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£400m saved through efficient boiler use

UK organisations could save over £400m a year by improving the efficiency of their boilers, according to the Carbon Trust.

New analysis by the Carbon Trust reveals that heating and hot water accounts for over one third of UK organisations’ energy consumption and up to 60 per cent of the carbon emissions from some UK industrial processes, such as food production and laundering, where demand for steam or hot water is high.

However, it’s possible to cut heating costs by up to 30 per cent by implementing some simple boiler-related energy saving measures.

The guidance outlines how organisations can make immediate energy savings of 10 per cent through better maintenance and low cost improvements, such as installing insulation and retrofitting controls.

Richard Rugg, Director, Carbon Trust Programmes, said: “Heating water uses a huge amount of energy so if you want to cut your bill and boost your bottom line, checking your boiler is not a bad place to start.  UK organisations could be saving over £400m a year by following simple, low-cost measures.”

The new Steam and high temperature hot water boilers and Low temperature hot water boilers guides are part of the Carbon Trust’s Expert in Energy series.

The Carbon Trust is also running a free webinar on how to significantly reduce running costs and improve the efficiency of your hot water boilers at 12pm, 7 March 2012.

The guide can be downloaded and a webinar place booked at

A Scottish knitwear manufacturer reaped dividends when it replaced its existing oil-fired boiler with two smaller gas-fired boilers equipped with digital combustion controls. The more streamlined boiler process and correct sizing led to a saving of 35,000 litres of fuel oil and £13,200 per year.

Top Tips from the guides:

Carry out boiler maintenance - Over time mechanical components can become worn which can affect combustion efficiency. Therefore burners and their controls need to be checked at regular intervals and adjusted as necessary.

Minimize heat losses - Keep boiler insulation in good condition. All pipework, valves, flanges and fittings in the boilerhouse should be adequately insulated and valve mats/covers should be replaced after maintenance work.

Implement effective water treatment - The presence of impurities and contaminants in water make treatment and conditioning regimes essential to provide water of a suitable quality for the effective operation of steam boiler plant and systems. 

Produce a maintenance manual - Detail records of work done, the person responsible, and when they were completed. The formalisation of maintenance in this manner should help ensure that tasks are carried out at the correct frequency and will highlight ongoing problems.

Consult your boiler manufacturer - Find out what the recommended TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) level is and compare this with your current operating regime.

Consider boiler replacement – In the longer term, if a boiler is more than 15 years old, or if it  is showing signs of inefficient operation, it may need replacing. Capacity/size requirements, boiler compatibility and financial and environmental impact must all be considered in the process.