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Energy audits reveal the true opportunity in insulating in industry

This week is Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels where the European Commission and other stakeholders will discuss ways to help the EU reach its energy and climate ambitions through sustainable energy initiatives. Knauf Insulation believes that one good place to start is industrial insulation.


A recent report from Eiif reaffirms the cost-effective energy savings potential of industrial insulation.

The research found the plants were losing out on yearly energy savings of more than 750,000MW/h adding up to an emission reduction potential of more than 500,000 tonnes of CO2 — the annual equivalent emissions from 110,000 cars.

The audits, known as Technical Insulation Performance Checks or TIPCHECKS, also revealed that the investments for remediating insulation deficiencies paid back in less than one or two years, resulting in a total cost saving potential of at least €23.5 million.

As a result of the TIPCHECK audits, a total of 75% of the plants audited were either planning to invest in improved insulation or had done so already, the survey said.

The findings are highlighted in a new report — Harnessing The Potential of Industrial Insulation — published by the European Industrial Insulation Foundation (EiiF) which created the TIPCHECK programme and features data from audit case histories (see below).

Barry Lynham, Group Director of Strategy and Communication, at Knauf Insulation, which is a member of Eiif, said: “Imagine the benefits we would enjoy if tens of thousands of industrial plants were audited by TIPCHECK not just 180?"

“We would save billions not millions of euros, we would start to reduce our reliance on energy imports, begin to really tackle climate change across Europe and significantly contribute to making our industries more competitive."

“What is important about this report is that it highlights the cost and effective pay-back of industrial insulation using real case histories and real data. It should be required reading for every decision maker at every industrial plant in Europe.”

Dominique Ristori, Director-General for DG Energy at the European Commission, said: “The survey findings demonstrate the usefulness of standardised thermal energy audits as well as the cost-effectiveness of remediating problems with industrial insulation to save energy and reduce emissions.”[i]

Three case studies highlighted by the new Eiif report

At an ArcelorMittal plant in Belgium the TIPCHECK audit found that insulation of valves and flanges in areas of key heat lost could reduce plant energy costs by more than €28,000 per year with a pay-back period of eight months. Now the company is requesting more audits at the plant.

At the Suiker Unie processing plant in The Netherlands the TIPCHECK audit showed that an insulation investment of €84,000 could save €37,000 every year with a pay-back period of two years. An insulation strategy is now being implemented.

At a refinery in Italy the TIPCHECK audit found that without insulation on a large oil storage tank the company faced an energy loss of €430,000 every year. The owner insulated the roof and the payback period was less than two years.

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