Neil Ritchie, Local Business Unit Manager, Low Voltage AC Drives, ABB writes: When we think of energy saving, many of us will think of large industrial processes and factories with many motors driving pump and fan applications.
Yet manufacturing is only the third largest sector of the UK economy, after business services and wholesale/ retail. In fact, retail provides 11 percent of UK employment, compared to manufacturing’s eight percent.
So it’s a big sector with big energy needs. On average, refrigeration accounts for 40 percent of a retailer’s energy bill, with compressors and condensers accounting for 30 to 35 percent of total refrigeration costs.
Many retailers across the country have set goals for improving energy efficiency and are committed to lowering their carbon footprint. Sainsbury’s recently announced plans for renewable geothermal sources to provide energy efficient heating, hot water and cooling.
It claims this will reduce each stores’ carbon emissions and energy consumption by up to 30 percent each. Which is highly commendable, but are they properly addressing the areas consuming the greatest amounts of energy?
All this hot air and water needs to be blown and pumped around the store – using the most efficient motors and drives could put the icing on the cake for Sainsbury’s and other retailers, making them more competitive and helping their customers with their own budgets.