Star Refrigeration have published a full public report of the survey results, collected from the feedback that attendees gave at the company's energy efficiency Roadshow that rallied around the UK to offer free advice on energy efficiency and legislation. The survey asked users of industrial refrigeration and heating solutions to identify issues affecting their current plants and to state their maintenance and installation plans for 2014.
The report provides an insight into sector-specific trends, including building services, food & drinks production, storage and distribution, facilities management, data centres or IT cooling, leisure, construction, consultancy, healthcare, petrochemical, district heating and retail.
The industry most represented in the survey was the food and drinks sector, with food production making up 20% of the sample across all venues. Secondly, the building services sector, which represented 14% of participants, and was divided into public buildings, universities, NHS and urban regeneration agencies.
The majority of attendees hold decision-making positions within their company, with 62% being at management level and a further 10% holding the role of MDs. The most popular roles were Service, Business Development and Energy Management.
The surveyed groups revealed that the most important issues of concern for end-users regarding their current cooling and heating systems was coping with the energy efficiency challenge (26%) and the cost of plant operation (18%), while a considerable 16% reported that R22 replacement was a worry at the top of their agenda. The storage and distribution sector was the most affected (36%) by the R22 phase-out.
A leading food manufacturer shared the following insight into their business plans and operations: "We're using an old R22 plant. One or two systems have been slightly upgraded, but we've got another ten that are still working on the old plant. So, we need to upgrade that and look at the new systems that are available for the internal heating to recover the heat from the plant and convert it into heating for the offices. It would be very beneficial to us - both for cost effectiveness, and for running the plant."
The results showed that each end user sector has a different idea of what their current main issues are. 80% of the Building Services market agreed that their main focus is on becoming more energy efficient. The Food Industry sector was divided on the issues that affect their business most, however the reliability of their systems came out on top as the most problematic area at 43%.
Regarding the criteria that large users of refrigeration and heating equipment follow during the purchase decision making process, the report states that cost is an important factor at 34% to take into account when comparing solutions. However, most industry sectors did not settle on low cost but based their decision-making process on total life cycle costs, performance/quality, and energy efficiency and reliability, at 49%, revealing a desire to suppress the marginal value of low capital investments. A further 12% concentrate on the total life cycle costs for long-term value. Energy efficiency was also a big deciding factor at 24%, and performance/quality and reliability came in at 13%.
Finally, refrigeration and heating plant users plan to improve their systems to deliver the greatest value for their business by monitoring their systems more frequently and improving their refrigeration and heating plant maintenance (43%). 27% declared they plan to become more energy efficient, and 17% opted for updating their current system.
The full report is available for download at www.starrefrigerationroadshow.com.