Insulation gives rapid payback

5th June 2014

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  • Mitigation ,
  • Management/saving


Tracey Elrick

UK businesses could save £370 million a year through cost-effective investment in industrial insulation, with a payback period of less than a year, according to the European Industrial Insulation Foundation (EiiF).

The UK statistics are contained in one of seven factsheets produced by the EiiF to demonstrate the annual energy savings and emission reduction potential of insulation in seven EU member states. They also reveal the initial investment required to achieve these savings, as well as the financial savings and likely payback times.

For the UK, the total potential energy savings – in petajoules (PJ) – amount to about 65 PJ, while the carbon savings are around 4.7 million tonnes of CO2 a year. This translates into 46 PJ and 3.2MtCO2 in industry, and 19 PJ and 1.5Mt O2 in fossil fuel-fired power generation, and is equivalent to more than the energy consumption of 900,000 households.

The UK factsheet notes that insulating bare surfaces to cost-effective levels and repairing damaged insulation at industrial sites requires initial investment of about £80 million. This one-off investment would represent energy savings of about 75% of the potential, which would save industry £370 million a year.

Germany has the highest predicted savings for industry (€750 million a year), and Sweden the lowest (€150 million). Figures for France and Spain are slightly below the UK’s (€420 million and €400 million respectively), while Italy can expect €500 million and Poland €200 million. All payback times are less than a year.

The latest factsheets use the same methodology as a 2012 report from Ecofys – which estimated annual potential savings for the whole of the EU at 620 PJ and 49MtCO2 – but some input data, such as energy prices, have been altered to reflect recent developments.


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