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Understanding the impacts on the industrial operations from the adoption of energy efficiency measures: lessons learnt from Italian case studies

Panel: 3. Energy management

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Davide Accordini, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Enrico Cagno, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Andrea Trianni, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Nicolò Ferrari, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Federico Gambaro, Politecnico di Milano, Italy


Energy efficiency is a key driver to decarbonize industry, improving its sustainability and competitiveness. Nevertheless, the adoption of well-known energy efficiency measures (EEMs) is in many cases hindered by the lack of information about them. Unfortunately, EEMs are usually assessed with a simplistic energy and cost effectiveness analysis, neglecting however other characteristics that should be carefully encompassed, since they can deeply affect the EEMs performance during their implementation and service phases. Among others, the impact EEMs could have on surrounding production activities plays a critical role, especially when embedded in the core business of a company. So far, too little literature has highlighted such impacts, mainly referring to the existence of the so-called non-energy benefits, while research linking the impacts to the key performance indicators of industrial operations is still scarce.

Therefore, the present study is intended as a preliminary exploration giving contribution to this discussion, trying to highlight intrinsic features of the EEMs and connect them with their potential impacts in terms of performance indicators once implemented.

Results show the need to create a framework linking, e.g., pure production and operationsrelated information to raw material consumptions and emissions, in order to provide an extensive and integrated vision of the impacts of EEMs adoption. The conceptual framework, to be further developed as an assessment tool in support of decision-makers and energy managers, could represent a valuable support for policymakers and technology suppliers in highlighting the real implications of adopting EEMs.

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