Maintpartner regularly conducts energy audits of its operations. In 2018–2019, the audits were carried out entirely under the guidance of our own experts - the latest in Sweden, where energy use and its potential for savings in Karlskoga and Degerfors sites were examined. They employ the majority of Maintpartner employees in Sweden, some 170 people from over 250. In addition, Maintpartner has eight other smaller offices in Sweden.
In general, energy audits generate many ideas for improving energy efficiency in an industrial environment. Maintpartner's customers can also benefit from this experience, as it is available for them as a service.
“People are often somewhat astonished at how simple methods can make a big impact. When this is noticed, they become keen on taking on more actions. The most important thing, however, is that there is a named person responsible for energy efficiency in the company – someone to ensure continuous development,” says Matti Yliknuussi, Maintpartner's energy and environmental expert.
Most of the challenges are related to being located in industrial facilities, which may have been designed and built decades ago with the primary purpose of providing protection to production machinery. At the time of construction, no attention was necessarily paid to environmental and energy issues. Furthermore, understanding the impact of conditions on both production and the life cycle of equipment as well as on human well-being and occupational safety was not at the current level.
What can be done? Often, the first measures concern the management and tendering of electricity contracts and the selection of renewable electricity. Exterior doors and hatches of old premises can be easily sealed, and window glazing increased.
“The old infrastructure brings its own challenges, and it has to be recognized that not all measures are realistic - especially if you are operating in leased premises,” says Matti Yliknuussi from Maintpartner.
Clear choices include the purchase of heat pumps, the replacement of old radiator thermostats, ventilation machines and lighting, and the addition of controls. At Maintpartner, the teams had already independently made environmentally friendly upgrades on e.g. lighting and windows.
“An energy audit is a great opportunity to truly develop the environmental responsibility of operations. There are always opportunities for development. At Maintpartner, we even went further and chose a broader scope for the audit than required by the European Energy Directive, so that we can certainly make the most of our potential and will be able to develop our operations in a more systematic way in the future,” concludes Yliknuussi.
Matti Yliknuussi, Development Manager, Energy & Environment, Maintpartner
Mika Riekkola, Managing Director, Maintpartner in Finland