Guide

Paper manufacturing energy efficiency

Energy efficiency in paper and cardboard production

Paper and cardboard manufacturing can be energy-intensive. 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 (EPC)

If you sell, let, construct or refurbish a building, you must obtain an EPC. 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.

If you are moving premises you should make sure you receive an EPC for the building from the seller or your landlord. The energy efficiency ratings are standard, so you can compare the energy efficiency of one building with another building of a similar type.

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 you to offset the whole cost of your investment against taxable profit in the year you bought the equipment.

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

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

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

You can monitor your energy use on a regular basis by reading meters and relating energy consumption to production levels and building occupancy.

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. Your trade association can help you find this information.

Get advice on energy efficient design and technology when you build new facilities or carry out extensions and major upgrades.

Include targets and ways to reduce energy use in your environmental management systems (EMS).

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:

  • use a combined heat and power plant, as this is the most energy efficient way to produce the required balance of steam and electricity at many paper mills
  • recover heat from steam and use it to heat water or dry paper
  • recover heat from spent cooling water using heat exchangers
  • use high efficiency mechanical dewatering at all stages to reduce the energy required to dry the web
  • use heat recovery hoods over paper machines