Why be energy efficient?
Tight profit margins and rising energy prices create a strong case for energy efficiency in the food and beverage sector. Reducing energy costs through investment in energy efficiency can make a significant difference to the bottom line.1
Additional benefits can be delivered through lower water and chemical costs, increased plant productivity and improved product quality. A focus on energy efficiency can also enhance customer loyalty and a company’s reputation for responsible environmental performance.
Food and beverage processing plants are large users of energy for refrigeration, cooking, heating, boilers and steam generation, sterilising, conveyors, and auxiliary equipment. Significant energy savings can be achieved through the following strategies:
- Nestle - Industrial Refrigeration Best Practice 2011 (Opens in a new window)
By making changes to its refrigeration systems, including optimising temperature settings and regulating the loading and unloading of compressors, Nestle has achieved 6% energy savings, abating around 840 tonnes of carbon per annum, with a six-year return on investment.
- Murray Goulburn Co-operative - Energy Efficiency Best Practice 2003 (Opens in a new window)
- Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism
- PDF 162 KB
Staff know-how combined with sound measuring and monitoring enabled Murray Goulburn to achieve savings of $400,000 per year, with a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 3,500 tonnes.
- Bakers Delight - Energy Efficiency Best Practice 2003 (Opens in a new window)
- Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism
- PDF 228 KB
Through the Energy Efficiency Best Practice program, Bakers Delight’s designed a showcase bakery at its operation in Mascot. The bakery showcased best-practice building design, baking procedures and equipment efficiency, achieving a 32% reduction in annual energy costs compared to a standard Bakers Delight bakery. This was achieved without impacting on product quality, customer satisfaction or staff comfort.
- Mushroom Exchange Production Plant - Industrial Refrigeration 2008 (Opens in a new window)
The Mushroom Exchange processing plant reduced its refrigeration energy usage by 35%, by replacing old inefficient compressors, improving temperature control and maximising the efficiency of the refrigeration system.
- Maple Leaf Foods Inc. Corporate Energy Efficiency Strategy 2005 (Opens in a new window)
- Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency
- PDF 985 KB
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. implemented a corporate energy efficiency strategy which led to their energy intensity being reduced by more than 6 percent and annual energy saving exceeding $8 million.
- Richmond Dairies freezer room upgrade 2013 (Opens in a new window)
- The Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Heating (AIRAH)
- PDF 836 KB
Richmond Dairies replaced two inefficient freezer rooms, which allowed them to achieve improved product quality and efficiency. The project was partially funded with a grant from the Australian Government’s Clean Technology Investment Program, and the case study includes a description of the company secured funding through the grant process.
- Significant Opportunities Register – Food and Beverage Manufacturing (Opens in a new window)
This register records significant opportunities which have been identified by food and beverage manufacturers registered with the Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program. Companies involved in the program must publicly report every year on the number of cost effective opportunities they have identified with a four year payback or less. This reporting includes providing descriptions of three significant opportunities which have been identified as part of their energy efficiency assessments.
- Energy in Dairy 2012
- Victorian Department of Primary Industries
This series of fact sheets provides examples of the range of technologies and strategies available to improve energy efficiency on a dairy farm. Fact sheet topics include an overview of energy efficiency, solar panel systems, solar hot water systems, thermal heat recovery, LPG water heating and variable speed drives.
- Eco-Efficiency Toolkit for the Queensland Food Processing Industry 2004 (Opens in a new window)
- Queensland Government
- PDF 3.8 MB
This eco-efficiency toolkit has been developed for food processing companies in Queensland, to increase their awareness and uptake of eco-efficiency.
- How to save energy in the food, drink and tobacco sector
- Carbon Trust (UK)
The UK Carbon Trust website includes a range of energy saving advice for food and beverage manufacturers. This includes an overview of key carbon saving opportunities, energy saving advice for key energy using technologies and a series of case studies of how different companies achieved significant energy savings.
- Power Quality & Utilization Guide for the Food & Beverage Industry 2010 (Opens in a new window)
- Leonardo Energy
- PDF 1.1MB
This guide provides a detailed overview of available measures for energy efficiency in the food and beverage processing industries, with a focus on fruit and vegetable processing. It is based on examples from theory and practice and outlines a wide range of the most significant process-specific energy efficiency opportunities including guidance for identifying savings opportunities and associated energy savings estimations.
- Technology Report – Industrial refrigeration and chilled glycol and water applications 2011 (Opens in a new window)
This report outlines 15 energy saving technologies available to increase the energy efficiency of an industrial refrigeration plant. Where possible, for each technology the annual energy savings, capital costs and payback periods have been estimated by considering examples.
A range of relevant best practice guides are also available for specific sub-sectors in the food and beverage sector, such as meat and livestock, dairy, food and vegetable, confectionery processing, breweries and wineries. For more information, see Resources – Food and Beverage Manufacturing.
Footnotes ~ Show 1 footnote
- Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Working Group (2003) Towards a National Framework for Energy Efficiency – Issues and Challenges Discussion Paper, Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Working Group, p 6 ↩