UK Government Energy Programmes

For over 10 years, Paul was the high-temperature industrial sector manager for the UK’s Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme (the UK Government’s energy-programme before The Carbon Trust was established), working across several sectors:

  1. Glass: containers, flat, mineral fibre/ wool and borosilicate
  2. Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Foundries
  3. Non-Ferrous Metals/ Aluminium
  4. Iron & Steel sector
  5. Ceramics (bricks/ tiles and white-wares)

One of the main roles was to implement the EEBPP (later the Action Energy programme) for these industries, including:

  • Developing the UK Strategies for key sectors: Every 3 years, prepared then implemented Strategic EE Plans in collaboration with the relevant UK Trade Association.  For example, for Foundries: improvements to melting – burners, insulation, process control and heat recovery, product light-weighting (with knock-on downstream energy benefits to the transport sector) and improved yield.  In addition, the R&D programme supported novel melting and casting techniques.  In later years this remit expanded to providing direct and specific support to large Organisations. 
  • Benchmarking UK energy consumption patterns. Covered in greater detail in the separate “Benchmarking” page.
  • Industrial demonstration (case studies) of techniques or processes that offer significant improvements to energy and resource efficiency. Case Studies were seen as the “work-horse” of the programme, making use of real examples of an EE technology or technique.  The Case Study would provide a short (typically 4-page) summary of the new technology.  The aim was to encourage others to adopt the technology, by providing an independent “before” v “after” comparison of the technical, commercial and environmental benefits, thus reducing the risk. 
  • Producing documentation on current, good operating practices within industry (see here).
    Another of the programme “work-horses”. These “Good Practice Guides” (or GPGs) provided excellent generic or sector specific advice on Energy Management, cross-sector Utilities such as lighting, motors and compressed air, or operation of sector-specific technologies – such as glass furnace emission controls.
    Over time, many have been reviewed or updated, and some are still available from the Carbon Trust although, unfortunately, others have been withdrawn. These GPGs are still in used in UK and elsewhere; I have seen abridged translated versions being used in China and elsewhere.
  • Managing EE research programmes on behalf of the Government. “Blue sky” type research that was to help bring about the “sea-change” energy reductions that needed to meet the 80% reduction in anthropological GHG emissions by 2050. 
  • Providing sector specific advice on energy efficiency/ low carbon opportunities. Initially, these were in the shape of “Energy Partnerships” with some of the larger, energy-intense Organisations and bespoke training, access to relevant literature, as well as short walk-through audits and advice.
  • Contacts with Government, manufacturers, Trade Associations, equipment suppliers. An important link role, needed to maintain awareness of what is around, keep up on the latest legislation and other drivers and initiate dialogue with Trade Bodies as the start of the CCAs. The overarching aim was to ensure that the strategy for forthcoming years was something that the Sector wanted and that Government could support.

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