Is your manufacturing business ready to streamline its energy efficiency?

Posted on 25 Mar 2019 by Maddy White

In just one week businesses will need to streamline their energy and carbon reporting with a new government framework (SECR) to make emissions more transparent. Is your manufacturing business ready?

energy power - depositphotos
Companies should report all UK energy use – image courtesy of Depositphotos.

Manufacturers around the world are increasingly looking to introduce innovative and measurable energy systems that save money and resources.

Following a consultation in July 2018, the British government announced its approach to simplify energy and carbon reporting framework for businesses.

The strategy is being implemented (1 April) to replace the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, which comes to an end this month, with a new streamlined energy and carbon reporting (SECR) framework.

The main objective of SECR is to enable organisations to save energy through improved efficiency, this reducing their energy bills and carbon emissions.

As sustainable initiatives become ever more important, countries across the globe are racing to align policies to fulfill the Paris climate agreement and reduce the impacts of global warming.

What do you need to know?

Companies are required to report all UK energy use and on energy efficiency action taken in the last 12 months. Firms must include this data and information within their annual company accounts. 

The changes form part of a suite of policies being implemented as part of the government’s Clean Growth Strategy, to deliver on its goals of enabling business and industry to improve energy productivity by at least 20% by 2030.

SECR qualifying criteria:

  • All quoted companies
  • All large UK incorporated unquoted companies and LLPs fulfilling at least two of the following conditions in the financial year; at least 250 employees, an annual turnover over £36m or an annual balance sheet of more than £18m
  • Qualifying UK registered subsidiaries of parent companies not registered in the UK
  • Public bodies which include limited company or LLP element

The rise of renewable energy: Offshore wind sector deal

A third of British electricity is set to be produced by offshore wind power by 2030, according to the government. This forms part of its ambition to make the UK a global leader in renewable energy.

The capacity of offshore windfarms nearly doubled over 2018. Among the new offshore wind farms was the Walney Extension, the largest offshore wind farm in the world - image courtesy of Depositphotos. energy efficiency
Offshore wind is set to power more than 30% of British electricity by 2030 – image courtesy of Depositphotos.

Energy from offshore windfarms is set to power more than 30% of British electricity by 2030, energy and clean growth minister Claire Perry announced earlier this month (7 March) with the launch of the ‘Offshore Wind Sector Deal.’

This comes after the world’s largest offshore windfarm, Hornsea One, located just off the Yorkshire coast supplied its first batch of power to the UK electricity grid last month.

This deal will mean for the first time in Britain’s history there will be more electricity from renewables than fossil fuels, with 70% of the UK’s electricity predicted to be from low carbon sources by 2030 and over £40bn of infrastructure investment in the UK.

Two decades ago, the offshore wind sector was in its infancy, now it forms the core part of the tenth sector deal from the modern Industrial Strategy.

Manufacturing case study: First Ireland Spirits

First Ireland Spirits manufacture around 1.2 million (9L) cases of Irish cream every year in the rural Irish midlands. To make the production more resourceful and energy efficient, a few years ago the team set about integrating a new measuring system to improve operations.

Plant manufacturing lead, Joe Claffey is pictured (r).
Plant manufacturing lead, Joe Claffey is pictured (r).

“We added load cells onto tanks to measure weights, automated valves to control the flow of liquid and a number of mass flow meters,” plant manufacturing lead, Joe Claffey said to The Manufacturer on a visit earlier this year.

“The SCADA system is measuring everything, recording and logging all the batches, making the process quicker and totally consistent. The new system, coupled with the expertise of our liquid processing team, has enabled us to operate much more efficiently and has allowed us to increase plant output significantly.”

The greater control of the plant via the SCADA system has also enabled First Ireland Spirits to focus on making their plant more energy efficient.

As a member of Origin Green (the Irish government’s food and drink sustainability program), the site has been working towards becoming more environmentally friendly.

“In 2015, alongside the new SCADA system we installed an energy buffer system. This has allowed us to reduce our electricity consumption by 22% and our diesel consumption by 16%, something we are proud of as a site, we are continually looking to improve our sustainability and energy efficiency,” says Claffey.