Industrial Energy Efficiency See all Client services

The Carbon Trust designed the Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA) to work collaboratively with industry sectors to deliver energy savings in manufacturing processes. Working with key stakeholders in each sector we identify innovations in equipment, processes and product strategy.

Industry is responsible for 25% of the UK’s total COemissions.  Energy use in industry can be broadly divided into heat from direct combustion and electricity.  

There are three main areas where opportunities exist to reduce carbon emissions in industry:

Product strategy

  • Using particular raw materials more than others
  • Altering the product mix
  • Reducing energy in the supply chain


  • Intelligent scheduling to reduce standby time and changeovers
  • Novel process configuration


  • Upgrades to higher efficiency models
  • Novel approaches.

Many of the high-energy-use items of equipment are used across a range of industries. For example, motors and drives, refrigerators, lighting and air compressors. Similarly, some opportunities to save energy with process improvements can be applied across a wide range of different industries, in particular heat recovery and process control improvements. 

Many industries use the majority of their energy directly to manufacture a product, as opposed to peripheral services such as heating and lighting. Consequently it can be difficult to identify opportunities except through an in-depth understanding of energy flows in the manufacturing process.

The Carbon Trust's Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator has worked with a number of industry sectors to develop this understanding and build the business case for innovation in process control and the uptake of low-carbon technologies.

Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator

The Carbon Trust designed the Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA) to work collaboratively with industry sectors to deliver energy savings in manufacturing processes. Working with key stakeholders in each sector we identify innovations in equipment, processes and product strategy.

Industrial energy efficiency: the issue

Industry produces 125MtCO2 - 25% of UK total emissions. Energy efficiency best practice measures are relatively well understood, and most industries deploy these in non-process related areas, such as space heating and lighting. Many also deploy sound practices in process efficiency e.g. steam distribution and compressed air. However, we found very few have the internal systems to identify and deploy genuine innovations in processes such as heat recovery, combustion efficiency and novel cleaning methods.

Current work

Through funding from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills as part of its Regional Growth Fund, we are currently deploying a number of innovative technologies in four sectors: Aggregates, Animal Feeds, Dairy and Bakery.

These include the development of low temperature asphalt, improved combustion efficiency in bakery ovens and a less carbon intensive method of cleaning pipes in the dairy sector by using ice pigs. Several commercial and non-profit partners are co-investing in these projects, including manufacturers, technology suppliers and universities.


As part of these innovation projects, Carbon Trust is responsible for dissemination. This includes events, case studies and related activities. Current and upcoming activities will be listed below.

IEEA CTS398 Tarmac case study
Low Temperature Asphalt - Tarmac case study (CTS398)

Read the press release:
Lafarge Tarmac and Carbon Trust launch low energy road building materials with potential to save industry £46m


Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator approach

The IEEA takes a collaborative approach, working with trade associations, sector companies and technology providers to identify innovative opportunities for energy reduction. We have worked with 14 mid-energy intense sectors, such as dairies and aggregates, installing site metering at equipment level and analysing production data. This has helped us identify emissions reduction averaging 29%. 

Examples of innovative opportunities include:

  • Design of brick kilns with reduced air flow rates to improve efficiency
    • saves a typical site £90k/year
    • potential to reduce emissions in the bricks industry by 40,000 tCO2/year
  • Moisture measurement of paper to improve control of water extraction
    • saves a typical plant £260k/year
    • opportunity to reduce emissions in the paper industry by 65,600 tCO2/year
  • Use of ice pigs to clean pipes in the dairy (or brewing sector) instead of hot water and detergents
    • enables recovery of product (milk, cream, etc.) by the ice slurry instead of losing to drain
    • dairy sector emissions reductions could add up to 23,000tCO2/year


CTG018 Animal Feed Milling
Animal Feed Milling Industrial Energy Efficiency (CTG018)
CTG020 Asphalt
Asphalt Industrial Energy Efficiency (CTG020)
CTG058 Brewing
Brewing Industrial Energy Efficiency (CTG058)
CTG043 Bricks
Brick Sector Industrial Energy Efficiency (CTG043)
CTG035 Confectionery
Confectionery Stoving Industrial Energy Efficiency (CTG035)
IEEA CTG060 Contract Catering
Contract Catering Sector Industrial Energy Efficiency
IEEA CTG033 Dairy
Dairy Sector Industrial Energy Efficiency (CTG033)
IEEA CTG034 Bakery
Industrial Bakery Industrial Energy Efficiency(CTG034)
IEEA CTG064 Laundries
Laundries Industrial Energy Efficiency (CTG064)
CTG053 Malting
Maltings Industrial Energy Efficiency (CTG053)
CTG062 Metalforming
Metalforming Industrial Energy Efficiency (CTG062)
CTG063 Microelectronics
Microelectronics Industrial Energy Efficiency (CTG063)
CTG059 Paper
Paper Industrial Energy Efficiency (CTG059)
CTG019 Plastic Blow Moulding
Plastic Bottle Blow Moulding Industrial Energy Efficiency (CTG019)


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