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Three ways to help cut Climate Change Levy bills
Published:  01 October, 2001

Three ways to help cut Climate Change Levy bills

Three companies have come up with different schemes to help electricity users to cut energy bills which have soared since the imposition of the Climate Change Levy in April. The three schemes are designed to make it easier to buy energy efficient motors, and to run air compressor and injection moulding installations more efficiently.

The first, from Baldor, allows users to replace old motors with high-efficiency models but to pay for the new machines over the first year of use. The company argues that the energy savings over this period will often be enough to cover the costs of the machines.

Neil Matthews, manager of Baldor`s Pays (Pay As You Save) scheme, says that "the introduction of the Climate Change Levy is viewed by some as highly damaging to British industry, but this scheme changes that". He adds that businesses that take advantage of the initiative "not only nullify the effects of the energy surcharge, they effectively get the motor for free by paying for it out of savings".

Baldor gives the example of replacing an 86%-efficient 75kW with a 95%-efficient Eff1 type at a cost of £3,264. If the motor is used continuously for 50 weeks in the year, it will save £3,470 in its first year (assuming an electricity cost of 5p/kWh). Under the Pays scheme, Baldor will spread the cost of the motor across 12 monthly instalments of £272. It will also offer free software to help users to work out the potential savings.

The second scheme, from compressed air specialist EnergAir, also avoids the need for an initial capital outlay by spreading payments for its Enercon management system over monthly instalments. The company claims that its Alert scheme will often cost less than the annual savings which could be as high as 35% in some installations.

Compressed air installations account for about 10% of industry`s electricity consumption, rising to 30% in some sectors. EnergAir`s technology controls the system pressure to cut consumption, and rotates compressors in multi-compressor installations to achieve the most efficient combination to meet demand. It includes software that allows plant supervisors to monitor their compressed air installations remotely, and to identify areas for further cost reductions.

The third scheme is aimed specifically at users of injection moulding machines and is based on a variable speed drive and control system for these machines developed by Newcastle-based Powermiser. The company has teamed up with Energy Save (UK) which specialises in "no capital cost" energy efficiency schemes, to offer a lease-purchase scheme.

Under this scheme, injection moulding machine operators will be offered a free audit to determine how much money the Powermiser technology could save them. Repayments will then be set typically at half the projected savings.

An example of the possible savings comes from the Hartlepool-based plastics moulding division of the Stadium Group which installed the Powermiser system on a Kraus Maffei moulding machine driven by 75kW motors. Tests by Powermiser engineers showed that savings of 31-38% would be possible.

Stadium`s maintenance manager Andy Forrester carried out further monitoring using a kilowatt-hour meter for a month and concluded that the savings would actually be 43% because the original tests had not taken idling savings into account. Now that the system has been installed, Forrester`s figures have proved accurate.

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