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ABB launches energy savings 'risk and reward' scheme

08 August 2012

ABB's new risk and reward scheme for large energy consumers - DriveSave - identifies and guarantees energy saving from multiple motor-driven applications across a site.

Energy-intensive industries are targeted
Energy-intensive industries are targeted

DriveSave is aimed at industries like metal processing, chemical, oil & gas and pulp & paper which are willing to invest between £500,000 to £2m on achieving target savings from 5,000MWh and above per year, with a return on investment in under three years.

Should the savings be up to 10 percent below the target, ABB will compensate the customer, whereas if the savings rise by up to 10 percent of the target then ABB secures a bonus.

In addition to the guaranteed energy savings and the design, installation and commissioning of the variable-speed drives, the scheme offers a five year warranty for all of the installed drives, together with a five year preventive maintenance programme. ABB is hoping to change the mind-set of large energy users by persuading them to buy guaranteed energy savings as opposed to specific hardware.

“We have decades of experience in measuring and proving the energy saving and believe that by including the installation, commissioning and on-going support for the drives, end-users have an even more compelling excuse to consider DriveSave,” says Neil Ritchie, Business Unit Manager for low voltage ac drives.

The scheme complements ABB’s traditional approach of targeting smaller energy efficiency schemes where the investment in variable-speed drives is typically from a few thousand pounds.

With DriveSave, the energy consumption of all the motor-driven applications is measured prior to the installation of variable-speed drives. Based on this measurement ABB assesses the potential savings. Another measurement is taken upon commissioning of the drives. It is these figures that determine the risk and reward.

Once the figures are agreed with the end user, it is then ABB's responsibility to install the quantity of variable-speed drives necessary to achieve those savings. "If we estimate 60 drives are required but end up needing 65 drives, then that is down to us. The customer is not charged any more money," says Ritchie.

ABB is targeting a market which it says is relatively untapped. Several organisations, including ABB, offer enterprise-wide energy efficiency packages that take account of all process variables such as water, steam, gas, electricity and air. While DriveSave is being offered as part of ABB’s enterprise-wide solution, it is the provision of this scheme as a standalone service that ABB believes to be a first in the market. 

While most drive suppliers concentrate on selling a handful of drives to motor-driven applications, often totalling less than £100,000, ABB is targeting large end users. Within such industries, various departments often have the budget for localised variable-speed drive installations.

ABB’s scheme aims to identify all these localised opportunities and amalgamate them into one proposal so as to capitalise on the huge potential energy saving and the financial impact. By generating one blanket energy saving proposal, the company can raise a one-off purchase order, allowing the localised budgets to potentially remain intact and be applied to other manufacturing issues.

Such companies are acutely aware of their energy usage and with prices expected to rise they are keen to identify effective ways to reduce the energy bill. For instance, given an electricity price of 8.00p/kWh, a 10,000 MWh saving would equate to £800,000 per annum.

“Previously, smaller projects would be carried out on an ad hoc basis with no guarantees of the energy saving potential. Often the smaller projects are delayed due to capital expenditure restrictions,” says Ritchie. “Through combining numerous smaller projects into one purchase order, ABB DriveSave cuts the time and effort involved in purchasing energy saving projects, making each project more cost-effective.”

Through its nationwide network of authorized value providers, ABB can offer fast project implementation, allowing energy savings to be realised immediately.

DriveSave end-user criteria:
- High energy users
- Prepared to invest between £500,000 to £2 million
- Looking for energy saving potential typically between 5,000 MWh to 10,000 MWh 
- Demanding a payback in less than 3 years
- Desire to reduce carbon dioxide emissions
- Pump, fan and compressor applications as opposed to major process production lines 
- Concern about rising energy prices

For further details of the ABB DriveSave service, email or call 07000 DRIVES (07000 374837) 

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