World Energy Efficiency Day: harnessing the power of data and people

World Energy Efficiency Day: harnessing the power of data and people

When it comes to energy efficiency, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of professional cooking, bakery and refrigeration equipment has developed a recipe for success.

AFE Group, which employs 1,500 people over 15 sites, has identified a sweet spot for optimising energy performance by harnessing gas and electricity data with people power. The result is year-on-year energy performance improvements on the road to Net Zero, supported by metering and data services from Energy Assets.

AFE operates multiple manufacturing, service and contracting centres across Britain – each with distinctive energy profiles. So, the Group provides each site with the autonomy and the tools they need to manage their individual energy footprint.

“As a business, we have a clear aim to lead by example when it comes to optimising energy consumption and operating sustainably,” says AFE Group Chief Executive Officer Tim Smith.

“This means not only monitoring and measuring the energy we use in granular detail, but also creating a workforce trained and empowered to take responsibility for consumption.”

A 10-year partnership with Energy Assets

Central to this ethos is a 10-year partnership with Energy Assets, which delivers half-hourly electricity and gas data through automated meter reading systems.

This data feeds into the WebAnalyser monitoring and reporting platform, enabling AFE to compare actual performance versus benchmark parameters and to measure the impact of any process improvements. The tool also enables the company to track the impact of its solar renewables investment on energy costs and carbon emissions.

Says Tim Smith: “At one level, the Energy Assets dashboard quickly enables us to take the ‘pulse’ of energy consumption by day, week, month or over the course of a year and compare it to ‘standard’ operating conditions. At another level, we can dive much deeper into data to validate and analyse usage and spot unusual consumption patterns.

“The ultimate aim is to operate as efficiently as possible, to minimise our environmental impact and to make good our pledge to work towards Net Zero.”

Leveraging the power of people

While data provides the hard operational evidence – and helps drive AFE’s ESOS actions – it is staff engagement that creates the momentum for success. Each business unit nominates an Energy Champion to drive energy and sustainability improvements aligned to targets. This includes a daily energy walk to eradicate waste, identify inefficient equipment usage and flag poor energy habits.

In addition, every colleague receives an AFE Guide to Energy Management. This demonstrates how even small efficiency gains can enhance the bottom line, support customer sustainability goals and mitigate environmental impact. Regular energy audits also identify areas for improvements, tagged with potential financial and carbon benefits.

Says Tim Smith: “Our data focus, together with staff training, progress bulletins and regular audits, gives our people the information and tools they need to support our energy consumption goals. Our aim is to create a culture in which everyone can be an active contributor to our Group-wide Greenlogic energy efficiency, waste reduction and sustainability initiative.”

AFE Group

AFE is a leading business unit of Ali Holding Srl – the world’s largest privately owned foodservice and bakery equipment group based in Milan, Italy. We work in close alliance with our sister companies to offer a complete choice and a total foodservice solution for every customer.

Through Greenlogic, the AFE group is committed to supplying the most energy efficient and sustainable equipment in today’s market with many of our products meeting the industry recognised standards for performance and energy efficiency. These are assured the world over by ISO standards for quality (ISO 9001) and environmental management (ISO 14001).

The Group’s brands include Williams Refrigeration, Falcon Foodservice Equipment, Mono Bakery Equipment and Millers Vanguard & Serviceline.

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