The untapped potential
Insulation already plays an important role in chemical, petrochemical and oil refining facilities. It protects staff from burn hazards, manages energy flows, maintains temperatures within set limits and enables chemical reactions and processes to work normally and safely.
However, it has much greater untapped potential to save energy, costs and emissions for industry, with investments paying back quickly. Several studies indicate the scale of this opportunity:
- Using data from 700 industrial energy assessments, the US National Insulation Association (NIA) estimates that a comprehensive insulation maintenance and upgrade program could generate annual savings of USD 4.8 billion and reduce CO2 emissions by 43 million metric tonnes each year.2
- When the European Industrial Insulation Foundation reviewed 180 TIPCHECK (Technical Insulation Performance Check) audits, it identified potential energy savings of 750,000 MWh/year, which would reduce CO2 emissions by 500,000 tonnes and save EUR 23.5 million in costs annually. According to the study, the typical payback time for upgrading insulation is one to two years.3
- ECOFYS has shown that well-designed insulation can save 50 to 60 percent of heat losses in many plants.4
Studies like these demonstrate the scale of possible savings for owners and operators in energy, money and CO2 emissions. And as well as being good for business, effective insulation helps to safeguard people and assets, while protecting the environment too.
1 "CO2 emissions from fuel combustion", OECD/IEA, 2016
2 "About Insulation By Numbers", National Insulation Association, et al.,
3 "Harnessing the Potential of Industrial Insulation", Eiif
4 "Climate protection with rapid payback", Eiif, 2012