Neil Ritchie, Local Business Unit Manager, Low Voltage AC Drives, ABB writes: In the news recently, it was claimed that millions of families will be unable to pay their energy bills by 2015. Households will have to ration their energy to heat their homes or go without essentials such as food. This is truly shocking news.
Within industry, we are seeing similar energy price rises and a tendency by many businesses to pass these rising costs on to customers. However, if the customer is struggling to pay for essentials such as energy themselves, how can they be expected to pay for increasingly expensive goods?
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), energy consumption is set to increase about 76 percent between 2007 and 2030. Worryingly, in the last 18 months alone energy prices have risen by an average of about 40 percent. Clearly businesses need to find ways of reducing energy costs instead of passing them on or else their customers will look elsewhere for cheaper, more viable alternatives.
Most businesses are acutely aware of the need to reduce costs, yet there is evidence to suggest that many are still failing to act. In a global survey carried out in 2011 by the Economist Intelligence Unit and Enerdata, almost 90 percent of manufacturers said that improvements in their energy efficiency will be a critical factor for business success in the next two decades. However at the same time, only 34 percent of the respondents had done a company-wide energy audit/appraisal and only 40 percent said they had made energy efficiency investments in the past three years.
It is concerning that so few are taking action, despite all the evidence out there suggesting we are approaching a critical stage in energy supply. We are now competing globally for energy and costs will continue to rise as emerging economies such as India and China grow in size.
The only real way of reducing the burden of sky high energy costs is to tackle energy consumption. To help organisations gain control of their energy future, ABB offers its Energy Efficiency Plan that gives all the information you need to know in order to implement an energy reduction strategy for your motor-driven applications. The guide looks at how ABB technology can reduce costs and provides a range of examples of how many organisations are already benefiting. At the same time, a free no obligation energy appraisal can show you applications that can benefit from variable-speed drives and provide details of the saving you can achieve. Both of these are free, so why not take advantage.