ARTICLE

Seeking new efficiencies

04 March 2013

Here, Chris Dee, executive director of BCAS (British Compressed Air Society) outlines some of the recent changes to the ETL (Energy Technology List) and encourages operators of compressed air equipment to check before any purchase that the equipment is still listed

Here, Chris Dee, executive director of BCAS (British Compressed Air Society) outlines some of the recent changes to the ETL (Energy Technology List) and encourages operators of compressed air equipment to check before any purchase that the equipment is still listed

You don't have to look very far these days to see that energy - both the increased cost of it and the requirement on all of us to use less of it - is driving the agenda for change.

The world's leaders are constantly looking to devise new and sustainable ways to limit the effects of climate change. Across industry, energy and efficiency concerns have become the norm and part of day-to-day operations; increasing obligations are being placed on businesses to improve their carbon footprint.

Modern, high quality compressors will offer maximum performance, energy efficiency and low total cost of ownership over many years.

Therefore a lot of time and care should be taken to choose the right compressor for the job. Determining the right size of compressor for an application is an important consideration; especially as the capital cost of buying it is just a small part of the overall life cycle cost, which is the key factor in running the compressor over its working life.

Part of the Government's programme to manage climate change, the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme encourages businesses to invest in more efficient plant or machinery specified on the Energy Technology List (ETL), which is managed by the Carbon Trust.

By investing in technologies listed on the ETL, businesses can benefit from a 100% first year capital allowance against the taxable profits of the period of investment.

In August 2012, a number of changes came in to effect, which have impacted on the current composition of the ETL. In particular, the 'refrigeration compressors' category now includes some major changes to its criteria, while there are a number of housekeeping changes in the 'compressed air - refrigerated air dryers with energy-saving controls air to water heat pumps' category.

In addition, the energy-saving controls for desiccant air dryers category is now no longer eligible for ECAs.

CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme In his recent autumn statement, the chancellor announced changes to simplify the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (formerly the Carbon Reduction Commitment). The mandatory UKwide trading scheme introduced in 2010, targets emissions from large public and private sector organisations by encouraging the uptake of cost-effective energy-efficiency opportunities.

The CRC applies to all companies, partnerships, public bodies, charities and other incorporated bodies that have operations in the UK (where they have used over 6000MWh of half-hourly metered electricity and affects approximately 5000 organisations in the UK).

Under the new proposals, participants will benefit from: Reduced complexity, including less overlap with other schemes.

A 55% reduction in administrative costs.

This equates to savings of up to £272 million up to 2030.

A clearer set of rules to help encourage the adoption of energy-saving measures and the installation of more efficient equipment.

The new order is expected to come in to force on 1st June 2013 and the majority of the proposals will then be introduced in 2014/15.

Energy Bill November 2012 saw the Government's introduction of the long-awaited Energy Bill, a legislative framework designed to deliver secure, affordable, low-carbon energy in the UK.

It has naturally been met with scepticism in some quarters, reporting increased household and business energy bills to help fund clean energy projects and new power infrastructure.

However, just as compressed air manufacturers are continually seeking new ways of achieving the best energy performance, so too must the Government make strides to secure the country's future energy infrastructure.

Included in the bill are provisions for electricity market reform and the upgrade of the grid by 2020 to cope with rising electricity demand, as well as the regulation of the next generation of nuclear power plants.
 
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