Industrial Steam Efficiency: Checklist for Getting Management Approval PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christopher Russell   
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 09:12

(This is the Table of Contents and Introduction to the slide presentation Industrial Steam Efficiency: Checklist for Getting Management Approval, available from the Maryland Energy Administration Clearinghouse)

Industrial Steam Efficiency: Checklist for Getting Management Approval

Note: These slides are best used for individual reading and reference, not for making presentations

Christopher Russell
January 2004
Alliance to Save Energy
Washington, DC
202-857-0666

Checklist Contents

PURPOSE: This document presents the elements for any discussion that promotes industrial steam system improvements. “Energy efficiency” actually provides control over thermal resources, which is a true benefit to manufacturers that are struggling to compete in today’s product markets.

What is Industrial Steam Efficiency?........................................... 3

Management’s Objections.................................................. 4-14

Expense Savings............................................................. 15-22

Revenue Creation............................................................ 23-27

Risk Control.................................................................... 28-34

Relating Energy Efficiency to “Regular” Business Goals........... 35-40

Call to Action....................................................................41-45

Additional References........................................................46

 

What is Industrial Steam Efficiency?

Energy Efficiency = Thermal Control = Process Reliability = Improved Business Performance

 

Management Objections

THE NEXT SLIDES:

Manufacturers are in the business of making products, not being energy efficient.

“Energy efficiency” is widely misunderstood. That’s why there are so many objections to it.

Use the next ten slides to demonstrate how energy efficiency contributes to corporate and plant goals.

“We don’t have the money for energy efficiency projects.”

  • That’s because management is spending all its money on fuel. Do you have money to waste on fuel you don’t need?
  • They can pursue quick payback efficiency projects of 120, 90, 60 days or less (See Slide 9).
  • After the payback period, they will have recouped the cost of the improvement project. The ongoing savings are NEW MONEY.
  • The plant’s budget is probably set in stone, with no more money available.
  • But look at other budget line items. What’s the timing?
    • Insurance: two lump-sum payments, May and October
    • Legal & Audit: lump sum due in June
  • They can borrow against either of these accounts?
    • Pay for a 30- or 60-day payback project.
    • Energy savings pay back the “loaned” amount.
    • Savings after payback are new cash flows.
  • Challenge management to start with low-risk improvements such as combustion improvements, changes in operating procedure, or other quick return, non-capital items.
  • Challenge management to borrow from within the budget, pay back within 2-3 months. Any improvement that pays for itself under six months is a no-brainer. Do it.

“We don’t have the time.”

  • That’s because they’re too busy putting out fires and playing catch-up on overtime shifts.
  • Select projects that can be hired out to a consultant, vendor (Energy Performance Contractor), or a government or utility assistance program.
  • Some states enjoy the availability of low- or no-cost troubleshooting assistance from state energy offices or university-based services. Consult the searchable, online database of National Inventory of Manufacturing Assistance Programs at www.oit.doe.gov/bestpractices/nimap.
  • Take advantage of no- and low-cost assistance. Near term projects can be handled by a contractor. Over the long term, energy management procedures will (1) shift labor from reactive to proactive duties, and (2) reduce the frequency of fire drills, giving staff more time to monitor and control.

“We prefer to invest in growth, not savings.”

  • Energy efficiency activities recapture energy lost to leaks, radiant heat losses, dumped condensate, etc.
    • Grow thermal capacity without adding new assets
    • Extra capacity = extra output = more revenue
  • Facilitate growth by providing a reliable utilities platform:
    • Energy efficiency = control = reliability = ability to fill orders faster = ability to fill more orders = growth.
  • More end-product manufacturers are demanding environmentally- friendly supply inputs. Use plant efficiency to qualify for entry into these growing markets (See Slide 27).
  • Demonstrate energy efficiency’s potential to grow revenues. Re-direct energy waste to pay for growth.

“Energy projects interrupt our process.”

Opportunities* Pct. of Steam Load Avoided Payback (Years)
•    Combustion improvements
•    Steam & condensate piping improvements
•    Steam pressure reduction (not all plants)
1.50%
0.95%
0.63%
0.92
0.83
0.21
•    Heat recovery projects
•    Changes to plant operating procedures
•    Steam & fuel metering and monitoring
•    Water management
•    Miscellaneous non-capital projects
2.58%
2.66%
0.28%
0.26%
0.89%
1.13
1.29
1.39
1.74
1.72
•    Building space & domestic water heating
•    Insulation improvements
1.07%
0.68%
2.34
2.39
•    Boiler plant capital improvements 1.65% 4.44

* From summary of 66 boiler plant audits conducted by Enbridge Gas Distribution, Toronto,
Canada, 1997-2002.

  • The first 10-12 percent of steam savings come from well-proven, everyday techniques. Nothing exotic here-- interruption risk is minimal.

“I’m held accountable for production, not efficiency.”

Measuring, monitoring, and verification duties (MMV):
“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

  • MMV activities detect most anomalies before they become big problems.
  • Give the operator greater confidence in the plant’s thermal balance. Increase the ability to extend production runs or add new process lines.
  • Reduce reserve margins. Apply that extra capacity to productive uses.
  • Energy efficiency = control = reliability = ability to meet and expand production targets.

“I’d rather achieve efficiency by securing fuel at the lowest price.”

  • Low fuel prices may bring on complacency– there’s less incentive to improve the consumption side of the expenditure equation (See Slide 16).
  • Non-energy benefits are lost. Without a focus on consumption improvement, opportunities are lost to address related issues such as raw material waste, plant safety, idle resource costs, and improved capacity utilization.
  • Exposure to energy market volatility is increased. With less incentive to reduce consumption, the manager is in a more vulnerable position should fuel prices spike upward.
  • Energy expense is a function of price AND volume purchased. Also, energy-efficient practices make non-energy savings available.

“We’re already as efficient as we can be.”

  • Sure, they may be 100% in using the best 20-year-old technologies and practices. Are they aware of energy management innovations since then? Are their energy-to-product ratios flat, or rising over time?
  • Emissions compliance and workplace safety regulations also keep evolving. Energy management training also touches on these agendas. Plants that don’t keep up with these compliance duties face a greater chance of fines or worse– the threat of life or property casualties.
  • Give the plant manager a few BestPractices Steam case studies. If they appreciate software, give them a copy of the Steam System Assessment Tool (Everything is on the Steam CD, free from the DOE Clearinghouse: 877-337-3463
  • Efficiency gains are not a one-time exercise. Merge efficiency goals with operational maintenance to stay competitive.

“Doing nothing costs nothing.”

Price of “doing nothing” can be very high. It includes:

  • Revenues lost to downtime. Why? Energy efficiency = process control = reliability = greater output
  • Unrealized revenues from extra capacity. Why? Energy efficiency = control = reduced leaks and losses = greater application of thermal resources = additional output = more revenue
  • Higher fuel and utility expenses. Need to buy fuel to feed those leaks and thermal losses.
  • Higher idle resource costs. Downtime? With idle machines, plants still incur labor, overhead, and interest costs.
  • Greater exposure to safety and emissions penalties. Improved training and maintenance not only reduces energy use, it reduces compliance risks. Also, safer plants can reduce hazard insurance costs.
  • “Doing nothing” about energy efficiency actually directs your money into a wide range of things you don’t want to pay for.

“We need to cut the fat.”

Be careful what you cut... it may be muscle!

Energy Efficiency = Thermal Control = Process Reliability = Improved Business Performance

Think twice about cutting anything that gives you the ability to:

  • Reduce expenses
  • Generate revenue
  • Control risk
  • Management needs to know how the power plant contributes to business goals.
 

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