Energy Efficiency – What, Why, How?

Energy efficiency makes us less vulnerable to energy shortages, reducing pollution and improving daily living conditions directly.

Two dominant and closely interrelated problems the world seems to be facing nowadays are, on the one hand, energy supply shortages and insecurity, and on the other hand, environmental pollution and climate changes as a consequence of excessive energy consumption. One of the ways to reduce adverse impacts and to createa positive impact on sustainable development is the efficient use of energy. Energy efficiency makes us less vulnerable to energy shortages, reducing pollution and directly improving daily living conditions. Our company established and certified the Energy Management System (EnMS).

Energy efficiency is the sum of the measures and activities in all areas of life whose ultimate goal is to minimize energy consumption, provided that the level of work and life remain the same or improved. It is not a simple energy- saving, which requires sacrifice, but rather a more efficient utilization, which contributes to an improved quality of life and work, as well as an increased production competitiveness.

Improving energy efficiency is an important element of the energy policy of the Republic of Serbia, which significantly contributes to the security in energy supply, higher standards, upgrading with the aim to reduce the import dependence and reduction of adverse environmental impacts. Power consumption in Serbia is three to five times higher per unit of GDP compared to any of the EU countries, and two to three times higher than it is in the neighboring countries. In addition, due to the poor insulation and obsolete installations, more than 50 percent of the energy consumed is lost, whereas this loss on an annual basis totals half a billion euros due to energy inefficiency.  This appears to be an issue of general interest calling for reduction of energy consumption in all areas. Increasing energy efficiency is one of the strategic goals of our company. Over the last three years, NIS has been implementing the program aimed at boosting energy efficiency, which is a part of the project aimed at increasing the operational efficiency within all organizational units operating within NIS. The goal of the program is to introduce the practice of saving and a more rational use of energy within the company, as well as to implement new technologies that will reduce energy consumption.

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Throughout 2013, the Company managed to establish and certify the Energy Management System (EnMS), in accordance with the requirements of ISO 50001:2012 ensuring thus full compliance therewith. Energy management involves continued commitment to energy in all structures of the Company for the purpose of reducing energy consumption.

The established system ensures that NIS is constantly movingthrough the cycle of building strategies, planning and implementation of the planned measures, verifying the results achieved based on which a new strategy shall be defined, ensuring thus continual improvement in energy performance and energy efficiency.

Based on the results of the study carried out and the analysis of the current state of facilities, equipment, energy use and consumption within the organizational units covered by the pilot project implemented in 2013, the areas reflecting significant use and energy consumption were identified, as well as possible savings opportunities to improve the overall energy performance within NIS. It is estimated that the economic savings potential in production, refining and transportation of oil and gas that may be achieved is within the range of  10-30 %.

Upon determination of the energy base (based on data on energy use and consumption throughout 2013), establishment of the general and specific energy targets followed, along with the process of defining measures to increase energy efficiency and selection of appropriate energy performance indicators (EnPI) that should be used to monitor and measure effects of the measures implemented, at different levels of the company (NIS, Block, Organizational Unit within the Block). According to the Director of the “Energy” Block and the EnMS Management representative Alexey Belov, the measures currently implemented or envisaged for implementation in the future can be divided into two groups.

– First of all, these imply investment measures which include: investment aimed at improvement of technological features of the plant and the equipment, application of new technologies, projects for utilization of waste fuels for Cogeneration / Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems, introduction of an automated system for energy balance monitoring and projects for the use of alternative/renewable energy. Secondly, organizational and technical measures which comprise regular inspections and maintenance of the equipment and installations, compliance with the recommendations on the rational use of energy (computers, elevators, lighting, air conditioning systems, water consumption, fuel consumption), staff training in the field of energy efficiency, as well as activities and campaigns aimed at raising the awareness among employees about the impact of their daily activities on the reduction of energy consumption.

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Milorad Buric, Director of Energy Management Sector, “Energy”, in response to the question to list the results of measures aimed at increasing energy efficiency, which were implemented in NIS over the period from January-June 2014, states as follows:

– Measures taken during the first six months of 2014, were aimed at reducing production costs of DEMI water, reducing fuel consumption (natural and associated gas, gasoline, diesel fuel, coke, heavy fuel oil, etc.), reducing the consumption of steam and electricity while maintaining quality and production levels per process keeping the same level or raising it to a higher level. As a result of applying these measures over the same period of this year, NIS has managed to achieve energy consumption savings, reducing it by7% compared to the same period in 2013; moreover, it is expected to reach 10% by the end of the year, which practically coincides with the estimates following a thorough evaluation of potential savings projected by the company TÜV RheinlandInterCertKft. At the same time, the cogeneration plants launched within the specified period have increased the share of self-supporting production of electricity in the total power demands of our company totaling 8 %, with a tendency towards further growth.

For the sake of ensuring the successful implementation of the measures boosting  the energy efficiency, it is essential to ensure that awareness of each employee is raised to a higher level to grasp the underlying significance, and to  ensure a more rational use of energy reducing the consumption in their daily activities.

For the sake of ensuring the successful implementation of the measures boosting the energy efficiency, it is essential to ensure that awareness of each employee is raised to a higher level to grasp the underlying significance, and to ensure a more rational use of energy reducing the consumption in their daily activities. This is best achieved by communication, education and programs focused on raising the awareness about the importance of energy efficiency.

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MirjanaVesković, Manager for Energy Efficiency Support and Monitoring, Energy Management Sector, confirmed that the Earth Overshoot Day, the day each year when we’ve consumed natural resources at a rate beyond which the Earth can replenish, tends to fall sooner each year, moving more and more towards the earlier dates.

– The threshold was exceeded for the first time on 19 December 1987, whereas this year, it happened on 19 August, four months earlier. This alerts us of the urgent need to take serious steps to stop this trend. The problem is global, but that does not mean it cannot be resolved locally. By changing individual behavior patterns, it is possible to direct our daily activities towards a rational use of energy, both in the workplace and at home. This primarily relates to the use of: computers, elevators, lighting, air conditioning systems, water and fuel consumption – as stated by Mirjana Vesković.

Author: Dragoslav Todic

This article was published in the My NIS magazine.

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