”
The Society has a dedicated website containing a host of end users hints and tips of simple ways that compressed air energy consumption can be reduced. Free, downloadable guides are available (taskforce10.bcas.org.uk/simple-steps) as well as an area highlighting real examples of energy-saving measures that customers have implemented.
Businesses looking for further information and advice on ways to reduce compressed air energy consumption can contact their local BCAS member or visit taskforce10.bcas.org.uk