It's not just the money
Saving energy is mainly about saving money. Of course it's also about reducing climate change, but that is
a rather lofty and abstract view from the business perspective, unless you are in the market to sell
carbon emission credits (in which case it is about money again).
However, we should not overlook other possible incidental benefits of reducing energy consumption. To pick some
of the important ones:
- Deferring or avoiding capital expenditure: when an enterprise is operating near the capacity limit
of its supply infrastructure, good energy management will reduce peak demand by eliminating some of the unnecessary
consumption that contributes to the peak. That creates more headroom for business growth that otherwise would
be constrained by lack of (say) electricity transformer capacity.
- Increasing service life of equipment: when you save energy by avoiding unnecessary running of
equipment, you prolong its service life. In extreme cases you may postpone breakdowns of critical ancillary
equipment and thereby extend the time between business interruptions. One specially pernicious fault is
excessive (or even continuous) running of electric frost-protection heaters: this will almost certainly lead
to premature failure, and loss of service that will not be detected until too late.
- Improving service quality: sometimes, energy waste is associated with incorrect plant operation which has
other adverse consequences. The classic example is where there are two or more heating boilers operating
in parallel, but with one left idle in the circuit and not firing. As well as providing a path to dump heat to
atmosphere, the idle boiler can contribute unheated water to the combined flow.
The combined flow temperature will thus be depressed below the design level, which may cause
heating or hot water not to work properly.