Carbon Trust research suggests better refrigeration cuts energy bills

London, UK: The Carbon Trust has produced a guide to encourage businesses to opt for sustainable, high-efficiency refrigeration equipment and methods, claiming that they could save 20% on energy bills.

According to the Carbon Trust, refrigeration bills can account for a large portion of companies’ energy bills – up to 50% for large businesses such as supermarkets and 70% for smaller retailers.

Carbon Trust’s guide, available free online as part of the company’s series of green guides, offers tips to save cash on cooling costs.

“Any business seeking to cut its costs should be looking at its energy bills, and for many companies refrigeration accounts for a large part of those energy costs,” Richard Rugg, director of delivery services at the Carbon Trust, said. “Savings of up to 20% are possible with simple no and low cost steps. If your business uses refrigeration, it’s an opportunity that’s too good to miss.”

Good maintenance of equipment, housekeeping and control of it and more efficient equipment in general are the keys to saving on refrigeration, the guide says. It offers advice and statistics on the major areas where businesses can save within these areas, including display cabinets, cold rooms, compressors, condensers, evaporators, heat recovery, reducing leaks, free cooling, chillers, pipe insulation, maintenance and monitoring.

The Carbon Trust advises companies to invest in high-efficiency refrigeration systems with the reassurance that costly equipment will pay off in the future.

Measures such as installing high-efficiency display cabinets listed under the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme can use 30% less energy than an unlisted cabinet. Fitting refrigeration systems with heat recovery equipment can save up to 30%, and investing in a chiller engineered for UK temperatures could save as much as £25,000 a year for a typical 800kW process chiller, it said.

Businesses that have invested in high-efficiency refrigeration are seeing positive changes to their energy bills according to Carbon Trust. It cites County Antrim Dairy that saved £3,200 in annual energy costs by purchasing a £4,700 condenser. Another company, Craigavon, found that by upgrading its refrigeration control systems, it could save £15,000 a year and pay for the equipment in one year.

In addition to the written guide, Carbon Trust offers informative tools to help businesses learn about eco-friendly refrigeration, including an animated tool, Understanding How Refrigeration Systems Operate and a free online seminar, How to Run an Efficient Refrigeration System.

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