Which of the following actions are relevant to an energy conservation program?

A. Sell energy conservation to management
B. Form a team to address energy conservation
C. Analyze plant utility bills and calculate the marginal cost of utilities
D. Identify viable projects
E. All of the above


Energy conservation projects typically involve little risk because they generally exhibit returns that can be accurately calculated and verified. Many plants engage in this activity and then stop. Starting or restarting an energy conservation program can seem overwhelming — especially in an environment where energy prices are low or falling.

That said, energy conservation can not only save money but can also be environmentally responsible because energy that is not consumed does not adversely affect the environment.

Energy conservation projects can be randomly performed by individuals, but obtaining strong management support and forming a plant-wide energy conservation team usually leads to superior results. One of its first activities could be to calculate the marginal cost of purchased utilities such as natural gas and electricity as well as plant utilities such as compressed air, cooling water and steam. Having these marginal costs readily available tends to simplify calculations to determine the viability of projects identified by the team.

Answer E is correct.

Additional complicating factors

Identifying, justifying and implementing energy conservation should be an ongoing activity in the plant. Maintaining momentum for the effort can be difficult after the best energy conservation projects are implemented.

David W. Spitzer

David W. Spitzer

David W. Spitzer is a regular contributor to Flow Control magazine and a principal in Spitzer and Boyes LLC offering engineering, seminars, strategic, marketing consulting, distribution consulting and expert witness services for manufacturing and automation companies. Spitzer and Boyes is also the publisher of the Industrial Automation INSIDER. Mr. Spitzer has more than 40 years of experience and has written over 10 books and 300 articles about flow measurement, instrumentation and process control.

He can be reached at  845-623-1830 or via www.spitzerandboyes.com. Click on the “Products” tab to find his Consumer Guides to various flow and level measurement technologies.