AFFCO’s boilers are tuned-in to energy savings
More than half of meat exporter AFFCO’s total energy consumption is used to fire its boilers, so when informed that properly tuning a boiler can save up to 10% of energy used, the meat exporter swung into action.
Energy is AFFCO’s third highest cost. Tuning boilers at the first four AFFCO sites has reduced fuel use by 730,000 kWh per year – a considerable saving.
AFFCO, one of New Zealand’s largest meat processors, has agreed with EECA Business to a implement an energy management programme across its nine sites that commit the company to sustainable management of resources and conscientious energy use.
Even a 1% saving in boiler efficiency equates to significant cash savings per year across the group. Often, sites complete a quarterly check on their boilers that involves safety but not a comprehensive tune.
Tony Miles, Group Operations Officer at AFFCO, said there is no downside to being smart with energy. “Having our boilers running efficiently and effectively is good for business and the environment. Monitoring energy efficiency is an important contributor to tracking our overall business performance and allows us to maintain a high standard of operation and responsibility.”
With such environmentally and financially lucrative possibilities presented to them by EECA, AFFCO teamed with energy management partners Emsol to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and limit unnecessary energy-related costs to their business.
The energy-saving journey began with boilers at sites in Horotiu, Whanganui, Napier and Moerewa, where boiler tune-ups were scheduled.
The work met requirements in EECA’s guide on boiler system tuning, including measuring and reporting boiler efficiency before and after a boiler has been tuned – an essential step to calculate fuel saved and how often tuning is required.
Boiler efficiency improvements at one site ranged from zero to 2.3%. AFFCO’s boiler tunes cost between $600 and $1,500 but can be higher for large boilers, though usually such costs are quickly recouped via savings on energy bills. As part of an EECA Business energy efficiency agreement, a company can receive up to 40% of the costs for up to three boiling tunes over 18 months.
Most New Zealand businesses can shave at least 20% off energy costs with smarter energy use. EECA has a special program to help meat and dairy processors reduce carbon emissions by providing funds to scope the feasibility of carbon emission reductions and to build a compelling business case for investment.
EECA has a list of approved energy experts that can access EECA funding to help clients become more energy efficient - as Emsol has done for AFFCO.