Companies belonging to the food industry are generally big energy-intensive players. In a market that fluctuates so much, controlling energy consumption is a priority for food companies. But what are the options available to the food industry? How can it make savings?
Energy savings for the food industry sector
We often hear that energy savings and ecology do not go together, and even less so for sectors such as the food industry. However, a multitude of actions are available to agri-food companies. They allow them to combine economy and ecology, regardless of the level of maturity of the company on the subject and their budget.
Whatever the solutions chosen by the company, it will be necessary to start by carrying out a site analysis and setting up an adapted measurement system. These actions will thus make it possible to identify the sources of energy savings specific to a company in the food industry.
Finally, one of the recommended actions to be implemented for the food industry is to obtain the ISO 50001 certification.
How to act? Where to start?
The ISO 50001 standard for the food industry
ISO 50001 is a standard for energy management within companies. It proposes, in particular, ways to reduce energy consumption through the implementation of an energy management system.
The ISO 50001 standard therefore defines the framework as follows:
- Implementing a policy for more efficient energy use
- To set objectives for the said policy
- Make decisions based on collected data related to energy consumption
- Measuring results
- Verify the effectiveness of the policy
- Continuous improvement of energy management
It is important to note that obtaining the standard is, of course, not mandatory. However, it does allow for savings, especially in energy-intensive sectors such as the agri-food industry. ISO 50001 accreditation is therefore strongly recommended.
The Energy Performance Contract at the service of the food industry
How does the Energy Performance Contract (EPC) work for an agri-food busines?
The Energy Performance Contract creates a commitment from the service provider to the food company.
As a result, over the duration of the contract, the service provider measures changes in the company’s energy consumption in order to take corrective actions on the energy savings identified.
In some European countries, companies can also benefit from subsidy bonuses and acquire Energy Economy Certificates (EEC) through the implementation of energy-saving actions. Through the framework of an energy performance contract, these bonuses may even be enhanced.
What actions can be carried out within the framework of a Energy Performance Contract in the food industry?
Here is a sample of the actions that can be taken when a company sets up a EPC with a service provider:
- Regulation of heating and air-conditioning stations
- Thermal insulation of buildings
- Relamping: lighting optimization
- Awareness campaign for employees on the use of energy
Energy efficiency at the service of agri-food industries
In terms of , whether it concerns the food industry or another sector, the fundamental step remains: the energy audit. This process enables companies to identify precisely the energy performance actions that can be carried out in the short, medium and long term.
Industrial refrigeration systems in the food industry sector
Industrial refrigeration can be an important key element for food industries depending on their products and manufacturing processes. Many players in the food industry use refrigerant fluids that require special management and control.
In addition, European regulations are becoming stricter regarding the treatment of these different fluids. It is thus interesting to call upon an expert service provider in the field in order to comply with these regulations.
Photovoltaics as an economic lever for companies in the agri-food industry
As a very energy-intensive sector, the agri-food industry has high and also very regular energy expenses. Photovoltaics can therefore be a solution to reduce energy bills.
Indeed, the roofs of factories, warehouses and other food processing industries are often large and unused surfaces. They are therefore perfect spaces for the installation of photovoltaic power plants.
Photovoltaics is therefore referred to as an economic option because solar plants allow practicing self-consumption and grid injection.
- The installation therefore allows the energy produced on the roof to be consumed directly. It is then estimated that the energy produced by the plant can be 25 to 50% cheaper than that purchased from its energy supplier.
- Network injection, on the other hand, provides a new source of income. The energy collected by the panels is resold directly to energy suppliers.
The company then benefits from an additional income.