9 Sep 2009

Less hot air could save businesses millions

2:52 pm on 9 September 2009

The Electricity Commission is hoping to save tens of millions of dollars by reducing the amount of hot air let off by industrial businesses.

The commission says businesses can save around 30% on compressed air energy usage, and its programme could save 230 gigawatt hours a year overall, enough to power the city of New Plymouth.

For example, if inflating a car tyre uses about $1.50 worth of electricity, as stored energy the compressed air is only worth 15 cents - with the difference the amount of energy being given off as heat during the compression process.

The commission has created a scheme for certifying compressed air auditors with the University of Waikato, which has already assessed 100 businesses.

Electricity Commission industrial programme manager Rod Treder says compressors often have leaks or are running longer than they need to.

Mr Treder says the savings could help reduce the pressure on the building of new power stations.