Special Working Groups

Food & Dairy Special Working Group (Spin I)


The Food and Dairy industry in Ireland represents approximately 20% of the total industrial energy consumption in Ireland and it is clear that significant opportunities exist for energy efficiency improvements across the sector.

The level of potential energy efficiency improvements achievable is estimated to be in the 10 to 30% range from the current consumption levels. This level of savings would translate into 550 - 1650GWh and cost savings of €40- €120m across the sector.


The aim of the Food and Dairy (F&D) Special Working Group (SWG) is to offer solutions to stimulate special investigations and energy efficiency projects, and to promote the implementation of energy efficient solutions across the Food and Dairy sector.


12 Members from SEAI Energy Agreements Programme


Food & Dairy SWG activities included a combination of desktop studies, stakeholder workshops, special investigations, energy saving projects, best practice initiatives, demonstration projects and feasibility studies. A focus on key technologies that presented the best opportunities for energy efficiency across the group and wider sector was an objective of the group.

The auditing approach taken by the F&D SWG is based on the Energy Venn Diagram which facilitates a consistent methodology in carrying out a technical audit at a site.


The outputs include sector analysis findings, a range of commissioned member site investigations, generic studies including Steam Reduction in Ireland Program and Process Integration & Heat Recovery in Irish Food Industry.

Opportunities identified

The SWG identified the following technical areas that present the greatest potential for energy efficiency improvements within the F&D sector:

  1. Clean In Place (CIP)
  2. Water Use
  3. Refrigeration/Cold Plant
  4. Boilers including Steam generation and distribution
  5. Drying/Evaporation Processes
  6. Pasteurisation Processes
  7. Process Integration/Heat Recovery
  8. Data Collection/M&T

The importance of energy monitoring and targeting was highlighted and in particular the establishment of KPI structures for plants. Energy Master planning is shown to be an important exercise for sites for establishing the correct strategies relating to energy management in the medium to long term.

Reports & Guides (click on link to download)

Food & Dairy SWG Project Report

Case Studies (Contained as appendices within the above Project Report document)

  1. KPI Structure - Nutricia Macroom
  2. CIP Optimisation - Bulmers Ireland Clonmel
  3. Heat Recovery - Green Isle Foods Portumna
  4. Process Integration Study - Arrow Group
  5. Process Integration Workshop - Dairygold Mitchelstown
  6. Steam Optimisation - Diageo
  7. Refrigeration Heat Recovery - Kerry Ingredients Listowel

Links to other related case studies

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