Chemical manufacturing resource efficiency

Chemical manufacturing energy efficiency

Guide

Chemical manufacturing is an energy-intensive industry. You may be able to save money and reduce your impact on the environment by reducing the amount of energy that your business uses or using renewable sources of energy.

By using less energy you can:

  • save money on your fuel bills
  • help to combat climate change
  • improve your reputation with staff, customers and the public

Get an Energy Performance Certificate

If you sell, let, construct or refurbish a building, you must obtain an Energy Performance Certificate. This includes domestic, commercial and public buildings.

The certificate gives the building an A-G energy efficiency rating and recommends how you can improve the energy rating of the building.

See Energy Performance Certificates for business properties.

Claim enhanced capital allowances

If you invest in certain types of energy-saving equipment and machinery you can qualify for first year enhanced capital allowances. These allow the whole cost of your investment to be offset against taxable profit in the year you bought the equipment.

See first-year allowances for energy saving products.

Check if you can claim an exemption or discount from the climate change levy

The climate change levy is a tax on using non-renewable energy. If the climate change levy applies to your business you will already be paying it as part of your energy bill. Your business may be exempt from the climate change levy, or entitled to a discount if you meet energy efficiency targets set out in a climate change agreement.

Trade associations that have negotiated climate change agreements for their members include the Chemical Industries Association.

Smart energy meters

The government is introducing smart electricity and gas meters to help businesses save money and reduce their carbon emissions. Smart meters will mean automatic and accurate billing. They should allow you to monitor live energy consumption and prices to help you use less power at peak times when it is most expensive.

Reduce your energy use

  • Review the energy your business uses. Look at your business activities and think of ways that you could save energy.
  • Compare the amount of energy that your business uses with industry standards.
  • Include targets and ways to reduce energy use in your environmental management system.
  • You can get recognition for measuring and reducing your carbon emissions through the Carbon Trust Standard certification scheme.
  • Raise awareness among your staff about the cost of energy. Ask them to help you find savings. Get them involved in monitoring energy use.

Energy efficiency tips

You could:

  • Monitor how much heat and power your processes use to identify inefficiencies.
  • Make your boiler work more efficiently by metering steam flow (energy out) and fuel input (energy in) and adjust the settings if necessary.
  • Insulate pipes, valves, tanks and machines that contain steam or hot liquids. This will help to reduce heat loss and could reduce your heating costs.
  • Make sure that your motors and pumps are a suitable size for your activities.
  • Lubricate your machines regularly to keep them running efficiently.
  • Consider using variable speed controls on your motors to minimise energy use.
  • Use heat exchangers on hot effluent streams to recycle heat for your processing activities.