John Guthrie, Area Manager Product AC Drives, ABB writes : In its drive to improve energy efficiency, the EU is launching the Energy Efficiency Directive. Under the new directive, Member States will have until April 2013 to set national targets for energy efficiency cuts, a policy designed to help the EU achieve its goal of improving energy efficiency by 20 percent by the end of the decade.
The rules also require central governments to renovate three percent of the floor area of the buildings they own every year from 2014. EU countries are requested to draw up a roadmap to make the entire buildings sector more energy efficient by 2050 (commercial, public and private households included).
In addition, the directive will have a major impact on businesses, requiring utilities to deliver energy savings between 2014 and 2020 equivalent to 1.5 percent of their annual energy sales to customers. It has been reported that this can be achieved via improved heating systems, fitting double-glazed windows or insulating roofs. But, disappointingly, it appears that, once again, industry commentators are forgetting the important energy-saving role of variable-speed drives and high efficiency motors.
Let’s hope they are not forgotten by those engaged in another requirement of the directive – the energy audit. Large companies are required to conduct an energy audit within three years of the Directive’s start date and again every four years after this. Small and medium sized firms (SMEs) will be required to follow suit soon after.
Although the authorised, independent auditors that will carry out the audits as laid down in the EU Directive will be trained specialists, it is unlikely, in my experience, that they will have the depth of expertise in motor-driven systems that our own engineers have built up over the years. For this reason, last year, we offered a training course to all energy consultants registered with the Carbon Trust, CIBSE or Energy Institute.
The course provides the knowledge and the tools to help energy consultants confidently assess which motor-driven applications are best suited to variable-speed drives. Armed with ABB’s know-how and tools the consultants are able to extend their advice and make recommendations about the fitting of variable-speed drives.
Backed by ABB and its UK-wide technical partners, consultants can offer customers the chance to trial variable-speed drives. They can then use ABB’s network of partners to install and commission the drives on their behalf, leaving them to project manage the energy savings.
So if you are an energy consultant drop me a note at the end of this blog, and we’ll get in touch.