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Manufacturers reject efficient drives as cost-cutters
Published:  26 May, 2011

UK manufacturers believe that switching off lights and changing their energy suppliers are the best ways for them to cut their energy bills, according to a new survey. For the third year running, a Benchmark Research survey has revealed that manufacturers prefer these measures to potentially more lucrative techniques such as using efficient motors and variable speed drives.

More than half of those surveyed have experienced energy price hikes in the past year, and 30% believe that changing their electricity supplier is the most effective way for them to curb these costs.

“It is highly encouraging that manufacturers are looking at ways to reduce their energy bills,” says Steve Ruddell, UK energy spokesperson for ABB, which sponsored the survey. “However, many are still only scratching the surface in terms of the savings that are achievable.

“It concerns me that the people tasked with allocating the resources in industry are not more aware of how electricity is used,” Ruddell adds. “If equipment is purchased on the basis of first cost alone, but at the expense of high running costs, nothing is gained.”

Most companies could save thousands of pounds worth of electricity – and in some cases, hundreds of thousands of pounds – by upgrading existing industrial processes, often at comparatively low cost, he points out.

Most of the manufacturers surveyed (78%) say they are measuring and monitoring their carbon emissions. But 30% of the respondents have no energy reduction targets.

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