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The European Commission is referring Belgium and Finland to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to transpose the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

The directive which had to be transposed into national law by 9 July 2012, requires member states to establish and apply minimum energy performance requirements for all buildings, ensures the certification of buildings' energy performance and requires the regular inspection of heating and air conditioning systems. In addition, the directive wants Member States to ensure that by 2021 all new buildings are so-called nearly zero-energy buildings.

"Energy efficiency is vital for keeping our energy costs in check and mitigating climate change. Using less energy is paramount for ensuring security of supply in Europe. It is essential that all Member States put in place the legislation necessary to speed up energy efficiency measures. 40% of EU energy consumption is in the buildings' sector and it is here where the most energy can be saved", said Günther Oettinger, the EU Energy Commissioner.

Under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (Directive 2010/31/EU) consumers and citizens have the right to be informed about the energy performance of the building they intend to buy, rent or construct and the right to be properly advised on cost-effective ways to improve the energy performance of the building.

The Commission proposes a daily penalty of 19 178, 25 € against Finland and 42 178, 50 € against Belgium. The level of this penalty is set taking into account the duration and the severity of the infringement. In case of an affirmative judgment of the Court, the daily penalty is to be paid from the date of the judgment until the transposition is complete. The Court will decide the final amount of the daily penalty.

The Commission is currently also examining the situation in other Member States (United Kingdom, Slovenia, Romania, Poland, the Netherlands, Malta, Latvia, Luxembourg, Italy, Greece, Estonia, Czech Republic and Austria) to which reasoned opinions for incomplete transposition have been addressed.

Background

The EU’s target is a 20% cut in Europe's annual primary energy consumption by 2020. Buildings account for more than one third of its CO2-emissions and about 40% of the EU's total final energy consumption.

By appropriately transposing and implementing the legislation on energy efficiency in buildings, EU Member States can achieve a substantial amount of cost effective energy savings and avoid associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force on 1 December 2009, if Member States fail to transpose EU legislation into national law within the required deadline, the Commission may ask the Court to impose financial sanctions when referring the case to court.

The daily penalty payment is calculated based on a formula, where the following elements are multiplied:

·         seriousness factor

·         length of the infringement

·         "n" factor (which varies between Member States and takes into account their GDP)

·         flat-rate amount, which currently is set at €650 per day.

Reference:

EUROPA- Press releases database

This Refrigeration Road Map introduces the main energy saving opportunities for refrigeration use in the retail sector and demonstrates how simple actions save energy use, cut costs and increase profit margins.

The technologies included in the Refrigeration Road Map have been divided into three sub-groups:

  • Technologies currently available for retrofit in supermarkets
  • Technologies that could be installed during a store refit
  • Technologies that could be implemented in a new build supermarket.

Each technology has then been benchmarked against a baseline supermarket scenario to show its relative carbon saving potential. In addition, a number of potential future technologies have also been identified. These technologies are discussed within this report, but have not been evaluated for their CO2e saving potential as there is currently insufficient evidence to attribute carbon savings to them at this stage in their development.  This report accompanies the Refrigeration Road Map and is split up into a number of sections:

  • How the Refrigeration Road Map was developed.
  • How the Refrigeration Road Map should be used.
  • The presentation format for the Refrigeration Road Map.
  • The baseline supermarket used for making carbon calculations.
  • The Refrigeration Road Maps for the three technology subgroups (retrofit, refit and new store), together with an explanation of each technology.
  • Details on other future potential technologies that could save carbon but are not currently considered viable in the short to medium-term.

Refrigeration road map (CTG021)Click to view

For more information about the Carbon Trust guidance documents, click here.

NIIRTA, Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association, is the representative body for the independent retail sector in Northern Ireland. With over 1,300 retail members from wholesalers to independent retailers and a wide variety of suppliers within the sector, the collective membership employs more than 30,000 staff and has an annual turnover of over £3 billion.

NIIRTA members spend an estimated £15 million per year on energy. This equates to an annual energy spend of £19,500 for a 2,000 ft2 sales area convenience store, going up to £25,000 or even £45,000 if the store uses more than the average amount of energy, or is open 24 hours a day. Refrigeration has been identified as the largest energy user in convenience stores. Considering 50-70% of a supermarket’s energy costs can be attributed to refrigeration, a conservative estimate indicates that £7.5 million is spent by NIIRTA members on refrigeration. This equates to between £9,750 and £22,500 per year per store.

This guide will allow NIIRTA members to implement efficiency improvements through 41 opportunities classified by scale of implementation from:

  • Day to day operations.
  • At the Next Engineer Service.
  • Part of Refurbishment/Retrofit.
  • Full Replacement.

For more information on the Energy Savings in Retail Refrigeration guide – Click to view.

If you would like to view further Carbon Trust guidance documents, please click here.

Improve energy efficiency of your refrigeration systems with energy-saving guidance in a series of handy guides from the Carbon Trust.

For some organisations refrigeration costs can represent over 50% of their energy bill. The Carbon Trust provides simple, effective advice to help businesses take action to reduce carbon emissions. The simplest way to do this is to use energy more efficiently.  We recommend the following refrigeration guidance documents from the Carbon Trust:

 

Refrigeration guidance: We have the following refrigeration publications available for free download:

Refrigeration systems technology guide (CTG046)

Refrigeration systems technology guide

Refrigeration systems technology guide (CTG046) – Click to view

This refrigeration technology guide introduces the main energy saving opportunities for businesses and demonstrates how simple actions can save energy, cut costs and increase profit margins.  Energy saving doesn’t need to be expensive. Up to 20% can be cut in many refrigeration plants through actions that require little or no investment. In addition, improving the efficiency and reducing the load on a refrigeration plant can improve its reliability and reduce the likelihood of a breakdown. Most organisations can save energy and money on refrigeration through good maintenance, housekeeping and control and more efficient equipment.  This publication provides an overview of the operation of refrigeration systems, identifies where you can make savings, and will help you to present an informed case on energy savings to key decision makers within your organisation.

Energy Savings in Retail Refrigeration (CTG808)

Chilling energy costs

Energy Savings in Retail Refrigeration (CTG808) Click to view

NIIRTA, Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association, is the representative body for the independent retail sector in Northern Ireland. With over 1,300 retail members from wholesalers to independent retailers and a wide variety of suppliers within the sector, the collective membership employs more than 30,000 staff and has an annual turnover of over £3 billion.

NIIRTA members spend an estimated £15 million per year on energy. This equates to an annual energy spend of £19,500 for a 2,000 ft2 sales area convenience store, going up to £25,000 or even £45,000 if the store uses more than the average amount of energy, or is open 24 hours a day. Refrigeration has been identified as the largest energy user in convenience stores. Considering 50-70% of a supermarket’s energy costs can be attributed to refrigeration, a conservative estimate indicates that £7.5 million is spent by NIIRTA members on refrigeration. This equates to between £9,750 and £22,500 per year per store.

This guide will allow NIIRTA members to implement efficiency improvements through 41 opportunities classified by scale of implementation from:

  • Day to day operations.
  • At the Next Engineer Service.
  • Part of Refurbishment/Retrofit.
  • Full Replacement.

Refrigeration road map (CTG021)Click to view

Refrigeration Road Map

Refrigeration road map (CTG021) Click to view

This Refrigeration Road Map introduces the main energy saving opportunities for refrigeration use in the retail sector and demonstrates how simple actions save energy use, cut costs and increase profit margins.

The technologies included in the Refrigeration Road Map have been divided into three sub-groups:

  • Technologies currently available for retrofit in supermarkets
  • Technologies that could be installed during a store refit
  • Technologies that could be implemented in a new build supermarket.

Each technology has then been benchmarked against a baseline supermarket scenario to show its relative carbon saving potential. In addition, a number of potential future technologies have also been identified. These technologies are discussed within this report, but have not been evaluated for their CO2e saving potential as there is currently insufficient evidence to attribute carbon savings to them at this stage in their development.  This report accompanies the Refrigeration Road Map and is split up into a number of sections:

  • How the Refrigeration Road Map was developed.
  • How the Refrigeration Road Map should be used.
  • The presentation format for the Refrigeration Road Map.
  • The baseline supermarket used for making carbon calculations.
  • The Refrigeration Road Maps for the three technology subgroups (retrofit, refit and new store), together with an explanation of each technology.
  • Details on other future potential technologies that could save carbon but are not currently considered viable in the short to medium-term.

How to maintain refrigeration equipment (CTL135)

How to ensure your equipment is correctly maintained

How to maintain refrigeration equipment (CTL135)Click to view

Correctly maintaining your refrigeration equipment can save you energy and money, as well as reducing downtime. This guide should help you ensure your maintenance arrangements maximise energy efficiency and minimise costs.  All refrigeration equipment needs to be serviced to repair faults, and maintained to prevent faults before they happen. Appropriate plant maintenance will save you money through reduced energy bills, reduced service costs and less plant downtime. Appointing a good maintenance contractor is the key to achieving these savings.

The business case

Good maintenance saves money by maximising plant efficiency and therefore reducing electricity costs, reducing equipment failure and the costs associated with plant downtime and stock or product loss.  The cost of a suitable maintenance contract depends on the complexity and size of the system. Typically the annual maintenance cost is between 2% and 5% of the original capital cost of the plant, but you’re likely to save up to 10 times the maintenance cost through greater energy efficiency. In addition you can also reduce service costs and lost production costs.

How to minimise head pressure in refrigeration (CTL136)

How to minimise head pressure in refrigeration

How to minimise head pressure in refrigeration (CTL136) – Click to view

By minimising the head pressure of your existing refrigeration systems, you can increase their efficiency and cooling capacity, and save yourself both energy and money.  Head pressure refers to the pressure in the high pressure side of a refrigeration system – the condenser.  Lowering head pressure reduces the temperature at which the condenser operates and increases the efficiency of your refrigeration system. By minimising the head pressure, you can maximise your system’s cooling capacity and minimise energy costs.

All refrigeration systems, from small integral standalone equipment such as domestic refrigerators, to those with condensing units or remote condensers, can have the potential to reduce head pressure. This guide is most relevant if you have a system with a condensing unit, or a remote air-cooled or evaporative condenser.

How to reduce heat gain in refrigeration (CTL137)

How to reduce heat gain for cabinets and cold rooms

How to reduce heat gain in refrigeration (CTL137)-Click to view

Minimising the heat gains on refrigerated cabinets and cold rooms cuts the cooling load on your refrigeration system and saves you energy and money. Any energy efficiency initiative dealing with refrigeration should start by reviewing the heat gains on your system.  If you understand the nature of these gains, you’ll be able to manage the amount of cooling that needs to be done and make energy savings. Heat gains include warm air entering the cabinet or cold room and heat produced by electrical equipment within the cooled space. This guide covers in detail two opportunities to reduce heat gains: reducing cold air changes using strip curtains, and using EC (electronically commutated) replacement motors for evaporator fans.

The business case - You will find opportunities for reducing heat gains on refrigerated cabinets and cold rooms in most applications.  Improving door management in cold rooms results in substantial energy savings. For example, installing plastic strip curtains to a cold room can give savings of up to 30%, and have a payback period of around a year.  Replacing conventional shaded-pole fan motors with equivalent EC motors can cut their energy use by 65%, as well as generating less heat and reducing your maintenance replacements.  You can maximise the saving achieved by fitting a whole new fan assembly instead of just replacing the motor. In most applications the payback period for fitting EC motor fans is one to two years, but it can be much shorter.

How to reduce heat load in refrigeration (CTL138)

How to reduce your heat load

How to reduce heat load in refrigeration (CTL138) – Click to view

Reducing the heat load on your existing large refrigeration systems can save energy and cut your running costs. It can also reduce the capital cost of a new plant and even eliminate the need to invest in a new plant altogether.  This guide is aimed at users of existing large refrigeration systems such as those in supermarkets, central air conditioning systems, large cold stores and large industrial processes. It will help you to minimise your cooling needs and to meet them as efficiently as possible using the most suitable refrigeration system.  Both of these will result in energy savings.

Before you start any refrigeration energy efficiency initiative it is vital to review the heat loads on your cooling plant. If you understand the nature of your loads you can make sure they are met while at the same time minimising the energy cost of your refrigeration systems.

The business case - There are opportunities to reduce the heat load on refrigeration systems at almost all sites.  Savings and costs will vary depending on the type of opportunity.  Often payback periods are less than one year, and sometimes even no-cost heat load reductions are possible.  If you are planning to install a new plant, reducing its heat load could reduce the capital cost. If your existing refrigeration system currently struggles to supply enough cooling, reducing the heat load on your system could avoid the need for an expensive new plant altogether.

How to add adiabatic cooling to your refrigeration plant (CTL139)

How to add adiabatic cooling to your refrigeration plant

How to add adiabatic cooling to your refrigeration plant (CTL139) – Click to view

Fitting adiabatic cooling to your air-cooled refrigeration plant will improve its efficiency and save you both energy and money.  Adiabatic cooling involves spraying water into the air supply of an air-cooled condenser to pre-cool the air. Cooler air increases the effective capacity of the condenser, which reduces the work required of the refrigeration compressor.  This means that your system will consume less energy, saving you money. You’ll make most of your savings during warm weather –adiabatic cooling is usually turned off when it’s cold.

The business case - The cost of installing an adiabatic cooling system depends on the size of the condenser. As a general rule you’re likely to recoup your investment within two years.  An added advantage is that the reduced load on the compressor lengthens its lifespan and cuts maintenance costs. However, the system does consume water, so you’ll have to take into account increased water costs.  A 300kW chiller will cost around £2,000 to install.  Based on 1,500 operating hours per year, it will save you around £1,400 a year, giving a payback period of 1.4 years.

How to implement heat recovery in refrigeration (CTL056)

How to implement heat recovery in refrigeration

How to implement heat recovery in refrigeration (CTL056) – Click to view

Recovering waste heat produced by the refrigeration process can save energy and cut costs.  Industrial and commercial companies of all sizes and in all sectors use refrigeration plant to reduce the temperature of buildings.  The food industry also uses refrigeration in the production and storage of food and drink.  Heat recovery equipment can be fitted to existing plant, or companies can specify new plant with heat recovery already integrated. In both cases, the technology allows waste heat to be re-used for space heating or hot water.

The business case - The cost depends on size, but even on some small units, companies could recoup their investment in less than five years.  For a 200kW chiller, heat recovery equipment would cost around £10,000 installed. Assuming 3,000 hours’ operating a year and current gas prices, the heat recovered could add up to a saving of £5,400 – giving a payback in less than two years.  A new 150kW capacity chiller with full heat recovery would be around £26,000 installed, but operating on the same number of hours as above, could save £13,500 and give a payback in around two years.

This article is brought to you by Fridgehub – a major new industry website for manufacturers, distributers, service providers, operators and consumers of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat-pump (RACHP) products and services.

www.fridgehub.com

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In some sectors like food retail, food processing and manufacturing, distribution and storage, refrigeration can account for a significant proportion (50-90%) of overall site energy costs.  Against these high costs, even a small reduction in refrigeration energy use can offer significant cost savings resulting in increased profits.  It doesn’t need to be expensive.  Up to 20% can be cut in many refrigeration plants through actions that require little or no investment.  Here are six easy ways to reduce the energy used by your refrigeration system.

  1. Regular inspections - Get into the habit of inspecting your system - early warning signs allow you to take action before any problem gets worse. Look for ice build-up on evaporators, debris on condensers, broken fans, and snow and ice in cold stores.  Bubbles in sight glasses can indicate a refrigerant leak.  Marking pressure gauges for summer and winter can help you identify when compressors are working too hard.  Listen for unusual noises, which could suggest damaged fans, out of balance motors, worn bearings or short-cycling compressors.  If you’re familiar with your own refrigeration plant you’re more likely to recognise when it is working well and when it needs attention.
  2. Regular maintenance - Refrigeration systems need regular maintenance to ensure they continue to perform efficiently and reliably.  Ensure that your units are regularly serviced and check that condensers and evaporators are kept clean and fans and defrost systems are working correctly.  Set up a maintenance contract with an accredited F-Gas registered service provider to ensure that your plant is safe, efficient, leak free and reliable.  This will also reduce the cost of breakdowns and emergency service calls.
  3. Know your controls - Get to know your system controls - Most refrigeration systems are automatic, with controls that switch the compressors and fans on and off.  Basic controls work off a thermostat, while more advanced controls monitor factors such as the cooling load, the build-up of ice, ambient weather conditions and can even optimise your systems performance to reduce your energy usage even further.  If you can, only cool to the temperature that you need.  Every 1°C saved could reduce your energy consumption by 2%.
  4. Reduce the load & minimise wastage - Only refrigerate your product, space or process where you really need to. Many applications (such as factory production areas) only require refrigeration at certain times.  No matter how efficient your refrigeration system is, it will still use energy, so if you don’t need refrigeration, turn it off.  Where refrigeration is required, keep it at the highest possible temperature.  Turning up the thermostat will reduce the load on the refrigeration system and cut energy costs.  Reduce infiltration by improving door management, using night blinds or strip curtains and switching off lights in the cooled space out of hours.  Larger systems will benefit from using free cooling, raising process temperatures and improving control of other equipment such as pumps and fans.  Invest in sound pipe insulation. Insulation that is badly applied and maintained adds to your energy costs, through lost cooling capacity and reduced compressor efficiency.
  5. Better housekeeping - Don’t overstock cabinets. Keep air grilles clear. Close blinds and night covers. Close doors and maintain door seals.  Don’t overfill – Cool air needs room to circulate.  A unit will be most efficient if it is not overfilled.  Product should not block the grilles at the front of a retail display cabinet or obstruct the airflow to and from the coolers in cold rooms, as this will increase energy consumption and compromise food temperatures.  Keep doors closed - Make sure doors aren't left open for longer than absolutely necessary. Loading and unloading tasks should be carefully organised.  Make sure the product loaded hasn’t been warmed up by being left in an ambient temperature
  6. Improve layout and location of systems and units - Keep refrigeration units far away from any sources of heat (including direct sunlight) and draughts. Severe draughts can increase the energy consumption of open fronted display cabinets by up to 95%.  Cabinets located near doorways or ventilation grilles can draw cold air into the shopping area.  Leave adequate space around the unit's vents so it can draw in and expel air.

The Carbon Trust refrigeration technology guide introduces the main energy saving opportunities for businesses and demonstrates how simple actions can save energy, cut costs and increase profit margins.

If you’d like to find out more about how to reduce the Energy Costs of your Refrigeration System be sure register your interest at http://fridgehub.com/contact-us/ and subscribe to our updates.